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Commercial Door-To-Door Solicitation Prohibited at Posted Properties in Unincorporated King County

Unincorporated Woodinville residents now have protection from solicitors after the King County Council passed new regulation this week.

Residents in unincorporated King County only need to put up a “No Soliciting” to keep unwanted door-to-door solicitation, following unanimous approval of a new regulation today by the Metropolitan King County Council this week. 

The regulation prohibits commercial solicitors from contacting residents who have posted their property with “No Trespassing” or “No Soliciting” signage. Similar regulations already are in place in many King County cities, but the prohibition now applies to the more than 300,000 residents who live in the county’s unincorporated areas.

Councilmember Kathy Lambert proposed the regulation after hearing complaints from residents in Redmond Ridge, a master planned development in the unincorporated area. They requested regulation of aggressive solicitors such as magazine salesmen who harass neighbors and perpetrate scams. Police reports also have implicated burglars 
using a phony solicitation ruse to case homes and determine those that are unoccupied.

“I am grateful to our Sheriff’s Office and our Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for working diligently to research and draft a regulation that strikes a balance between freedom of speech and our residents’ right to peace and security in their own homes,” said  Lambert.

The restriction on solicitation does not apply to political, religious or charitable activities by non-profit organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, in order to avoid any conflict with First Amendment rights to free speech. Neither does it apply to local farmers who want to offer their produce for sale, because they are specifically exempted by state law. Government agencies such as the Census Bureau and Post Office also are exempt. 

Solicitors who ignore signage and try to contact a resident anyway face a civil infraction with a fine of $100. 

“I am concerned that residents in the unincorporated area may be more vulnerable to criminal activity connected with solicitation, particularly among immigrant cultures and seniors in retirement communities,” Lambert said. “This tool can help them partner with our Sheriff’s Office to improve the safety of their neighborhoods.”

Information from King County

Brenda October 09, 2011 at 03:12 AM
The article never mentions who to contact if this happens. Is it the Sheriffs office and if so, are they going to understand this regulation when I report that there is a solicitor at my door violating my notice??? A notice on my door has never stopped a solicitor yet and unless they also know about this regulation they will continue to violate it and most likely wont get fined due to it being a first time offense or playing dumb to the knowledge of the regulation.
DaveR October 09, 2011 at 06:31 PM
Does Woodinville already enjoy this protection? If so, the signs are gonig up.
Annie Archer (Editor) October 09, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Dave, I do not know if the City of Woodinville has this, but as of now unincorporated Woodinville does and yes, Brenda, you can call the Sheriff's office as they were involved with the process of creating the ordinance, as Kathy Lambert says in the story.

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