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Plain Township cracking down on door-to-door vendors

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 15, 2019

PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Plain Township trustees are expected to pass new legislation to crack down on unwanted door-to-door salesmen.

Additional restrictions, which could be put in place by June, would include higher registration fees and stiffer fines for transient vendors who violate the policy more than one time.

Zoning Director Tom Ferrara said the township receives dozens of complaints about vendors yearly.

"It is a problem," Ferrara said. "There is the criminal element that would go and knock on doors and find out if anybody is home, and we need to, as a township, protect our residents as well."

Under the new proposal, the registration fee would double from $75 to $150 and the vendors would have to pay $80 for background checks.

Those going door-to-door would only be allowed to operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. They could not operate on Sundays or holidays.

Ferrara said girl and boy scouts, along with school and church groups, would be exempt from some of the restrictions.

Plain Township residents could also apply for a "do not knock" registration application and receive no solicitation stickers for their windows.

"We will put their address in a list and that list will go out to any transient vendor that gets a permit," Ferrara said.

Those who violate the new rules, including going to a no-knock house, will face a $100 fine. A repeat offender would be hit with $250 fine.

Michele Porter, who lives in the Avondale neighborhood, feels like her privacy is violated by the high numbers of salesmen who knock on her door throughout the year.

"They come through the backyard and to the front. The come unannounced and there's not just one. There's usually a couple," Porter said.

She supports the trustees' proposal to enact high fees and fines and hopes it closes the door on unwanted visits.

"We want it to be a safer place and a more pleasant place to live," Porter said. "We don't need solicitations."