At last week's City Council meeting, one of the items entered, from the City Manager, was to add a new Ordinance, Section 185-10, on Yard Sales. The idea was to deal with a problem of some people abusing their neighbors by having, instead of a periodic attic cleaning yard sale, almost weekly yard sales, turning it into an enterprise. There have been complaints from neighbors who believe things have gone too far.
The idea was to limit Yard Sales to three a year and to charge a $5 fee for a permit, which would have to be obtained three days before the Yard Sale, from City Hall, during the normal work week.
Councillor Rita Mercier immediately reacted to this idea, noting that for an informal activity in one's own driveway this was a pretty formal regulation and an inconvenience to the householder, who normally works during the time City Offices are open so a permit can be obtained. And, after a $5 fee for a yard sale the profit will go down and maybe bring into question the value of time invested in a yard sale, thus leading to treasures being put out on the curb as trash. Then, she noted, there is the question of the "slippery slope", wherein this fee for doing something in your own yard leads to other permits and other fees. If some doesn't like outdoor BBQ, are we going to see permits for these also?
I believe Ms Mercier is on the money with this one. We do need to prevent people from abusing their neighbors by having a weekly flea market in their driveway, causing traffic problems weekend after weekend. An ordnance that does limit the number of Yard Sales, or things of that ilk, per year, is a good idea. Enforcing it by having the police pay attention seems reasonable to me. The police helped along by interested neighbors. But, let us not impose extra burdens on the citizenry as a whole in order to easy the job of those who might be enforcing this rule.
Regards — Cliff
10 months ago