A proposed Phoenix law meant to regulate when and how door-to-door solicitors may approach homes could impose fines of up to $2,500 for such things as failing to leave when asked and disturbing residents' privacy.
The proposed law could restrict solicitors' access to certain hours, require them to carry approved identification, bar them from peering through windows, and prevent them from leaving fliers on the doors of homes that post signs saying they are not wanted, said Jerome Miller, deputy city manager. The proposal also calls for the creation of a police code specific to door-to-door solicitors so that law enforcement can track infractions when residents call 911, Miller said.
The City Council is slated to consider the issue in January.
Ahwatukee Foothills residents have had problems with such solicitors. Earlier this year, Salt River Project officials reported that two men had been posing as either SRP or Southwest Gas employees and were attempting to get into homes, saying they were there for an energy audit or to check a water heater.
Police also have warned residents about young people, often working for out-of-state operations, going door-to-door peddling everything from magazines to candy, accepting residents' credit card numbers and checks and then failing to deliver the product.
And there were reports this year of people peddling cleaning products door-to-door in Ahwatukee who became rude and refused to leave when residents declined to buy.
Councilman Sal DiCiccio, whose district includes Ahwatukee, said he's been bothered at home, as well.
"I've had a guy swearing at me at my door," he said of a solicitor who claimed to live in the neighborhood and was asking for donations. DiCiccio said the man became angry when the councilman pressed him on where exactly he lived.
Supporters of the proposed restrictions have said that requiring solicitors to obtain licenses could help weed out those attempting to commit fraud and potential burglars.
Chris Gentis, a former Phoenix police lieutenant who now serves as a member of the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee and the Ahwatukee Board of Management, said the licensing proposal has merit.
"If it makes people feel safer, then I guess it's a good thing," Gentis said. "It really bothers a lot of the older people."