Front Royal to revisit peddlers’ code

By Ryan Cornell

FRONT ROYAL — After years of discussions, the Town of Front Royal has decided to revisit amending its peddlers’ ordinance.

Mayor Timothy Darr told an assembled group of business owners and town officials at a business forum last week that it’s one of the issues that they will likely revise this spring.

He said the current town code states that “itinerant merchants” or peddlers have to call first to make an appointment unless they have a permit issued from the town.

“The real process we want to make sure when we issue these permits, because these people don’t pay BPOL tax, they don’t have the bills that a regular business has, so we want to make sure that whatever we do with this code doesn’t affect brick and mortar businesses,” Darr said.

He said the revisions wouldn’t affect yard sales, festivals or businesses that regularly operate door-to-door, such as Schwan’s.

“This is more like someone coming to town in a van with a box of car stereos in the back knocking on your door saying, ‘Hey, anybody want to buy a stereo or steak knives or encyclopedias?” Darr said.

He said the code is being looked at for several reasons, including the fact that people don’t want to be bothered with these door-to-door salespeople and that it takes away from businesses in the town.

He said that several years ago, someone came through town going door-to-door asking people to paint street numbers on their curb to make it easier for firefighters to spot their houses.

“Basically it was a scam,” Darr said. “He probably came to Front Royal, made $300 or $400 and went on to wherever he goes next. Those are the things we’re trying to prevent.”

Town Manager Steve Burke said the discussions will most likely commence in May once the town finishes its budget process

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com