Brick Township officials introduced an ordinance strengthening its existing regulations on door-to-door soliciting, clamping down on underage solicitors and addressing the potential for racial, ethnic or religious intimidation in real estate solicitations.
The two regulations target 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.
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.[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Special Report: How Brick’s ‘No Knock’ Ordinance Stacks Up Against Neighboring Communities[/box]
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. Brick added the language as a precautionary measure, according to officials.
“We saw what was going on in other towns, and we looked at our ordinance,” said Council President Paul Mummolo. “We don’t want to address it after a situation comes up, we want to be proactive.”
Mummolo said he had not heard of any specific complaints about such tactics being used in Brick.
The new ordinance also limits the hours soliciting is allowed town-wide to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or sunset, which ever occurs earlier.
The ordinance was passed unanimously by the governing body, but requires a second vote and public hearing before it can be formally enacted. No residents spoke about the proposal during a public comment period Tuesday night. The next vote on the measure is expected to take place at the Dec. 15 council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Civic Plaza.