Grandview Heights updates guidelines for peddlers

Alan Froman (afroman@thisweeknews.com)

In an age of e-commerce, the notion of a person selling goods door to door might be considered outdated.

Peddling "is not something that we see a lot of these days," said Grandview Heights Mayor Greta Kearns.

Grandview Heights welcome sign

Since she took office in January, Kearns said, one of her goals has been to find ways the city can "modernize" its operations and code.

Grandview Heights City Council’s approval last month of updates to the city's regulations regarding peddlers and solicitors was part of that effort, she said.

The code regarding peddlers was adopted in 1988.

"It's been a while,” Kearns said. “It was time to review the ordinance, refresh it and bring it up to date.”

The revamped code does not offer many changes to the regulations, but it does clarify and identify the information individuals or businesses seeking a peddler permit need to provide to the city, she said.

It also expands in the definition of a peddler or solicitor the list of items offered for sale beyond simply "goods and/or services" to include, among other specifics, wares, merchandise, fruits, vegetables and "foodstuff of any description."

One change that was made was the hours that peddling is restricted in Grandview.

Peddlers may not solicit between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m., a change from the previous prohibition from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., Kearns said.

A provision also has been added to clarify that peddlers may not solicit at a home or business that posts a "no peddling" or similar sign.

That clarification is especially important in these pandemic times, said council member Rebekah Hatzifotinos, chairwoman of council's planning and administration committee, which reviewed and recommended that the full council approve the ordinance.

Peddlers, as well as charitable organizations, are required to apply for and receive a permit from the city to solicit at homes and businesses.

The revised code clarifies and lists the information applicants will need to provide the city.

The information includes the applicant's name, Social Security number and federal identification number of the company he or she represents, the name and address of the person or company being represented and how long the applicant has been working for the company. Applicants also must include where they have lived and worked for the past year, the nature and character of the goods they intend to sell and a disclosure of any criminal record.

"Having that information will make it easier to track someone if there's been an issue regarding fraud or a robbery or other crime," Kearns said. "We really haven't had any issue like that since I've been mayor."

Charitable organizations must provide proof of tax-exempt status, she said.

The permit fee also has been doubled from $25 to $50.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

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