Update: Tyler City Council adopts peddling ordinance - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Update: Tyler City Council adopts peddling ordinance

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Update -- released by the Tyler City Council:

The Tyler City Council voted today to adopt an Ordinance amending Tyler City Code Chapter 4 to standardize the hours for home solicitation and handbill distribution, and prohibiting solicitation when the occupant provides notice.

"We have had feedback from the community that they wanted to see this ordinance strengthened and clarified," said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle.  "We feel that the revisions made will help clarify the ordinance and also afford residents the privacy they are seeking when in their own homes."

The amended ordinance will allow for solicitation Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until sunset.  However, solicitation is prohibited all day on Sunday and New Year's Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.  The ordinance defines sunset as the time of day identified by the National Weather Service as the time for sunset for that day for the City of Tyler.

Previously solicitation was allowed starting at 9 a.m. and precluded on all Federal and State holidays.

Additionally, the new ordinance will make it unlawful for solicitors to visit a home that has posted a "No Solicitation" notice.

"Homeowners must simply post a small sign on their home that is visible to the solicitor that says No Solicitation," added Chief Swindle.  "In the event that the solicitor still rings the bell or knocks on the door, residents can call the Police Department for enforcement."

Specifically, the ordinance states:

It is unlawful for any person to go upon any residential premises and ring the doorbell, rap or knock upon the door, or create any sound in a manner calculated to attract the attention of the occupant of the residence, for the purpose of a charitable solicitation or a home solicitation transaction, if there is placed on such premises in a conspicuous place upon or near the main entrance to the residence or main entrance to a residential gated community, apartment complex or other residential living facility,  a sign indicating in any manner the occupants' desire not to have their privacy disturbed or otherwise prohibiting solicitation, peddling or trespassing.
 

The solicitation guidelines also apply to handbill distribution.

TYLER (KYTX) -- Residents in Tyler are calling police about solicitors coming to their doors at all hours of the day. On Wednesday, city council is set to vote on changes to the ordinance that could help curb the problem.

"They knock on this door, turn there, and go up...all times in the evening when I get off work they are knocking" Tyler resident, Thomas Davis, said.

About twice a week, peddlers stop by Thomas Davis' home in Tyler.

"They try to sell the bottle stuff you spray to clean up stuff."

They've become such a nuisance to some residents on his block they have even called the police on them. So, TPD is hoping the city will make some changes to its current solicitation ordinance to deal with this peddler problem.

They include:

1. Allowing solicitation only Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to sunset. It would be  prohibited on major holidays.

2. It would become unlawful to throw, place or distribute any commercial or non-commercial handbills on private property, unless it's handed directly to a person.

3. If you have a no solicitation sign on your door, it would be unlawful to even knock or ring the doorbell. Those who do would face a misdemeanor.

"I think you're asking for trouble. " Residents like Greg Murphy think those changes aren't enough. "I think the city ordinance should be, that there shouldn't be any door to door soliciting because if I need a product I'll go online and find it or I'll go to the store and get it."
  
But for now, the proposed changes are small.

"I think they are good," Davis said.

He just hopes they work.

Again city council has to vote on these changes on Wednesday. If you want to purchase one of those no solicitation signs, you can find them at most hardware stores or Target. Or, you can even make your own sign. The city says signs made with paper and pen will be fine.

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