Little Egg Harbor Revives Ordinance to Curtail Door-to-Door Soliciting

Sets Up ‘No-Knock’ Registry for Residents
Nov 01, 2017

Little Egg Harbor re-introduced an ordinance for a no-knock registry at the Oct. 26 township committee meeting. The law would allow residents who do not want solicitors at their door to register at the township clerk’s office for the no-knock list and be given a sticker to put on their house. It is then up to salespeople to determine whether they can knock on a door or not.

If they fail to follow the ordinance and knock on a door that is on the registry, the homeowner has the option of reporting them to the police for a violation of a township ordinance. He or she would call the non-emergency number, 609-296-3666.

The original ordinance introduced months ago called for a hefty fine of $1,250 for the first offense. But after further consideration, the committee decided to lower the first offense to $250; second offense $500 and third offense $1,250, plus jail for up to 90 days.

The ordinance also specifically targets real estate solicitations or canvassing of homeowners.

Anyone wishing to do so must provide advance written notice to the township clerk with the names and addresses of persons engaging in the canvassing or soliciting, or the companies employing them; a list of the township streets in which the canvassing or soliciting will take place, and when; the starting and ending dates in which the canvassing, itinerant vending, or soliciting will take place; the applicant’s places of residence for the preceding five years; a complete description of any motor vehicle to be used, including the make, model, color and registration number and all insurance information, including the name and address of the carrier, policy number and type of coverage; and two 1-inch-square photographs showing the applicant’s face.

The ordinance goes on to prohibit tactics by real estate companies or individuals who might be considered “block-busting” by referencing any race, religious or sexual identity of buyers of neighboring houses.

Township Attorney Jean Cipriani has crafted a similar ordinance in Manchester.

This is only the first reading. The township committee will have a public hearing at its Nov. 9 meeting before voting on Ordinance 2017-10.

Cipriani was also given the go-ahead to research class-action lawsuits being brought against pharmaceutical companies in relation to the opioid addiction crisis.

The township will replace bulkhead street ends in the Holly Lake lagoon community off Great Bay Boulevard. It will take bids from companies to replace street ends at Chesapeake, Hatteras and Nautilus, all intersecting with South Boom Way.

Township Engineer Jim Oris said the community center roof may be replaced in time for Thanksgiving. Committeeman John Kehm said he was glad to hear it because the Halloween Haunted Maze and Trunk or Treat event held on the grounds of the center had drawn 2,800 people.

“We had 50 trunks (for Halloween Tteating) and we never ran out of candy,” said Kehm. “Lt. Hart closed the road (West Calabreeze Way) for a safety issue. The food went great, and the event ran like a well-oiled machine.”

Kehm thanked the volunteers who made it a success.

Mayor Ray Gormley added, “You’ve heard me say that this community doesn’t operate without volunteers. I can’t emphasize that enough. From (first aid) Squad 85 and the fire companies, and the people who work for the town, at the end of the day it was amazing how much the community came together.

“Let’s try and get that roof on there. It’s clear the center brings the community together.”

Also at the meeting, Deputy Mayor Barbara Jo Crea was welcomed back to the dais. She had been on family leave to care for her husband, who is now home from the hospital. She thanked all who had sent their well wishes and prayers.

Crea also read a proclamation for National Family Caregivers Month.

Committeewoman Lisa Stevens reminded the public that the five-year anniversary for Superstorm Sandy was on Oct. 29.

During the public portion of the meeting, a resident of Stage Road asked for police to patrol that road because he has seen “dump trucks going 70 miles an hour.”

Another resident asked how long a developer could keep a project going without making any improvements. Cipriani said once a developer has final permits, there is nothing to compel them to complete a project within a certain time frame – unless the site becomes a health and safety issue.

Gormley answered another query, about car and deer strikes. He said the township public works employees are not allowed to pick up deer carcasses because of deer ticks. Once a dead deer is reported to animal control, the contractor who takes them to a specialized landfill is contacted. He added that residents of Mystic Shores and Cranberry Creek have reported seeing coyotes, but he noted the state considers them a natural predator. Animal control cannot do anything unless there is a suspicion of rabies.

— Pat Johnson

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