[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Homestead 12-8-2005 by Ord. No. 1178. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Disorderly conduct — See Ch. 130.
Secondhand jewelry — See Ch. 164.
Junk dealers — See Ch. 167.
Licensing — See Ch. 169.
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed and replaced former Ch. 190, Peddling and Soliciting, which consisted of Art. I, General Provisions, adopted 10-14-1974 as Ch. 71 of the 1974 Code, and Art. II, Charitable Organizations, adopted 5-12-1983 by Ord. No. 954.
The Borough Council of Homestead Borough finds that many citizens of this community expect the Borough to assist them in preserving their privacy, avoiding becoming the victims of theft, fraud or harassment and avoiding petty annoyances that disrupt the quiet enjoyment of their homes. However, other persons often desire to interrupt the quiet enjoyment of one's home without the intent to engage in harassment, theft or fraud but instead for the purpose of soliciting donations for various causes, or to canvas for support for particular religious, ideological, or political causes, or for reasons of prompting commerce.
An important part of the freedom enjoyed by all citizens and residents of the United States is the right to speak freely, to express ideas that may be unpopular, and to engage others in debate without government interference. The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently recognized another interest of citizens and residents of the United States, which is the right to be protected by local government from theft, fraud and harassment, particularly when solicitation of money is involved.
It is the responsibility of all units of government, including Homestead Borough, to balance these competing interests in a manner consistent with the Constitution of the United States and consistent with the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, while attempting to minimize fraud, theft and other crimes, and protect the privacy of our citizens.
As used in this chapter the following words have the meaning indicated:
- A person who attempts to make personal contact with a resident at his/her residence without prior specific invitation or appointment from the resident for the primary purpose of: 1) attempting to enlist support for or against a particular religion, philosophy, ideology, political party, issue or candidate, even if incidental to such purpose the canvasser accepts the donation of money for or against such cause; or 2) distributing a handbill or flyer advertising a noncommercial event or service.
- HAWKER or PEDDLER
- A person who attempts to make personal contact with a resident at his/her residence without prior specific invitation or appointment from the resident for the primary purpose of attempting to sell a good or service. A "hawker" or "peddler" does not include a person who distributes handbills or flyers for a commercial purpose, advertising an event, activity, good or service that is offered to the resident for purchase at a location away from the residence or at a time different from the time of visit. Such a person is a "solicitor"
- A person who attempts to make personal contact with a resident at his/her residence without prior specific invitation or appointment from the resident for the primary purpose of: 1) attempting to obtain a donation to a particular patriotic, philanthropic, social service, welfare, benevolent, educational, civic, fraternal, charitable, political or religious purpose, even if incidental to such purpose there is the sale of some good or service; or 2) distributing a handbill or flyer advertising a commercial event or service.
No person shall act as a hawker, peddler or as a solicitor within the Borough without first registering with the Borough Secretary in accordance with this chapter. A canvasser is not required to register but any canvasser may do so for the purpose of reassuring Borough residents of the canvasser's good faith.
This chapter does not set fees for registration. Fees for registration shall be the amount(s) adopted and revised from time to time by Borough Council in its annual fee resolution under the section of the annual fee resolution captioned: "Vending, Solicitation and Peddling License" or "Vending, Solicitation and Peddling Registration." The term "license" whenever used in the annual fee resolution shall be considered for the purpose of this chapter to be synonymous with and to have the same meaning as "registration." Where a canvasser voluntarily elects to register but is not required by this chapter to do so, there is no filing fee for the registration.
Any person or organization required to register under this chapter shall provide the following information:
The name, physical description and photograph of each person required to register. In lieu of this information, a driver's license, state identification card, passport, or other government-issued identification card (issued by a government within the United States) containing this information may be provided and a photocopy taken.
The permanent and (if any) local address of the organization or business to be represented by a hawker, peddler, solicitor or canvasser.
The permanent and (if any) local address of each person acting as a hawker, peddler, solicitor or canvasser.
A brief description of the proposed activity related to this registration. (Copies of literature to be distributed may be substituted for this description at the option of the applicant.)
The motor vehicle make, model, year, color, vehicle identification number and state license plate number of any vehicle which will be used by each person.
The total number of days, weeks or months the hawking, peddling, soliciting or canvassing activities will be engaged in and the actual or anticipated dates on which said activities will be engaged in.
The web address for this organization, person, or group (or other address) where residents having subsequent questions can go for more information.
The Borough Secretary shall maintain a list of persons within the Borough who restrict visits to their residential property (including their leasehold, in the case of a tenant) by hawkers, peddlers, solicitors, and canvassers. A copy of the no-visit list shall be provided by the Borough Secretary to each hawker, peddler, solicitor, or canvasser upon request. It shall be the responsibility of all hawkers, peddlers, solicitors and canvassers to insure that they have obtained or been provided with a copy of the most current no-visit list and to ensure their compliance therewith.
In addition to the other regulations contained herein, a solicitor or canvasser leaving handbills or commercial flyers about the community shall observe the following regulations:
No handbill or flyer shall be left at or attached to any sign, utility pole, or other structure within the public right-of-way.
No handbill or flyer shall be left at or attached to any privately owned property in a manner that causes damage to such privately owned property.
No handbill or flyer shall be left at, or attached to any property: 1) listed on the Borough no-visit list; or 2) having a "no solicitor" sign of the type described herein.
Any person observed distributing handbills or flyers shall be required to identify himself/herself to the police. This is for the purpose of knowing the likely identity of the perpetrator if the Borough receives a complaint of damage caused to private property during the distribution of handbills or flyers.
No hawker, peddler, solicitor or canvasser shall:
Enter upon any private property where the property is clearly posted in the front yard a sign visible from the right-of-way (public or private) indicating a prohibition against peddling, soliciting and/or canvassing. Such sign need not exceed one square foot in size and may contain words such as "no soliciting" or "no solicitors" in letters of at least two inches in height. The phrase "no soliciting" or "no solicitors" shall also prohibit hawkers, peddlers and canvassers.
Remain upon any private property where a notice in the form of a sign or sticker is placed upon any door or entrance way leading into the residence or dwelling at which guests would normally enter, which sign contains the words "no soliciting" or "no solicitors" and which is clearly visible to the hawker, peddler, solicitor or canvasser.
Enter upon any private property where the current occupant has posted the property on the Borough's no-visit list (except where the posting form indicates the occupant has given permission for this type of visit), regardless of whether a front yard sign is posted.
Use or attempt to use any entrance other than the front or main entrance to the dwelling, or step from the sidewalk or indicated walkway (where one exists) leading from the right-of-way to the front or main entrance, except by express invitation of the resident or occupant of the property.
Remove any yard sign, door or entrance sign that gives notice to such person that the resident or occupant does not invite visitors.
Canvass, solicit, hawk or peddle between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
It shall be an affirmative defense to any violation of this section that the hawker, peddler, solicitor or canvasser has an express invitation from the resident or occupant of a dwelling allowing him/her to enter upon any posted property.
This chapter shall not apply to a federal, state or local government employee or a public utility employee in the performance of his/her duty for his/her employer.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision of this chapter. The fine for violation is hereby set at $300 for each violation, together with costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, said violator shall be subject to imprisonment in the Allegheny County jail for a term not to exceed 30 days.