Pismo Beach is considering regulating its door-to-door solicitors.
On Oct. 2, Pismo Beach City Attorney Dave Fleishman presented the city council a resolution that, if approved, would require any person engaging in home solicitation to carry—and to present, if asked—a business license.
Some solicitors may meet certain exemptions, in which case they must file a proof of exemption with the city manager. Those who would be considered exempt would depend on provisions that have yet to be drafted by the council.
Fleishman stressed that the order isn’t a desire to hinder First Amendment rights, and that bona-fide solicitations of religious or political nature—such as candidates canvassing their neighborhood—are naturally exempt from the license rule and that such solicitors wouldn’t have to file for exemption. The new ordinance, he insisted, is aimed toward those looking for some type of monetary exchange.
Councilmember Ed Waage addressed the burning question: What about Girl Scout cookie sales? Stay calm, Thin Mint addicts: Solicitors who are county residents and younger than 18 needn’t hold business licenses nor file exemptions.
Whether or not people filing for exemptions need to pay an administrative fee is under consideration. Fleishman said that should a fee be deemed necessary, such a charge must be minimal.
The reasoning behind the regulation is to deter out-of-state vendors from peddling in the area, and if all solicitors are on file, it will be easier to follow up on complaints made by residents.
The council determined the item required some language modification for clarification, and will revisit the matter on Oct. 16.