Council takes up solicitor complaints

Councilwoman Nancy Gardner says she’s heard multiple complaints and had a run-in herself.

January 08, 2010|By Brianna Bailey

Despite hearing recent complaints from residents about pushy door-to-door salespeople, Newport Beach officials can do little to stop them from ringing doorbells in neighborhoods, according to a new city report.

The report found that Newport Beach might run afoul of solicitors’ 1st Amendment rights if it tries to restrict them from going door-to-door in the daytime and early evening.

City codes prohibit door-to-door peddling from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.

“Under the circumstances, we recommend against further restricting the time when solicitation can occur,” City Atty. David Hunt wrote in the report.


Several courts have struck down bans in other cities on door-to-door solicitors before 9 p.m., Hunt wrote in the report.

Councilwoman Nancy Gardner first brought up the issue after hearing complaints about pushy door-to-door solicitors in her district.

Gardner herself recently had a bad run-in with a door-to-door salesman, she said.

A man approached her Corona del Mar home trying to sell her something — she isn’t sure what — and told her to “go [expletive] myself,” when she told him she wasn’t interested, Gardner said.

“I have a Weimaraner, so I didn’t feel too intimidated, but it was 7:30 or 8 at night and if I had been older, I would have been really concerned,” Gardner said.

After the incident, Gardner asked city staff to look into whether it would be possible to further restrict door-to-door sales during the evening.

Gardner said she was “very disappointed” with the findings of the new city report, but noted Newport Beach residents could still stop unwanted salespeople in their tracks by posting “no solicitor” signs on their property.

The City Council will discuss the findings of the report during a study session at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 3300 Newport Blvd.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles