City Attorney Wants to Make It Much Harder For Strangers to Knock On Your Front Door

Categories: City Hall
knocking-man.jpg
Been trying since yesterday without any luck to reach City Attorney Tom Perkins to talk about his scheduled appearance Monday in front of the council's Quality of Life Committee. The topic, for which 45 minutes have been carved out: "Home Solicitation Ordinance." Which, from the looks of the briefing documents just posted to the city's website, would involve reinforcing the existing anti-littering ordinance and forcing all those who go door-to-door leaving fliers, menus and other printed what-nots rubber-banded to your door knob to register with the city before they can paper your neighborhood. But that's not all. Says the briefing:
[The] purpose is to prevent criminal activity (including burglary and fraud) and to minimize the unwelcome disturbance of citizens or disruption of privacy. "Home Solicitation" means the business of soliciting, selling, or taking orders for goods or services or distributing commercial printed matter on residential premises.
Per the amendment to Chapter 42 of the Dallas City Code, those doing the soliciting would have to register with the city first, for which there's a yet-to-be-determined fee that needs to be paid upfront. Anyone caught soliciting without the official OK will be fined up to $500, assuming they can't convince the Dallas PD there's a good reason for them being out and about between 9 a.m. and sunset Monday through Saturdays only (the deadline set in the ordinance to be discussed Monday). And there is a way around this:
Defenses are provided, including for educational, charitable, religious, or political solicitations; solicitations conducted at the invitation of the property owner or occupant; and newspaper sales requested by the property owner or occupant.
That's called The Belo Exemption.
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58 comments
charlieb
charlieb

well, there goes my "thin mints" connection!

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Friend of mine put a little notice on his door: "We kill every third solicitor." So far as i know, it worked.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I have a homemade sign on my door has worked for three years.Why does the City Attorney and this Council spend so much time on such laws with no one to enforce them. The DFW Board selection process that was passed in November violates every ounce of 14-1 ,but Perkins seems to think excluding certain people by a comittee of 5 people, three from North Dallas,one Oak cliff, other North Oak cliff is OK. DFW agreement says Council shall apoint 6 people,there is not one sentance in that agreement about Council committee of 5 will screen nominees and chose who they will interview,than after interview send forth to Council names for apointment to 3 places and City Council will vote on those names only.City Secertary will then asign place numbers another violation of agreement that says name and place no. should be asigned when voting because place numbers have diffrent service time. I will challenge this process in Federal Court as soon as Primary election is over.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

It seems like this is more about getting yet another fee as opposed to the quality of life.

Halldecker
Halldecker

I sued the Advocate after they told me they didn't have any way to stop their trashy paper from being slapped onto my door knob.  Just wasn't within their power.

Whadda you know.  Turns out they did.

It's the arrogance of somebody  thinking they can walk up to my front door (which I never go out) and stick whatever they want on it that is infuriating.

The City promised me over a decade ago they'd do this.

Maybe now they will.

cp
cp

So.... where exactly does this put those free Briefings? File under educational? Political? Charitable? Religious? All of the above?  

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

I love it when that dented white van drops off like, 45 of those homeless guys in my neighborhood....and then they all walk around and smoke, and do nothing. Excpet walk across peoples grass, and check for unlocked doors.

lostribe
lostribe

I love it how they (literally) leave the door open for political campaigners to knock on your door and also post signs, even though if you lose a kid or pet, posting signs is illegal for THAT. Nice.  Not at all self-serving.

I don't want anyone knocking or leaving stuff on my door who doesn't have an appointment.  No Girl Scouts, no fundraising kids or teens, no churches, no salesmen. I finally put out a nasty sign after the creepy guy who was mooching off the lone girl next door knocked on it asking for money, after numerous failed attempts to sidle up to me over a period of two years. She used to "let him mow."  He'd be there literally all day and into the night, without ever even weedeating the edges, just hanging out. I finally added some detail to the sign, "This includes churches," after they flagrantly ignored the "No Soliciting" message. And then I wrote one exemption on it, my monthly community magazine.  Things have been much better, though I do need one also in Spanish.  At Hallowween, I cover up the sign with a big "Happy Halloween" sign.  That's one time I don't mind.

Sometimes I think about finding out how to install one of those produce sprinklers you see misting the vegetable section at the supermarket on my front porch, with a button to push from the inside. 

Ross
Ross

Of course political solicitations are exempt. We wouldn't want our city leaders to be bothered by the laws they put in place.

cockadoodledoooo
cockadoodledoooo

I swear, you guys whine more than that cabernet I had last night! Now. Since we got that out of the way....have any of you guys ever heard of Jehovah??? Well, i'm one of his witnesses and he's after me now, because he says i've been snitching on him.

james
james

since the police won't respond to shoplifting charges anymore maybe they'll have time to bust people that leave fliers most of us don't want and could possibly be casing our homes. sounds good, but at the expense of ignoring actual crime? go dallas.

Montemalone
Montemalone

If the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses don't come to me, how am I going to convert them to Gay-theism?

Dalguy
Dalguy

It would be appreciated if the City Council would prohibit the throwing of trash in my front yard such as Paper City and Preston Hollow News.

sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

Does this apply to Hiz Honor Dwaine Caraway knocking on the doors of crack houses  with Mayor Rawlings and the TV Cameras in tow. Just saw him trying to get in a Packing House to fine out why there is pig blood in the Trinity River. Is he on the Police force or the Dallas city council. 

Sa
Sa

I don't open my door unless I'm expecting someone.  Period.  Hate to be that way, but we live in a dangerous world.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Awesome. Now, how am I to get my Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos?

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

Any chance on getting an ordinance says free weekly "papers" aren't allowed to throw their trash in my yard?

Honeybee
Honeybee

We don't get clean-cut religious duos in our neighborhood.

Instead, a van drops off a bunch of "students" who look waaay older than 16 or 17.  Or 25 for that matter.They are either selling magazines to "earn the way" somewhere or because they are "enrolled in a class about starting a business."

My neighbors and I have taken to calling the police and asking for stepped up patrols bc the van arrivals seem to coincide with an increase in home break-ins.  Once the police start cruising around, the solicitors clear out within a day or two.

It's especially disconcerting because there is an elementary school in the middle of our neighborhood.

The more hoops these potential criminals have to jump through, the better.And I'd call the police on the religious duos, too.I'm a mom and I'm not taking any chances with my children. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

My computer faces the front door........when I see these sh+theads approaching; I knock on the window, point to the "no soliciting" sign, and fearlessly point to the street.   I want to get a 'GO AWAY" sign, but the wife won't let me.  

chocolate80
chocolate80

You seem anti-social! There are drugs that can help you cope with your "I never go out" problems!

chocolate80
chocolate80

Are you ANITSOCIAL? You wrote "never go out" and it makes any normal person wonder!

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

You sued the Advocate, really? What an asswagon!

scottindallas
scottindallas

What a jackass that you have time to sue a company, but not enough to go and throw away a bagged magazine you don't want to read.  Cut off your nose to spite your face much?

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Years ago I called the free paper(s) and told them to cease and desist; followed by the free Plano Profile.  It's just waste, and nobody reads this crap. It's bad enough 90% of my mail is junk I don't even look at. 

james
james

they shouldn't be dumping that nasty shit in our water. for once carasway is doing something good.

chocolate80
chocolate80

God, it would suck to be in such bondage to the fear of have to answer the door for the boy trying to raise money for his school or the girl scout selling her cookies! Get a grip not EVERYONE is trying to scam and/or murder you!

Mike3647
Mike3647

Problem with that is that the 'magazine sales reps' then tend to go around back and break in thinking nobody is home.  I do the same thing but have my Glock handy just in case.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Factually false.  In fact, you should be wary of your friends and those you invite in--they pose far greater statistical threat than strangers.

I don't care for solicitors that want to waste my time, but I'm man enough to cut them off and politely say, "I'm not interested" though, sometimes, I AM interested.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Boy this is SO true......I usually glance through the peekhole, and when it's someone I don't know, I very gruffly answer "what do you want?"  When they answer "it's SO + So with This and That, and I gotta great deal" I just tell them to go away.  You can never be too careful in this day and age!  Same thing with car problems; if it's woman with kids, or an elderly person, I'll stop and render aid; otherwise, your on your own.

Honeybee
Honeybee

The sweeties selling the cookies should be coming soon to the front of a grocery store near you.

Based on my experience, I would trust the Girl Scouts of America organization to carry out a ground assault on any enemy of the US.  They don't pull off selling millions of cookies every year for nothing.

To get the plum spots for your troop, you have to set your alarm for dawn so you can jump out of bed and get online to beat the other troops.  There are passwords and usernames and spreadsheets to contend with.  

Everyone wants Uptown.  Uptown is one of the jackpots for cookie sales.

NewsJunkie
NewsJunkie

We also get the van full of teens soliciting magazines with outdated and ragged flyers. One of the kids confessed to me that he was a run away and that a "nice" man gives them jobs and they travel from town to town. There are no magazines and whoever the adults are coordinating this are obviously crooks and corrupting/abducting minors. The next time I have one of these kids at my doorstep I am inviting them in for a soft drink and have my spouse call the police in the next room. This has to stop. I am deeply concerned about these young kids.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Right on, mama! In my Uptown "yard", we've been getting an onslaught of homeless who hide in between the Redbox machines late at night, or some who just straight-up panhandle.

We also get those magazine and "band players for the local HS" who only need $3 to get to their goal of going to Europe. The police need to be more on it. It was OK back when the homeless minded their own space and business and we minded ours unbothered.

Where's Angela Hunt when you need her?

chocolate80
chocolate80

you are just plain anti-social! Take some meds will you PLEASE you are the type of person who makes it unpleasant to live! You have some serious issues!

Crap Detector
Crap Detector

If someone leaves a flyer - on my NO SOLICITING sign I also warn not to leave flyers, cards, etc -- I call the phone number and let them know they have violated the ordinance and that a $500 fine per violation could get pretty expensive. Most claim they just hired a crew to go through the neighborhood and would caution them to look for signs as part of their "training." I've also called the police on those vans full of questionables, and they've been cleared out pretty quickly. Not sure how DPD would enforce -- if they're not pursuing shoplifting then I would think door-to-door soliciting violations would be even lower on the list.

Halldecker
Halldecker

Tell me,  how long have you two worked for the Advocate???

Rangers100
Rangers100

Plano. Now your posts make a little more sense.

So fear-filled.

chocolate80
chocolate80

"Deeply concerned for these kids" What a load!

chocolate80
chocolate80

You're a snobby b*tch! I  bet you're neighborhood isn't Sh*T compared to the one I grew up in! 3 acres of land each. pools, guest homes, gazebos, 3 car garages! Thank god I don't act like YOU! thanks for proving the cliche of upper middle classdom right! What a B*tch!

scottindallas
scottindallas

HOMELESS, GO HOME!

classy Lacey, I thought more of you, unless I'm missing your sarcasm

sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

I thought Angela Hunt flipped. Didn't she holler at the homeless in the Park on Main Street"What are you doing in my Park." I am just asking?  typo Fine should have been find, hit wrong key.

chocolate80
chocolate80

you need to get up, get out and get a life if you are worrying THIS much about someone leaving a flyer for you! You need help! So glad you're not MY neighbor!

scottindallas
scottindallas

But, it apparently hasn't stopped you from wasting their time, our money for your anti-social dementia. 

Chad
Chad

Lacey, why are you defending yourself againt this pretentious little pseudo-humanitarian prick Scott?

Scott, post your real name and address so that we can direct all solicitors and homeless into your loving, welcoming arms, or just STFU. What a fucking poseur you are.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Really Scott, I had no problem whatsoever with the usual people who choose to be/are homeless who have roamed near my complex for the last few years. They politely did their thing in looking through trash, etc., and I went on my business of walking my dog. Paths didn't cross, life was fine.

Over the last 3-6 months, new and aggressive beggars have started coming into the area. They hit up anything that moves with a sob story, whether it's stopping your car to ask for gas money, or asking for spare dollars outside Walgreen's, where I know they're just gonna go purchase cigarettes.

I'm nobody rich. I'm a student at El Centro. I get hit up there, too, for what, messing with my iPod as I wait for the bus home? Trying to eat lunch in the cafe area unbothered?

I pay for the security and location of where I live not to be bothered for money I don't have. Justifying that has nothing to do with class. Not to mention that it is highly against the law to panhandle and beg in the Uptown area (on that whole side of Central, I believe).

There are places designated by Dallas that beggars and homeless can go for help, if they decide to take responsibility for their lives. I am quite sure there is even counseling available for those who don't choose to be responsible, but still request help.

Angela Hunt can't do shit about it--I was being sarcastic there, and you are entitled to your feelings about me--they're YOURS.

But, I also was saying that the whole aggressive begging needs to be better controlled. I was in Brooklyn this summer, and I did get hit up about my curves and booty, but, never asked for money. If NYC can curb the issue, so can Dallas.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

One sentence of a differing opinion to something you volunteered is not bullying, and abusing that word doesn't do anyone any good.

Crap Detector
Crap Detector

Not wasting their time. No anti-social dementia. Stop bullying.

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