One South Jersey town gives residents a way to 'block' solicitors

Washington Township has adopted a "Do Not Knock" ordinance.

David Madden
September 15, 2018 - 10:00 pm
Knock on Door

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz |


WASHINGTON TWP, NJ (KYW Newsradio) -- Solicitation restrictions are in place in many communities from coast to coast. One town in South Jersey has taken that to the next level, borrowing an idea from the phone company. 
The "Do Not Call" list works for some people, not for others. But now Washington Township in Gloucester County has adopted a "Do Not Knock" ordinance, the brainchild of Council Vice President Sean Longfellow.
"We've had a number of complaints over the last year from people who were just kind of fed up with people walking around soliciting them, asking them to buy a variety of different items at their doorsteps," Longfellow told KYW Newsradio. "People upset that they're waking up their children and getting the dogs riled up."
The township already requires solicitors to register in advance. Residents can sign up and get a sticker to place on their door, telling sales people to go away. 
"There is some language in the ordinance that allows us to charge a fee for a one time registration per household," Longfellow added. "But we haven't determined what that fee would be of if there's even going to be a fee."
Police will be responsible for enforcement and violators could be fined up to $1,000 and face permit revocation. 
There are exceptions, of course. The ordinance does not cover religious organizations or politicians.