Hudsonville recently adopted a new solicitation ordinance that you should be aware of. The new ordinance was adopted as a means of regulating door-to-door sales solicitors, and was drafted in response to numerous complaints we’ve received about solicitors. Complaints include instances of where solicitors were too pushy or aggressive in their sales techniques, were using offensive language or behavior, were ignoring posted “No Solicitation” signage, or were soliciting during late hours.
The newly adopted ordinance seeks to address these types of complaints by requiring would-be solicitors to pre-register with the city and to abide by certain requirements for solicitation within the city. By requiring all solicitors to pre-register, the city is able collect background information on solicitors so that if there is a problem, we have a means of identifying and taking enforcement against any violators of the ordinance.
All registered solicitors must:
- Obey all private signage restricting door-to-door sales such as “No Trespassing” or “No Solicitors” signs;
- Not attempt to sell merchandise or services against the wishes of the resident;
- Not to use excessive noise or flashing lights as a means of attracting attention;
- Not solicit after 7:00 p.m., before 9:00 a.m., or on Sundays (unless by appointment).
It is also noted that the new ordinance is not intended to prohibit non-profit type entities that are typically well-received by the community such as Girl Scouts selling cookies, school fundraisers, etc. As such, the ordinance specifically exempts the following groups:
- Any authorized representative or agent of any church, charitable or labor organization, education or fraternal organization;
- Any political group seeking funds or membership or contacting members or electors;
- Persons under the age of 18 under the direct supervision of any school or recognized charitable organization or religious organization;
- Solicitation taking place at a city-recognized market or event.
A Solicitor is defined as any individual(s) traveling either by foot, wagon, automobile, motor truck or any other types of conveyance, from place to place, taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of any goods, wares, and merchandise, personal property for current or future delivery, or for services to be furnished or performed currently or in the future.
Finally, the new solicitation ordinance requires all pre-registered solicitors to identify themselves as such by wearing (or being able to produce) a Solicitation Permit tag such as the one shown here.
If you have a solicitor come to your residence without a tag like this, please report the incident to the Sheriff’s Department at (800) 249-0911. The color of the tag will vary from year to year. For 2014 the tags are purple/lavender.
If you have any questions, contact Dan Strikwerda at 669-0200 #1414, the Sheriff’s Dept at 669-0010.
Where do I find the Solicitation Ordinance
Who do I contact if I see a solicitor without a City of Hudsonville Solicitation Permit lanyard?
Call the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department at (800) 249-0911
Who needs to get a Solicitation Permit?
Any individual(s) that do not qualify for one of the exemptions as shown under the next question traveling either by foot, wagon, automobile, motor truck or any other type of conveyance, from place to place, taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of any goods, wares and merchandise, personal property for current or future delivery, or for services to be furnished or performed currently or in the future, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the subject of such sale or whether such individual is collecting advance payments on such sales or not.
Who does not need to get a Solicitation Permit?
An authorized representative or agent of any church, charitable or labor organization, education or fraternal organization, any political group seeking funds or membership or contacting members or electors, any person exempt from the licensing requirements of this article by virtue of State of Michigan or federal law certain persons under 18 years-old when engaged in the business of being a solicitor under the direct supervision of any school or recognized charitable organization or religious organization, and for solicitation taking place at a city-recognized market or event.
Who do I contact for a Solicitation Permit?
The City Clerk, Jan Wiersum, is the person that processes Solicitation Permits. Her contact number is 669-0200 #1412