Glenwood to allow door-to-door sales after vacuum firm complaint
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — City residents shouldn’t be surprised if a vacuum cleaner salesperson soon comes knocking on their doors.
The City Council is opening the door to such sales calls by revising its ordinance on peddling and solicitation so it no longer bans uninvited door-to-door sales in residential areas.
The city will continue to ban such sales in cases in which a resident has posted signs saying no solicitors are allowed.
The council is taking the action after the city received a letter by an Ohio attorney representing Todd Tipton, whose Colorado Springs company is an independent distributor of Kirby cleaning systems. The systems are sold through in-home demonstrations.
The attorney, Richard Herthneck, said federal court decisions have found that “the First Amendment ‘commercial speech’ protection is to be accorded to door-to-door solicitation.”
City attorney Jan Shute agreed that the city’s ordinance, which she believes dates back to 1996, appeared to be inconsistent with rulings on the subject since then, and is unconstitutional.
The council recently revised the ordinance on a first reading, and it is scheduled to consider the matter again Thursday night. Members agreed to the change reluctantly, wondering what limits might still be allowed.
Shute said she’s not sure what other options are available, but some measures are in place.
Besides allowing residents to post no-soliciting signs, the city requires that solicitors be licensed. It also prohibits soliciting in an aggressive manner. This can include acting in a way that intimidates someone into buying something. Violations can result in criminal penalties.
Tipton, Herthneck and the Kirby Co. did not return calls for comment.