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Door-to-door sales rules tightened in city

Merchants who don't have a storefront in Lawton won't be allowed to send vendors through neighborhoods to sell goods and services.

The proposal to set stricter limits on door-to-door vendors, approved unanimously Tuesday by the City Council, is intended to rein in itinerant merchants without harming local businesses and youth groups, city staff said. The council voted to curb the existing practice of issuing permits that allow people to go door-to-door in residential housing additions, selling goods and services, via an ordinance whose provisions go into effect in 30 days.

In simplest terms, the ordinance bans door-to-door vendors unless they are associated with a business with an existing store front inside Lawton's city limits, and sets stricter guidelines for vendors who are allowed to sell door-to-door in residential areas.

Community Services Director Richard Rogalski said the practice was called into question last year when some residents expressed concern about itinerant vendors from unknown companies who were moving into neighborhoods to sell merchandise. City staff drafted an ordinance to change city policy (which now requires such vendors to obtain city licenses), but council members put the initial proposal on the back burner in February after some members questioned how the proposal would affect school students and members of such groups as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

The Lawton Constitution

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