The Brick Township Council this week unanimously approved a revision to the township’s peddling and soliciting ordinance that sets for new regulations for children who go door-to-door in town as well as real estate solicitors.
The vote by council was taken after a public hearing on the matter, which drew no comments from members of the public.
The revisions to the ordinance target two separate concerns among area residents.
The regulations on solicitors below the age of 16 require the business or nonprofit conducting solicitations to register the names of all children with the township clerk’s office and their ages, and mandates that they be supervised by an adult while soliciting. The new regulations come about a month after out-of-town youths were dropped off in Brick to solicit for what was described as a “youth club.”
The solicitations drew a response from law enforcement after complaints arose from residents. Child solicitors will also be required to wear a badge identifying their employer or the organization with which they are associated.
“We did have a few complaints around town,” said Council President Paul Mummolo. “We want to be proactive.”
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Township officials said during the most recent incident, children from out of town were dropped off in Brick and told to canvass neighborhoods – unsupervised – for donations.
The ordinance also contains language preventing solicitors from attempting to influence a homeowner or tenant to list a property for sale, remove a tenant or lease a property by referring to race, color, ethnicity or religion of neighbors or prospective buyers.
In several local communities, including Toms River and Jackson, officials have added similar language to their ordinances after residents complained that members of Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community were using such tactics in attempts to purchase homes. In Toms River, residents have begun placing signs on their lawns which read, “Don’t Sell, Toms River Strong.”
Brick added the language as a precautionary measure, according to officials.
“We haven’t had those complaints at all here in Brick, but since we were doing the age and the hours, we wanted to firm everything up to be proactive so we don’t have any problems in the future,” Mummolo said.
The new ordinance also limits the hours soliciting is allowed town-wide to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or sunset, whichever occurs earlier.