Old Westbury amends solicitation law

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Old Westbury village attorney Michael Sahn, right, during the July 17 board of trustees meeting. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

The Village of Old Westbury Board of Trustees voted to amend the local law on soliciting at its meeting on Monday. 

Previously, the village put a three-month moratorium on the original law while the board deliberated changes. 

“We have now proposed an amended local law to be consistent with legal standards,” village Attorney Michael Sahn said.

The original law, enacted in 1992, included a section that banned solicitation outright.  Under the amended law approved by the board commercial solicitation is permitted with a license from the village. Those with the license will also have to comply with other requirements, including one mandating that solicitors wear identification cards. 

As part of the law, the village is also implementing a Do Not Solicit list, with residents having the opportunity to add their name and address. Licensed solicitors will then be required not to visit the residents listed.  

Old Westbury joins Munsey Park, Roslyn Estates, Kensington and North Hills as villages that have readdressed solicitation in their legal codes over the summer since a lawsuit against Floral Park by pest control service Aptive Environmental.

The Utah-based company, which relies on door-to-door solicitation, sued the village in August 2018, calling a ban on commercial solicitation a “flagrant violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments,” according to court records.

In its settlement, Floral Park agreed to pay $15,000. It has since changed its code from a ban on commercial solicitation to one that requires the soliciting company to provide detailed information to obtain a license.

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