MADISON HEIGHTS — Wary of solicitors at your front door? A recent ordinance amendment adopted by the Madison Heights City Council should make it easier to prevent them from ever arriving at your porch in the first place.
Approved by the council April 22 and effective as of May 2, the Do Not Knock Registry allows any resident of the city to place their residence on a list by submitting an application form available at the City Clerk’s Office at Madison Heights City Hall, 300 W. 13 Mile Road. One can also fill out the form on the city’s website, madison-heights.org, or submit the form via email at email@example.com.
The form asks for the name of the person requesting to be on the registry, the complete address of their home, the date the form was completed, and ID verifying that they’re the lawful owner, possessor and/or occupant of the home. This includes those renting homes and leasing apartments.
Once on the list, certain types of solicitors will be prohibited from visiting the home. For the home to stay on the list, the occupant will have to re-register every five years.
Those who violate the ordinance run the risk of having their commercial solicitation license revoked by the city, and can be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
“Not all solicitors will be subject to the ordinance,” Madison Heights City Clerk Cheryl Printz said. “Exempted solicitors include Scout troops, religious groups, and some charitable and political groups protected by the U.S. Constitution.”
She noted that when a vendor pulls a commercial solicitation permit from the city, they will be given a list of addresses of where not to go. Residents requesting to be on the registry will also be given a “Please No Soliciting” weatherproof sticker featuring the ordinance number, which they can then display at their home.
“It’s the obligation of all vendors and commercial operations to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of our community,” said Madison Heights City Councilman Robert Corbett.
Other nearby communities have similar ordinances, including Troy, Clawson, Sterling Heights, Novi and Auburn Hills.
“Many residents don’t like being solicited at their homes, especially senior citizens. The registry will restrict certain vendors, peddlers and solicitors from door-to-door sales at their homes and help reduce unwanted solicitations,” Printz said. “It’s a convenience for residents and helps vendors avoid homes that do not wish to be contacted.”
Added Corbett: “We didn’t talk much about this at the council meeting, focusing more on the nuisance of door-to-door vendors, but I think something very important here is public safety. We have learned over the years that criminal enterprises often use the door-to-door approach to select targets of home invasion, theft and nefarious activities. If we can cut down the number of strangers operating in our neighborhoods … we can take a major bite out of crime.”