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Palm Coast Code Enforcement Declares War On Door-to-Door Salesmen. Arrests Follow.

| September 2, 2011

Code enforcement power: Norman Mugford, a member of Palm Coast's code enforcement board, speaking about the pain of solicitors--and the city's and the sheriff's office's inaction, at a meeting in early July. Both have since responded, jailing unlicensed solicitors. (© FlaglerLive)

Code enforcement power: Norman Mugford, a member of Palm Coast's code enforcement board, speaking about the pain of solicitors--and the city's and the sheriff's office's inaction, at a meeting in early July. Both have since responded, jailing unlicensed solicitors. (© FlaglerLive)

It’s not every day that door-to-door solicitors are stopped, read their rights and hauled off to jail. Then again, it’s not every city that wields its code enforcement authority as strictly as Palm Coast does.

Palm Coast, largely following up on a single code enforcement board member’s protest about peddlers at his door, appears intent to do just that–arrest solicitors who run afoul of the city’s rules on peddling in the city. Four peddlers selling house alarms were arrested last month.

On Thursday afternoon, two more were arrested—a 26-year-old and a 28-year-old man, both from Jacksonville. They were selling meat from a freezer in their pick-up truck, on behalf of Direct USA. They crossed paths with a Palm Coast code enforcement officer. When he asked to see their solicitation permit, neither had one. By city code, each is supposed to have his own. Jay Maher, the code enforcement officer, called the cops, and the two men—Jason Staufenberger and Matthew Tribble—were arrested.

To understand why code enforcement is cracking down on peddlers, it helps to go back a few weeks, to a July 11 meeting of the city’s code enforcement board, where Norman Mugford, one of the panel’s members, raised the issue of solicitors in a long and at times zealous discourse on the matter. Solicitors had been bothering him a great deal. He wanted the city—and the sheriff’s office—to do something about it.

Now they have. With draconian measures.

“I was faced with reality two weeks ago,” Mugford said at the time, referring to events going back to late June on Bud Hollow Drive, “and found somebody to be in multiple violations of city code, and notified the sheriff, and there was some confusion as to how are our ordinances is written, and how it was going to be enforced. Being that the deputy was on site with me at approximately 9 o’clock at night, I allowed him to make the decision in what would happen in this particular case.”

Three times that evening, according to Mugford, different solicitors knocked on his door. The first was actually in compliance. “When the second person came to the door selling trees, he ran,” Mugford said. “That told me one thing. That he knew he needed to have that solicitation license. The third person, at almost 9 o’clock at night, said: oh, yes, I have that paperwork, and opened up the folder and showed me a picture of his supervisor’s solicitation license, in exact violation, in written violation of our code, in the city of Palm Coast.”

The code is explicit: anyone soliciting for a company or an organization that’s from out of town must have an occupational license through the city before obtaining a solicitation license as well. Every individual soliciting—not every company—must have his or her own solicitation license. In other words, Direct USA could not pull a single license to cover all its peddlers. It must have one for each of its peddlers individually, and they must present it on request. Peddlers are also barred from soliciting between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

Mugford was not going to let the third set of solicitors—a van-full of them—get away with it. Shortly, a cop showed up. “Then I started being challenged by the individual that was at the door,” Mugford said, “and I very politely said to him: young man, I would not open my mouth any further. The deputy is right there. Do you want me to proffer charges? And he shut up.”

Mugford could not be reached Friday: his office said he was out of town. Last month he was raising the issue before a virtually empty room, aside from his code enforcement colleagues, because one other official was still there (at the Palm Coast Community Center, where the code enforcement board holds its monthly meetings): a Flagler County Sheriff’s sergeant (Sgt. Mercado). Mugford was wondering why, that night, the deputy did not deal more strictly with the solicitors.

“We all know that they’re all over town, but this ordinance was supposed to stop them, and the deputy is not even stopping them because he’s not fully aware what this ordinance is,” Mugford said. “And I’m not saying the seven or eight people that were in that van that night should have been arrested, but it is a misdemeanor to violate the city code. So he was right in letting them go. I think it put them on notice. Well, lo and behold, Saturday, here’s this van driving around again with some of the same individuals. I don’t know if it was all of them, driving around at 12 noon, soliciting door to door. Now, we’ve all seen them, I’m sure the deputy can attest that he’s seen the van, and we’ve heard complaints about it, but I think we need to enforce this.”

He added: “Maybe the city wants to say something or do something about it, but I feel as though we let this ordinance go and it’s not being enforced—through no fault of anybody, I just don’t think that anybody sat down and looked at this, but I see Sgt. Mercado back there shaking his head, so he’s aware that what I’m saying, I believe I’m right. And I think we can enforce it.”

And so the city has.

“We are working with the city to discourage these unlicensed solicitors,” Sheriff Don Fleming said, signaling his office’s response to the code enforcement board member’s concerns. “Residents have complained about pushy, abusive home alarm solicitors and they have complained about the interruptions in their day.”

Residents and a particularly interested code enforcement board member: As noted earlier, the four individuals arrested in August were selling home-alarm equipment. Mugford owns Alarmpro, in Palm Coast. Clearly, Mugford’s intervention was at least partially self-interested.

The sheriff is inviting residents to call the sheriff’s office when approached by unlicensed solicitors.

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59 Responses for “Palm Coast Code Enforcement Declares War On Door-to-Door Salesmen. Arrests Follow.”

  1. Prescient33 says:

    Confiscate and inventory the items being sold, and in the case of foodstuffs, donate the goods to soup kitchens such as the faith based one in Bunnell. Sell the non food items at public auction with the proceeds going to the county and/or the city.
    That, on top of the fines for violating the ordinances, should discourage would be violators.

  2. D says:

    Also should be enforced is the Jehovah’s Witness People Coming Door to Door Selling Religion, If I wanted to go to Church i would Go, I dont want someone ( kinda forcing me to go ) I Hate Having to Hide in my own home ( pretending im not there ) when the Doorbell rings and i know it them . Im just Saying

  3. notasenior says:

    While I admit that I have not read the palm Coast ordinance, I hope it complies with Supreme Court decisions. You cannot require certain to register and to say if you are from out of town and must register may be a violation of due process. It would be like asking all out of state drivers to register at the border. We need to protect our borders but we need to do it legally.

  4. Jojo says:

    Absolutely agree with the Solicitor Enforcement 100% and I will tell you why.

    I have had the alarm company people at my door numerous times as well. In fact, one has urinated on my property around the back while speaking to his partner at the front door. What part of, “I’m not interested,” don’t they understand.

    I have had them ringing my doorbell after the 6 PM curfew way after hours. Additionally, I donate to causes of my own choosing such as the World Food Bank. Why do we have people ringing our doorbell for donations for Drug treatment centers even if they have permits. Anybody can make an official looking permit today by going on web sites and downloading and copying the City Seal.

    Just because we don’t have the money to live in gated affluent communities why is it that they can bar solicitors from entering the gated community while we poor slobs have to endure this harassment.

    Additionally, this type of activity, solicitation, encourages crime in our communities as a prefix to gain, perhaps trust and collusion to gain entry and/or by surveying the premises to commit entry at a time when no one is home.

    Lastly, in early English law, it was historically said that a man’s home is his castle. Why then, do we allow Jehova’s Witness to solicit religion on our doorstep. I cannot tell you how many times I have been awakened by them calling at my front door. How many times do I have to tell them that I am not interested even though they have to make so many contact hours or whatever it is.

    I applaud Palm Coast Code Enforcement for taking a stand because I was beginning to think I was the cranky one.

  5. Donna says:

    Come on people! This is just more evidence that we have fallen on hard times. Palm Coast has no work in this city. What are we going to do, arrest the Avon lady next? All my life I had Sarah Coventry jewelry salesman, Cutco Cutlery, Kirby Vacuum, Amway products…….and so on…. Oh wait. Lets lock up the little girl scouts for disturbing our household. This Mugford guy is one miserable individual. He appears to be part of the problem. I would like to see him jobless. It would do us all a favor. More regulations, more government intervention, more gosh darn code enforcement. Really? Everything in this city needs a license. Why on earth would any independent business person want to set up shop in this city. Mugford and all above him need to go. Lets vote ’em all out.

  6. John Smith says:

    IT WOULD be NICE if Flagler Beach had a code enforcement person. Violations run rampant in the city of FB do to NO enforcement. It STARTS at the TOP and there still is NO enforcement.

  7. K says:

    I don’t want anyone knocking at my door trying to sell me something unless I invite them. That includes knives, meat and religion.

  8. Skwow says:

    I could be wrong, but doesn’t Mugford own a local alarm company?
    Could be a little conflict of interest if that is so.

  9. Donna says:

    You would be correct Skwow. As I said before, he is one miserable individual. Alarmpro. Yes, conflict of interest.

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet our code enforcement! Good Grief!

  10. Donna says:

    ” Palm Coast, largely following up on a single code enforcement board member’s protest about peddlers at his door, appears intent to do just that–arrest solicitors who run afoul of the city’s rules on peddling in the city. Four peddlers selling house alarms were arrested last month.”

    Four peddlers selling house “alarms” were arrested. We should take a second look. Looks like cronyism to me.

  11. Larry says:

    get a life. What a waste of public time and money.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The First Hurdle—Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court
    THE DATE SET for the oral argument before Chief Justice William Rehnquist and eight associate justices of the Supreme Court was February 26, 2002. The interests of Jehovah’s Witnesses were represented by a team of four attorneys.
    The lead attorney for the Witnesses opened his argument with an attention-grabbing introduction: “It’s 11:00 Saturday morning in the Village of Stratton. [He then knocked three times on the lectern.] ‘Good morning. In light of recent events, I’ve made a special effort to come to your door to speak to you about what the Prophet Isaiah has referred to as something better. That’s the good news Christ Jesus spoke about, the good news of the Kingdom of God.’”
    He continued: “It is a criminal act to go from door to door in the Village of Stratton and deliver that message unless one has first obtained a permit from the village to do so.”
    ‘You Don’t Ask for Money?’
    Justice Stephen G. Breyer raised some pointed questions for the Witnesses. He asked: “Is it the case that your clients don’t ask for any money, not a penny, and [that] they don’t sell Bibles, and they’re not selling anything, all that they do is say, ‘I want to talk to you about religion’?”
    The attorney for the Witnesses answered: “Your Honor, the record is absolutely clear, in the Village of Stratton, Jehovah’s Witnesses did not ask for money. In other jurisdictions the record is equally clear that sometimes they will mention a voluntary donation. . . . We are not seeking a solicitation of funds. We’re merely seeking to talk to people about the Bible.”
    Government Permission Needed?
    Justice Antonin Scalia perceptively asked: “Isn’t your position that you don’t have to go to the mayor and ask for permission to talk to a neighbor about something that’s interesting?” The Witnesses’ attorney replied: “We don’t believe that this Court should sanction a regulation of a Government that requires one citizen to get a license to speak to another citizen at that citizen’s home.”
    Change of Arguments, Change of Mood
    It was now time for the Village to present its case. Lead counsel explained Stratton’s ordinance, saying: “Stratton is exercising its police power when it seeks to protect the privacy of its residents, when it seeks to deter crime. The no canvassing or soliciting on private property ordinance simply requires preregistration and the carrying of a permit during the course of the door-to-door activity.”
    Justice Scalia went immediately to the heart of the matter when he asked: “Do you know any other case of ours [the Supreme Court] that has even involved an ordinance of this breadth, that involves solicitation, not asking for money, not selling goods, but even, you know, ‘I want to talk about Jesus Christ,’ or ‘I want to talk about protecting the environment?’ Have we had a case like that?”
    Justice Scalia continued: “I don’t even know of such cases, over two centuries.” To which Chief Justice Rehnquist quipped: “You haven’t been around that long.” That provoked laughter in the courtroom. Justice Scalia pressed his argument: “The breadth of this thing is novel to me.”
    A Beautiful Idea?
    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked a pointed question: “You think it’s a beautiful idea that I have to ask the Government for permission before I go down the block, where I don’t know all of the people, [and] I say, I want to talk to you because I’m concerned about the garbage pick-up, because I’m concerned about our Congressman, whatever. I have to ask the Government before I can do that?” He added, “It’s astounding.”
    Then Justice Sandra Day O’Connor joined the argument, asking: “Well, how about trick-or-treaters? Do they have to get a permit?” Justices O’Connor and Scalia both pursued this line of reasoning. Justice O’Connor introduced another argument: “How about borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor? Do I have to get a permit to go borrow a cup of sugar from my neighbor?”
    Are the Witnesses Canvassers?
    Justice David H. Souter asked: “Why are Jehovah’s Witnesses covered? Are they canvassers, solicitors, peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants or transient vendors of merchandise or services? They’re none of those, are they?” The Village’s counsel quoted the ordinance at length and added that the lower court had defined Jehovah’s Witnesses as canvassers. To this, Justice Souter rejoined: “So you have a very broad definition of canvassers, if it includes Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
    Justice Breyer then quoted the dictionary definition of a canvasser to show that it did not apply to the Witnesses. He added: “I haven’t read anything in your brief that says what the purpose is for requiring these people [Jehovah’s Witnesses] who are not interested in money, not interested in selling, not even interested in votes, to go to the city hall and register. What’s the city’s purpose?”
    The “Privilege” of Communication
    The Village then argued that “the city’s purpose is to prevent annoyance of the property owner.” He clarified further that it was to protect the residents from fraud and criminals. Justice Scalia quoted the ordinance to show that the mayor can demand further information concerning the registrant and his purpose in order “to accurately describe the nature of the privilege desired.” He added pointedly: “The privilege of going about to persuade your fellow citizens about one thing or another—I just can’t understand that.”
    Justice Scalia again pressed: “So should you require everybody who rings a doorbell to get fingerprinted at city hall before [he] can ring a doorbell? That minor risk of a crime occurring is enough to require everybody who wants to ring a doorbell to register at city hall? Of course it isn’t.”
    Residents Protected?
    With his 20 minutes expired, counsel for the Village handed over the argument to the solicitor general for the state of Ohio. He argued that the no-solicitation ordinance protected the residents from visits by a stranger, “certainly an uninvited person, [who] is here on my property . . . and I think the village is entitled to say, ‘We’re concerned about that kind of activity.’”
    Justice Scalia then observed: “The village is saying even those people who welcome Jehovah’s Witnesses, they’re sitting there lonely, they would love to talk to somebody about anything, and these people [Jehovah’s Witnesses] still have to go register with the mayor to get the privilege of ringing their doorbell.”
    “A Very Modest Restriction”
    During the questioning Justice Scalia made a powerful point when he said: “We can all stipulate that the safest societies in the world are totalitarian dictatorships. There’s very little crime. It’s a common phenomenon, and one of the costs of liberty is to some extent a higher risk of unlawful activity, and the question is whether what this is directed at stops enough unlawful activity to be worth the cost of requiring the privilege of ringing somebody’s doorbell.” Then the solicitor general responded that “it’s a very modest restriction.” Justice Scalia countered that it was so modest that “we can’t find a single case reporting a single municipality that has ever enacted an ordinance of that type. I don’t think that’s modest.”
    Finally, under pressure from one of the justices, the solicitor general had to admit: “I’d be hesitant to say you can have an outright ban on ringing doorbells or knocking.” On that note, his argument ended.
    During rebuttal, the Witnesses’ attorney pointed out that the ordinance had no verification mechanism. “I can go to the village hall and say, ‘I’m [So-and-so],’ and get a permit and go from door to door.” He also pointed out that the mayor has the power to refuse to issue a permit to a person who says that he is unaffiliated with an organization. “We believe that this is manifestly exercise of discretion,” he said and added: “I respectfully suggest that our [Jehovah’s Witnesses’] activity indeed lies at the heart of the First Amendment.”
    Shortly after this, Chief Justice Rehnquist closed the oral arguments, saying: “The case is submitted [to the Supreme Court].” The whole process had taken just over an hour. How important that hour was would be shown in the written judgment that was announced in June.
    Your Neighbor

  13. IML8 says:

    Code enfprcement should spend more time getting rid of these people selling door to door and less time tearing down garage sale signs.

  14. Charles Ericksen, Jr says:

    I have attended many Code Enforcement Hearings, and the emphasis is generally NOT on educating residents in the Code, but rather punishing them, and at times harsh. In many cases, the Code provides for a Warning first, and then more active followup. That may or may not have been appropriate with this situation. Would you punish a child harshly for their first attempt at growing up, or would you talk with them( a warning) of the consequences of their actions and possible repercussions of followup activities?? About 3 meetings ago, this volunteer Board member , who is one of the more active members, voted with a majority to fine a single mother ,raising 2 children, in her home, $13,900 for a third violation ( within 5 years) of uncut grass and trash in her yard.. Code enforcement should be able to fine violaters, but not to ruin their financial lives, regardless of the violation. There are also accusations of particular properties, that are OVERLOOKED, when it comes to complaints. I have one right now, where an individual told me, that her parents had complained about a house numerous times, and they were told to BACK OFF. I went to the house, took a few pictures for the record and said.. HMMMMM wonder who lives there?? Christmas ornaments and lights still up, and across the roof, windows, and gutters, 3 artificial Christmas trees in the front yard, complete with stars at the top, 6 lounge chairs in the front yard, next to the driveway, and a complete chair and table set, with mold and leaves, under a side yard tree, Oh, and let’s not forget, the new pile of broken up concrete blocks in the front yard. Just what is the role of code enforcement, and why do we need as many Code officers on the roads, as we have Deputies? I’d rather have another 1 or 2 deputies out there , Give it some thought…PS.. I do have the documentaion of these cases.

  15. mike bencal says:

    Thank you for posting the ordinance, and in light that I authored a similar ordinance, find that it is probably illegal. First, under Watchtower Bible v Village of Stratton ( Supreme Court 2002) you can not require religious groups to register as the ordinance attempts to do. Residents should post “No Soliciting” signs on their property, the Court ssays that is good enough and solicitors would then be trespassers. However, this does not work for people campaigning for political office.
    Second section 35-162 (b) relating to door to door salesmen does not pass muster. What about the door to door salesman that returns to the community to service previous clients? Most soliciting ordinances exempt those people.
    Third, section 35-163 (b) says a license will be granted “upon recommendation” by the Sheriff, yet no standards are enumerated for approval. This would fail on being vague and not allowing the Sollicitors to meet a known standard.
    Door to door solicitation is a problem. But if you are going to regulate it do it right!

  16. elaygee says:

    In Florida, you can shoot and kill anyone at your door if you think they pose a threat to your life. As their pitch is that you are worthless and face eternal damnation unless you join their cult, one can take that as a threat and dispose of them as you like.

  17. concerned says:

    I think the story goes a little off point. From what I have been told the city as well as the sheriffs office have been inundated by phone calls from residents complaining about people going door to door selling their wares, and in some cases intimidating the residents. The response that you are reporting on was probably as a result of the complaints from residents.

  18. Jojo says:

    The Supreme Court has stubbornly resisted usurping it’s own stare decisis, case in point, slavery. Am I wrong to put a sign on my property, “No Jehova Witness On My Property”, if I don’t want them annoying or preaching to me. And, if they come on my property can I have them arrested?

    Aside from been babtized in another denomination why can’t Jehova Witness get a permit and go preach all they want in Town Park.

    Is there a way for me to opt out graciously from solicitations by JW or do I have to tell my husband to answer the door balls ass naked to rid these people from my property forever.

  19. palmcoaster says:

    Mr. Ericksen eyesores around our well kept homes and yards, from neighbors wether single mothers raising 3 kids or a financially confortable family of four or more is a code enforcement violation. Most times is total disregard for upkeep as is “work to be done” and is easier to seat inside watching TV or talking to friends in the phone than mowing the lawn or pick up the trash or bring inside any house furniture that the kids took outside to play with. There is a pink painted house in the lower numbers section of Cooper Lane that is a total eyesore for us to endure every time we pass by…I am still waiting for code enforcement to do something about it.
    Furniture in the driveway all the time open garage showing the unsightly clutter overflowing its doors. Please take a ride and tell me if that eyesore is fair to us all in the Country Club Cove neighborhood, to endure.
    Regarding the financial burden imposed in violators, unfortunately is the only way the law allows to have them complied with it and clean up at least, their visible eyesores. City has to be strict regarding code enforcement and I am all for it and enforce without bias. How many times a code enforcement officer has to visit and taks to an owner to convince him/her to resolve the issue? We are all paying for the visit and relentlessly these owners refuse to cooperate time after time. Then the fines are justified as far is my concern. Palm Coast is beautiful and we love it and want to preserve it as such. Enforcement is a must.
    Hopefully city will get rid as well of the peddlers standing in PC Pkwy corners with Old Kings and Cypress Point disrupting traffic, risking their lives and increasing our liabilities as well, sometimes during the year. Specially the one’s that allege helping our war vets….if all out there will research that group, as our local real Veterans organization have done will find out, not so. Very upsetting to say the least.

  20. palmcoaster says:

    Mr. Ericksen deputies do not come cheap for Palm Coasters as all here maybe aware that Palm Coast is the only city in this county that after we are the base tax revenue of this county,in spite of that, City of PC has to pay about over 2 or 3 million additional for the Sheriff services…Please Mr. Landon or FlaglerLive correct me if I am wrong…how much is actually that figure now? Ridiculous. We all pay this county taxes and as the largest city in the county should receive the proportional Sheriff services paid in our taxes to the county and not having to pay additional for that. Then actually we are forgoing this county to properly fund the Sheriff services we pay them up front for. Our county taxes are too high for the services we receive from them that is why they were able to build in our pockets, all those monuments to themselves for which the bonds lines still show in our homes tax bills.
    Is not the work of the Sheriff deputies to enforce city ordinance except parking on the roads or on the swells after hours.

  21. E section says:

    In the average week I have about four or five solicitors at my house. Sometimes from the same company more than once. I am happy code enforcement is cracking down on this. It is a major annoyance, I have talked with my neighbors and they also are tired of it.

  22. Justice for All says:

    City probably wasn’t tough enough at the beginning and allowed solicitation for profit in the first place. If I can prevent solicitors from calling my phone, surely I have more rights to prevent them from coming on my private property. Don’t confuse religious freedom with invasion of privacy for profit.

    Door to door sales people are from a bygone era. If I want it, I can buy it on and Fed Ex, UPS and US Mail are the only work vans I want to see casing my neighborhood. Anyone else casing the neighborhood is there to subsequently rob me. Read the crime statistics reported on this site, the Observer and the News Journal.

  23. Yogi says:

    You pay extra for deputies because you voted to become a separate political entity that is not a part of the county in-spite of being located in the county. You asked for it and didn’t even know because you are still ignorant. People that don’t want to be disturbed should take care of their own problems as they are free to do so legally. Legal business entities that want to conduct business have a responsibility to comply with the law and if they don’t like the infringement, they are free to change the law legally. If you make it entirely impossible to conduct business then those same people who want their privacy better be prepared to pay for the welfare for those they put out of work and deny their right to pursue happiness freely through working hard and earning a living to take care of themselves and their families. You got people knocking on your door because you have been labeled by the sales people as a jerk that deserves to be bothered because you attempt to deny rights and freedoms to those that want to work hard to pursue the happiness of economic freedom. They all talk to each other and they love to compare notes. Be smart, shut up and take care of your own problems in a civil dignified manner. Post no trespassing signs all over your lawn so there will be no mistake you are in hospitable. That’s how you would want to be treated.

  24. Yogi says:

    Oh…. I forgot about the sign ordinance, but that is a whole nother matter. You are free to protest the city won’t allow you to notify the public to stay off your property. Maybe you will make it to the Supreme court.

  25. Funny how Jehovah’s Witnesses always get brought up when anything happens. First and foremost Jehovah’s Witnesses NEVER sell anything they sometimes ask for a modest donation but never demand it. Second if you have to run and hide so that you don’t have to merely talk about what’s TRULY in the bible it seems YOU have the problem doesn’t it? Third If you all want to be ignorant people and if you feel that going into a church sitting there and being TOLD by an unperfect human what’s what in the bible and never looking into it for yourself, and you KNOW without a shadow of doubt your right about your decision then stop all the ranting and next time the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door do something new and instead of hiding…answer the door and politely tell them that: “your not interested and to please permantely take you off their servicing list” which they will do…AND YOU WILL BE FREE OF TRUE WORSHIP FOREVER.

  26. Linda says:

    Good comments, all. I agree with the need for code enforcement, but have seen it used by neighbors who do not speak to harass one another re petty things. To bring a police officer into a situation like this is VERY expensive.

    As far as lawns are concerned, many overgrown I see are owned by local realtors and builders as rental investment property. When they become overgrown they hurt property values.

    Could it be time to require the owner’s of these rental properties to keep them up, to make them responsible for these fines? The same might be the case where the grass is dead and we are stuck looking at dirt? Docks that are unsafe and collapsing into the water? Many of these properties have been abandoned, foreclosed on and have been sitting for two years, empty, run down, likely full of mold, broken windows, dead animals.

    Why aren’t the banks held responsible for them? If you are going to seize property, you should be required to keep it up. Does Palm Coast do this? Miami does. The banks are fined and held responsible for all repairs on the seized property, inside and out. I believe they also are charged for the inspections.

    I wrote a letter to the counsel to oppose the new City Hall. My reasonings was, just because we have the money, must we spend it on things we don’t really need right now? I also mentioned some roads that needed repairing and abandoned homes at the other end of my street where the need was greater.

    Before I knew it, somebody from the city was taking pictures of my house. My husband told them the properties in violation were at the other end of the street. The man taking pictures said he was sent by the City Manager and told to photograph the homes on my street. And they have been back, taking pictures again. I was told by the City this is normal policy.

    I think this city sometimes oversteps its bounds and I believe my house was photographed because I complained about that.

    I moved to Palm Coast because of its beauty, its friendly small town atmosphere, its neighorliness. And I am seeing a lot of that disappearing. I’m also seeing more crime, more drug dealing in broad daylight at the Public Library, internet gambling halls going up.

    I am afraid I am watching a city in decline.


    glad that code engorcement has nothing better to do….which way to Russia?

  28. PJ says:

    ok once again the mis-management of now the code enforcement department within the Landon/Netts adminstration. These guys drive around and enforce the quality of life that they feel like doling out that day. There is no leadership the Director is asleep at the wheel..

    Traveling salesmen have been around since the caveman. Preachers knocking on your doors has been happening since the time of Jesus.

    So our great leader Landon is really on it. His top guns brain surgeons of code enforcement arrest two guys trying to make a living. NOW I personally would not buy meat off a truck but now did they really need to get arrested and go through the system. Flagler county is already bleading money why not get two guys trying to make a living on our payroll as we feed them and spend resources that we don’t have to (send these guys to PRISON?).

    It’s simple code enforcement has way too much authority. Stick with ungly lawns fellas.This is a good department to cull. Layoff some off these jerks and they too may need a job as to sell meats off a pickup truck.

    Landon you can’t have long to go! When Palm Coast finally gets a real city manager with vision Palm Coast will start to grow again. Landon you manage the city and you manage the city council. Good lord they sure don’t manage much. Your all a sad lot of politicians. It is you all that allows the quality of life to wain here in PC. Let the code enforcement Director manage his peole the way they should by not fearing the City Manager.

    We don’t want door to door salesfolks or religious rights to be a burden, but please control something for once close the code enforcement down to just a handful of people and make the rest of them really work then you will see how often they bother you for your tulips growing in the swale.

    Remember what your parents taught you, ” don’t open the door to strangers and vote Erickson!”

  29. Anonymous says:

    this is anotherway to opress the little man

  30. PalmCoastPioneers says:

    Question for Palm Coaster:
    Are you on the mailing list for our neighborhood news – called ‘Country Club Cove’ Newsletter, if not, see Jim Carlisle on Carr Lane to be added to our neighborhood mailing list.
    We call that pink house the Pepto Bismol House….it is a tragedy.
    and what about A. house…been in open permit status since 2004 and still at variance and unfinished.

  31. Donna says:

    I’m with you PJ! and folks, lets not forget the Census Bureau. It used to be just a count. Now they want to know your name, rank and serial number, on top of where you work, how much you get paid and what size pants you wear. Lets not pick on the the little salesmen trying to make a buck Our fears should be big government intrusion in our lives. Code enforcement is headed in this direction.

  32. Liana G says:

    Have the same problems on my street. Once had a guy ringing my doorbell asking for water so that he can do some repair work on a vacant house a few houses down. My other problem is that when these folks ring the doorbell and don’t get an answer, they walk around to the back of your house to look through the glassdoors. Very creepy.

    Right now there is a house on my street with a bed set sitting outside the garage for the past week or so. This house has always been a major eyesore and numerous complaints by numerous residents do no good. Trash from their yard blows all over the place and the kids living there likes to play in front of every house and leave their cups, plates, wrappers, napkins, shoes, clothes, toys, etc., everywhere they play. One morning I got so fed up I picked up all the stuff they had left in my yard and rang their doorbell at 7:00 am and handed the parent who answered the door the stuff. I told the parent I have no objections to their kids playing infront of my house/yard but they need to pick up/clean up when they leave. The kids do not play in front of my house anymore but I still have to pick up their trash when it blows into my yard.

  33. emile says:

    We moved to Palm Coast BECAUSE of the codes and covenants. And we carefully read these documents before we purchased a home here. If everyone read the codes before choosing a home, they would have fewer problems with Code Enforcement.

  34. palmcoaster says:

    @Pioneers; we do get the newsletter. I wonder where is the one house with an open building/renovation permit since 2004. I see a dark grey one on a double lot and two story looks like in renovations? We sure need to address these issues with the city ASAP. That pink house real eyesore hurts the landscape visible even from Club House Drive.


    Get ready to open up your wallets! Last I knew, with few exceptions, a deputy could not arrest someone for a misdemeanor unless he witnessed it. The deputy may have had probable cause to believe it was committed, but it sounds like he didn’t directly witness the people asking the complainant if he would would like to learn about or purchase alarm systems. We will see if the defendants are smart enough to sue the County in Federal Court.

  36. NortonSmitty says:

    Used to have a doormat that said “I’m Happy with my Religion, My Politics and My Vacuum Cleaner, Thanks.”

  37. County Worker says:

    Pretty soon Palm Coast will be like living in the USSR.

  38. Jojo says:

    @NortonSmitty. What happened to it? A solicitor stole it?

    I just passed a house today with two over filled garbage cans with garbage on the ground and all over the grass in F/O the garage. Two beautiful homes across the street. Is it like that in Russia County Worker. Why not do away with the Police too.

  39. PJ says:

    It’s simple blame the managerment of Palm Coast. Start with Jim Landon and the City council. Get rid of them and life will get better here.

    One more thing what about those stupid red light cameras. It’s just another money making city scam. If they want to save lives they should have installed the collission avoidance system. It’ holds the light green until the vehicle passes before changing. This saves lives not a camera at an intersection.

    What fools run this city, please vote and vote for change!

  40. Anonymous says:

    if i bought a home in pc i wuld expect to be able to do what i want wen i want screw code inforcement i wuldnt close my door in somebodys face yall act like u aint got no manners well pc is full of yankee inplants so there is no southern hospitality

  41. anon says:

    if i owned a property i wuld expect i culd do or put whatever i want on it i definitly wuldnt slam the door or call the cops on a guy who wants to do business most of pc has no hospitality or manners couse of thes damb yankees comming here an mucking it up im fed up with all the red tape thy shuld stop the beautification an spend the money in the parts that realy nead streat lights an sidewalks so folks dont get hurt

  42. anon says:

    if i owned a property i wuld expect i culd do or put whatever i want on it i definitly wuldnt slam the door or call the cops on a guy who wants to do business most of pc has no hospitality or manners im fed with all the red tape thy shuld stop the beautification an spend the money in the parts that realy nead streat lights an sidewalks so folks dont get hurt

  43. County Worker says:

    all I can say to the above post is WOW!

  44. apratts says:

    There is no excuse for violating city ordinance. About a year ago, prior to purchasing our home in Palm Coast we familiarized ourselves with the rules and regulations of this town & county. The Codes are available on their webpage and City Office. In addition, the Palm Coast Observer that is delivered for free to every homeowner published the top 10 violations. Those who chose to disregard the law should pay.

    We moved to Palm Coast for a better quality of life – a way from city living, therefore, Mayor Netts & Landon have our vote – continue enforcing those CODES!

  45. Sam says:

    I have recently put a sign next to my front door. It reads the following:

    No Trespassing
    No Solicitors
    No Code Enforcement
    Violators will be SHOT

    • jennah says:

      I put a big sign on my front door that says “GO AWAY”- so far it’s worked and if some poor bastard makes the mistake of disturbing me after reading that there will be cops called and they will be called on me for beating the crap out of someone. Sad that we have to do that isn’t it?

      I do not want strangers knocking on my door PERIOD! I think their robbers casing my house and posing as sales people. I am going to call the police on the JEHOVAH witnesses next- these are the problem in my hood -the W section. I am so freaking sick of them disturbing me- even on HOLIDAYS. They should be charged and hauled off to the pokey as well. They are trying to sell religion and I’m sick of them-their just as bad!!!

  46. Nancy N. says:

    I live on Bud Hollow like Mr. Mugford. Those alarm company solicitors were absolutely a nuisance. I would have called the Sheriff myself if I had realized they were actually violating a city ordinance. I actually contacted ADT corporate office to complain after they showed up at my door 4 times in 6 weeks back around June, the last time at 9pm at night and returning 3 times after being told each time with escalating levels of rudeness to never return. They carefully send a different person to the door each time so you can’t nail them for trespassing when they return after you ask them to leave.

    A few days ago when I was working in my office which has windows overlooking the front of the house, a solicitor rings the doorbell. I didn’t get up to answer. I was working and didn’t want whatever he was selling. He starts YELLING! “HELLOOOO???” because he could see someone was home when he came up the front walk. I finally had to yell back “GO AWAY!” to get rid of him!!! It’s ridiculous that not answering my doorbell isn’t enough to get rid of these people…I actually have to chase them away if they can tell I’m home? Sheesh.

  47. Sean says:

    This city is a complete disgrace. The city is worried about door-to-door salespeople or signs on people’s yards (IE Stupid things) when they could be formulating plans to bring jobs here. Why don’t they do that? Are they afraid of progress? The local government here should be ashamed of themselves. They are disgraceful and have no business in leadership positions if their main concern is making Palm Coast look like their front lawn. I cannot wait to move back to the Northeast soon.

  48. J Jewels says:

    To many oldie goldies in this town……….scared of their shadow and I agree……… let people try to make a living in this RETIREMENT VILLAGE!
    You never know that alarm salesman just might have warded off a burglar, the vacuum salesman got you a awesome machine that lasts 20 years, and the meat guy….keeps you from getting the crap at the grocery stores with hormones, pesticides, and bleach in the meat, and last but not least the lady who commented on religion ……..well that door to door person might just keep you from going to hell!

  49. jimmythebull says:

    code enforcement picks and choses which codes and who they are going after.

  50. Palm Coast Resident says:

    I want to comment on my recent experience with the Palm Coast code about solicitors. While working around my yard I had a lady with a green shirt displaying her logo as “Miracle Windows and Doors” approach my house. I clearly display a “No Solicitors” sign on my front door and despite that she continued to come up my driveway heading toward my front door. As I came around the house I politely asked if I could help her. Standing in my driveway within clear view of my sign she went on to try to convince me to let her come into my home to demonstrate and sell me new windows. I politely told her that I wasn’t interested and indicated that she should leave my property. As she turned to leave she muttered something under her breath that sounded vulgar and then looked back at me with a disgusted look. I then approached her and asked what she had said and of course she stated that she had said nothing. Then her male partner approached me from across the street and wanted to know what was going on. I asked if they had registered to do business in our city and if they have a license to be doing business in Palm Coast. Of course they told me yes that they have a license but couldn’t produce it when I asked. They told me that they just go where there company sends them and have no control if they are sent to Palm Coast. I stated to them that they better then check with their company and ask them to find out about the codes in Palm Coast. I left and returned to my home and contacted the Flagler Sheriffs office to find out whom I should contact about these violators. I told them that normally I wouldn’t have cared but with there rude attitude I thought that maybe I should notify someone. After being transferred around the Sheriffs office to about three different people and several minutes later, I was thoroughly questioned by a lady that made me feel like the criminal. She asked about the circumstances, what the violators were wearing, what way they were heading, and where they were now. The less then nice lady dispatcher finally said she would send someone out to try and find the violators. I waited outside my house for over two hours and never saw anyone from the Sheriffs office go by but continued to see the violators go house to house down the street until I coulndn’t see them anymore. I feel that the Flagler County Sheriffs office doesn’t take code enforcement violations or the complaining person calling in about the violators seriously and put any calls like mine on the back burner.

  51. Magicone says:

    Solicitors: come to my door its “lock and load” Heavily armed and easily pissed!!!!!

    • Hamslam says:

      This is a travesty. I am a door to door salesperson and to try to send a person to jail for trying to provide for their family is just plain indecent. I personally love what i do and would’nt change anything about my life and how i treat people. I show the utmost respect to a homeowner and if the homeowner says NO I AM NOT INTERESTED then i will say sorry to bother you may god bless you and i move on. Gimme a break…you would through me in jail for god forbid i knock on your door and give you a deal on my product that you don’t have to even go and get. My god seriously they have nothing better to do. I been selling for 9 years and counting. May god bless the man on code enforcement for wasting his time on something so petty when there is so much more he could be doin!

  52. jimmythebull says:

    It took two years to get get a neighborhood resident in front of the code board about their dog attacking my dog. Besides my statement ,and three other neighbors stating everyday this dog was allowed to run loose ,i had to supply pictures i had taken of a growling dog in my yard ready to attack me.
    The board lightly fined the owner and the owner still let it run loose until the bank evicted them.
    They were also caught switching their electric meter with a meter from a vacant home. thus they ran a junky, noisy generator upon eviction.
    There needs to be a code about running generators in lieu of available electricity.
    I also caught them selling drugs from their home, but their sons and customers quickly scattered when they saw me go by their home.
    On the day they left, a glass bottle was thrown at me.
    My personal experience with the code board is, The board picks and chooses, they don’t read the Sheriff’s reports sent to them,very lazy, and a waste.

  53. Kat says:

    Heres the thing guys. I find a lot of these comments disturbing. For one when it comes to door to door salesmen and permits more than not a salesmen with go and apply for a socializing permit which requires a back ground check for each, copys of ids made and depending on the township finger printed. If anyting in the slitest appears no permit is issued and they are not able to socialite. Because of the magnitude of phone calls that are given if when door to door people are out the police show up and they are checked again. and a fine will be issued if they do not have permits.The rules in each township vary as to what time a door to door is allowed to work, but most allow door to door to legally knock tell 9pm and some 8pm. Also most door to door work with a small franchise that is connected to a major corporation. The rules vary but all do a back ground check. If you write out (Do not buy they will still knock) out a no soliciting sign they will not knock on your door. and also the products that a door to door sale are normally the best products to have in a home. it comes straight from the manufacturer. The sales man have to study not just there product but others to find and understand not just there product but everything that concernce to it. Taking a look, a real look at what these men and women are selling will for a lack of better words blow your mind. When I was younger I was a door to door salesman and profted from it greatly and live in a average nabroghood just like most of you and I have door to door men and women consintly so I have seen both sides of the coin. As long as they are doing the job and not treating you like shit tell them your not interested and shout the door. Be polite but firm. and maybe when you have time take a look because you never know if you need something until some one shows you what you don’t have.

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