Amended ordinance on delivery of unsolicited materials clears Evansville city council

Amended ordinance on delivery of unsolicited materials clears Evansville city council

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A decision previously tabled for two months in Evansville passed Monday night but not without amendments.

City council approved an amended ordinance which outlines how materials, such as flyers, can be delivered to homes.

The modifications make it very clear where those materials should be placed. It also allows for one warning before a fine is issued.

The changes take out the option of a city-issued decal for those who want no materials at all.

After months of conversations, considerations, and clarifications Evansville City Council decided to move forward with the amended ordinance aimed at cleaning up materials delivered to area homes.

“Left in the yard or on the driveway is inappropriate and trashy,” one man stated during the public comments portion of the meeting.

The original ordinance required people who don’t want any materials brought to their homes to get a city-issued decal and put it up on their doors.

"Whether that’s political campaign literature, lost pet flyers, neighborhood association meetings, church picnics or events,” City council member Michelle Mercer, who was the driving force behind the changes stated.

City council eventually turned to those they serve for input.

The amended version takes the decal option out and sets guidelines on where materials should be placed, such as in newspaper boxes, bins attached to front doors, between front doors or on a front porch.

“We’ve had elderly people call us when it’s wintertime and things are being delivered in their driveway, when it snows or sleets, they can’t get out and get it,” council member Missy Mosby explained. “They’re concerned someone will think it’s a vacant house and they’re going to get robbed.”

“Plus it’s a trash issue,” Executive Director of Keep Evansville Beautiful Julie Welch expressed. “It looks really bad if people don’t get them the day they’re thrown out. Then they can build up and they end up in the streets.”

If a homeowner or tenant chooses to contact the city over a violation, the amended version allows for one written warning to the distributor. The original version did not.

Homeowners still have the right not to receive any materials. Council members suggest buying a no-soliciting or no trespassing sign and display it at your home if that’s what you choose.

The amendments were modeled heavily after a Lexington, Kentucky ordinance.

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