• New canvassing ordinance passed by Hendricks County commissioners

    August 25, 2011 No comments

    The Hendricks County commissioners voted to shelve a proposed noise ordinance and approve a new canvassing ordinance at this week’s meeting.

    Sheriff David Galloway asked the board in May to establish ordinances regulating noise and direct sellers outside corporate limits, saying his department was receiving an increasing number of complaints on both.

    The proposed noise ordinance became mired in semantics. Feuding neighbors attended previous commissioner meetings to argue what would be covered under the law. Farmers expressed concerns that their operations could be affected. And commissioners themselves received numerous calls, e-mails, and letters about the proposal, with many differing opinions among them.

    It got to the point where commissioners Phyllis Palmer and Bob Gentry voiced their desire to shelve the proposed noise ordinance and start over.

    Commission President Eric Wathen has been skeptical of having a noise ordinance all along. He noted the county had such a law in place at the beginning of the year, which was rescinded after officials felt it was being abused by the public.

    Palmer asked Greg Steuerwald, the county’s legal counsel, to study their statute on public nuisances to see if any of that can be adopted into a noise ordinance. Steuerwald is expected to have a new draft ready for discussion at the commissioners’ Sept. 13 meeting.

    Efforts to adopt a direct sellers’ ordinance were much less contentious. Commissioners approved the new law, effective immediately, after two changes were made to the draft. Revenue from the required permitting stays with the sheriff’s department, which is in charge of issuing them. Canvassers are also required to carry identification with them that contains their name and what company they represent.

    Under the new mandate, solicitors must buy a permit at either $20 per day, $50 per week, or $100 per month to sell door to door. Soliciting is limited to the hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Political and religious canvassers, as well as businesses with established customers, are exempt.


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