Green Oak Twp. Regulating Delivery Of “Unsolicited Materials”

New regulations are being implemented in Green Oak Township that will restrict how “unsolicited written materials” can be delivered to residents in the community.

The township’s Board of Trustees met Wednesday and discussed an ordinance that will regulate how those materials can be delivered to any premises without express invitation or permission. Permitted means of delivery include leaving the materials on a porch, attached to the front door, through a mail slot, between the exterior and interior front door, in a distribution box located on or adjacent to the premises, and personally with the owner, occupant, or lessee of the premises. The restrictions do not apply to the United States Postal Service.

The purpose of the ordinance, among other things, is to reduce visual blight caused by haphazard delivery of unsolicited materials, to maintain the aesthetics of the community, to reduce litter, and to stop the migration of unsolicited materials on public or private property, which can lead to the materials ending up in storm sewers.

The ordinance also states unsolicited written materials placed at a premises create a rebuttable presumption that the materials were placed there by the owner, agent, manager, and/or authorized distributor of the business, conduct, good, service, message, or idea which is being advertised, promoted, endorsed, or conveyed in the materials.

Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles says he wants to be very clear that the municipality is not prohibiting certain items or delivery, but that it “must be done within reason”.
The ordinance, which was previously introduced and published, was adopted following a unanimous vote by the board after they discussed legalities that could be involved. As to whether campaign materials will be treated differently, St. Charles says the “simple answer is no”, adding that the issue was discussed with the township’s attorney who confirmed the restrictions are legal.

Anyone caught in violation of the ordinance will receive a municipal civil infraction. (DK)

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