A change in Michigan’s canvassing and soliciting laws has trickled down to the local government level.

Green Oak Township recently adopted an ordinance that updated its regulations regarding soliciting, canvassing, and peddling. However the municipality will have to adopt an amendment to that ordinance due to a change in Michigan’s laws. Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles says last minute changes by the legislature addressed soliciting and canvassing in public streets. While he says that issue is hard to regulate, the amended law makes it so those activities require permitting and clarifies what is allowable in public streets.

The municipality is amending its ordinance so it aligns with state regulations. The township’s Board of Trustees introduced the amendment at its Wednesday meeting and plans to adopt it later this month. Except for this amendment, the township’s ordinance will remain the same.

The ordinance clarifies the definition of a solicitor, peddler, or canvasser, as well as the required process and permits needed to operate. St. Charles has previously said if someone is legitimate and doesn’t have anything to hide, then they shouldn’t have any problem getting a permit for these activities. He also feels the ordinance protects residents by making it clear what those groups can do, and that any violation of the ordinance is a matter of trespassing and warranted penalty. (DK)