Cherry Hill’s rules on door-to-door solicitation are about to get a bit stingier thanks to a new ordinance that was introduced at Thursday night’s council meeting.
Council passed the new ordinance on first reading that outlines a process for which solicitors must get a permit from the township to conduct door-to-door business in the township.
According to Bridget Palmer, the township’s director of communications, the new ordinance was drawn up to add security fore residents in the township. The goal is to crack down on fraud and other crimes.
“We’re just tweaking the regulations with door-to-door solicitors,” Palmer said. “The ordinance outlines what the application entails and changes the fee.”
The new ordinance will require solicitors to apply for a permit with the Cherry Hill Township Police. The permit will act very much like an identification badge for the solicitor. It’ll include a photograph and fingerprint in addition to other pertinent information about the person.
Cherry Hill resident Stephen Cohen raised a valid concern at the meeting when he asked whether the new ordinance would infringe on anyone’s First Amendment rights.
However, Palmer added that the ordinance is not there to prevent anyone from going door-to-door. The ordinance itself only allows the Cherry Police to deny applications based on background check results or if the applicant is “canvassing, soliciting, distributing, peddling or merchandising in fraudulent, dishonest or unethical practices.”
There is a $90 fee attached to each application. Palmer said that the fee covers the expenses for the application process and is not additional revenue for the township.
In Other News:
• Council passed a resolution that officially designated the Victory Refrigeration property on Woodcrest Road as an area in need of redevelopment. The property was recommended by the planning board to be labeled as an area in need of redevelopment after a presentation by Robert Melvin of GroupMelvinDesign showed that it fit the criteria.
With the passage of the resolution, the planning board will now prepare a redevelopment plan that will detail the future of the property.
• Council issued a proclamation to Sustainable Cherry Hill and the Jewish Federation at the beginning of last week’s meeting, honoring the organizations’ efforts to increasing the township’s recycling through the single-stream program. The proclamation was issued a day prior to America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.
“Through all of this work that you do, the recycling does make a big difference in this town,” Mayor Chuck Cahn said.
• Council announced that the time of the next meeting on Nov. 25 has been changed. The meeting has been moved up to 4:30 p.m. This was done so that it will not interfere with the township’s tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. that same night.