Thursday, June 5, 2014
Berkeley County Council unanimously passed an ordinance that requires roadside solicitors to obtain a permit.
But only nonprofits, charitable organizations, and volunteer fire departments can apply for a permit. The permit is free, and limits solicitation periods to no longer than six days. Permits will be obtained through the Sheriff’s Office.
The ordinance was passed during council’s regular meeting May 27. Previous language set the permit cost at $50 per organization per drive, but during a May 12 committee meeting, council amended the ordinance to make it free.
Councilmen Jack Schurlknight and Tim Callanan discussed amending the ordinance to zero fee. Callanan made the motion and it was approved.
The solicitation restrictions came after County Council District 4 candidate Aldo Napoli raised concerns to full council earlier this year. A group in the Sangaree area appeared to be soliciting nearly nonstop, taking advantage of the county’s lack of ordinance. The group is apparently connected to an out-of-state church. Napoli said the group bordered on harassment of drivers and created safety concerns.
County Council sought to limit that type of activity, but not hinder fire departments or other eleemosynary organizations.