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In Cary's footsteps, Harvard considers limiting newspaper distribution

HARVARD – A rendition of the recent Cary ban on the littering of newspapers and handbills could be coming to Harvard.

Officials will consider creating an ordinance to limit the pileup of free publications and handbills, such as advertisements and leaflets. The measure would put limits on the manner that such items can be delivered.

The city received a rush of complaints about a year and a half ago, but Ward 2 Alderman Phil Ulmer said at the time he didn’t believe there was a solution.

“I called them all back and said, you know, if we can ever figure out something to do about it ...” said Ulmer, who heads the ordinance committee. “And then I read the article in the Northwest Herald about Cary and thought maybe it’s time for us to draft something similar.”

City Administrator Dave Nelson said at Tuesday night’s city council meeting that he’s drafted an ordinance.

Officials likely will call another committee meeting in September to consider it, he said.

Passed in mid-June, Cary’s ordinance didn’t ban the distribution of free newspapers but required they be distributed in ways that prevent them from being carried away by “the elements” on any street, sidewalk, public place or property.

Cary also required that handbills be given directly to property owners or placed on doorknobs.

“So that way, you have people not just going down the street and throwing phonebooks in the gutter, or newspapers, or flyers, or pamphlets,” Ulmer said. “They have to bring them to the door.”


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