Fighting for their First Amendment right of free speech, Denver-based Royal Crest Dairy filed suit in federal court this year claiming that the Fort Collins ban against door-to-door commercial solicitation violated its constitutional rights. The ban which spanned over 70 years had been in place since 1938 through its “Green River Ordinance”, which was adopted to protect the safety and privacy of residents.
Effective May 27, 2011 as a result of this lawsuit, City Council passed
an ordinance creating a permit-based system for commercial solicitation.
Solicitation in Fort Collins will now be permitted only between 9:00 am
and sunset. The new rules include required background checks for solicitors
and mandatory city-issued identification badges.
Residents however may still be able to opt out of solicitation by signing
up on the city’s no solicitation list (which bans commercial solicitation
only), or with posting a “No Trespassing” or “No Soliciting”
sign on their property (which bans all commercial and non-commercial solicitation)
and can be downloaded through the city’s website.
As a result, Royal Crest is no longer pursuing its federal case since
the city’s new rules were put into place. It instead plans on going
through the permit process and to educate its employees about the new rules.
Of course there are exceptions to any rule, and nonprofit, religious organizations
and political campaigns are among those exceptions. Therefore Fort Collins
will continue to enjoy along with the rest of us, the barrage of political
calls, news ads, and door-to-door solicitation afforded to us each election
period. But on the bright side, you’ll still be able to obtain your
Thin Mints from your local Girl Scout troop each year!
For more information about the new rules and to download and print the
“no soliciting” sign that cites the solicitation ordinance
number, go to: