EAST MARLBOROUGH—Like many other municipalities across the country, East Marlborough Township has found it must reluctantly open the door to solicitors who want to ply their trade within its boundaries.
Forced by case law that says they can’t outright ban door-to-door salespersons from working within the township, the township supervisors responded to a legal challenge to their solicitation ordinance by repealing it and adopting a new one that regulates the practice to the degree allowable.
Under the new ordinance, solicitors must apply for a permit with the township police and pass a background check. Developments with private roads can still bar them entry, but those with public roads must allow them in.
But homeowners can post signs saying “no solicitation,” the supervisors said, and to stay within the law the solicitors must respect them.
The ordinance regulates most commercial door-to-door sales, but a variety of exemptions exist for non-profit organizations and political activity. The supervisors made it clear that Girl Scout cookie sales were among the exempted activities that would remain unencumbered.
The supervisors also voted to have the Brandywine Conservancy review and update its Open Space, Recreation and Environmental Resources Plan. Cuyler Walker said the township’s Environmental Advisory Council had reviewed four proposals to do the update and found only two, from the conservancy and the township’s regular landscape planners Glackin, Thomas Panzak, to be acceptable.
Walker said that although the proposal from Glackin was well done and the township was pleased with their work in the past, the conservancy’s breadth of resources and experience, including doing a recent similar update for Kennett Township, gave it the edge as the better choice.
Jim Hatfield, the township engineer, said the general guideline in choosing a consultant was to look first at the qualifications, and then consider the cost of the proposal or bid.
The supervisors commented that since the Glackin and conservancy proposals both came in at roughly $51,000, cost was not a factor.
The supervisors also approved a resolution necessary to install a flashing light at a pedestrian crossing on Route 82 south of Route 926 for a new Toll Brothers development in the area. Toll Brothers is paying for the crossing, but the township had to make a resolution to submit a form to PennDOT for the installation.
The supervisors once again approved the sale of fireworks on a temporary basis in a tented enclosure on the Walmart parking lot during the runup to July 4. Debbie Ivins of TNT Fireworks said this year they would not be selling the aerial and other fireworks allowed under a liberalized fireworks law passed in 2017 by the Pennsylvania state legislature.
A glitch in the language of the bill made it possible to sell the new types of fireworks only within buildings, Ivins said, and not in the type of open-air sales areas that spring up before the holiday.