Plymouth Township’s Council to Consider Solicitation Ordinance on January 14th

On the agenda for Plymouth Township’s Council on Monday, January 14th is consideration of a solicitation ordinance. The current ordinance covering solicitation does not permit most for-profit solicitation. So currently an energy solicitor shouldn’t be knocking on your door.

Here is how the current ordinance reads:

[Ord. No. 1484, § 1, 10-8-2007]

(a) The following persons, entities or organizations may solicit from residence to residence to obtain donations of funds, or goods for any charitable, religious, political or nonprofit organization, or to seek orders for the purchase of goods, wares, merchandise, books, magazines, food stuffs or services of any kind for any charitable, religious, political or nonprofit organization:

(1) Such persons, entities or organizations registered with the Department of State, as required by Act No. 337, approved August 9, 1964, known as the “Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act.”

(2) Members of nonprofit organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who take orders for the sale of cookies or other merchandise for the benefit of such organizations.
(3) Persons selling tickets for admission to places of amusement for the benefit of a charitable or otherwise nonprofit organizations.
(4) Persons under the age of eighteen (18) years who take orders for and deliver newspapers, greeting cards, candy and the like.
(5) Farmers engaged in selling only the products of their own farms from a truck or other vehicle.
(b) No person shall engage in soliciting in the Township at any time on Sunday or upon any other day of the week before 9:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m.
The new ordinance (view here) allows for for-profit solicitation with the proper license. The new ordinance updates the township’s code to be more in line with court rulings (article here) that view solicitation as a freedom of speech issue, but one that can have limits (such as setting specific days/hours). Conshohocken and Whitemarsh have ordinances similar to the one Plymouth may adopt.