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Thread: Yard sales - traffic and clutter complaints article

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Yard sales - traffic and clutter complaints article

    From USA TODAY:

    Headline: As yard sales proliferate, so do traffic and clutter complaints
    Some localities move to restrict ‘offensive' signs, number of sales

    Highlights:
    Many towns require permits and restrict signs along public roads, but the laws are not always enforced. Others have no regulations.

    Some yard sales might as well be full-time businesses, says Bill Clark, a city councilman in Nitro, W.Va., who's miffed at residents who have yard sales almost year-round.
    Are continous yard sales a problem in your community or is just in the Town Next Door TM ?

    Are you a yard sale enforcement nazi or are you a shopper ?
    Oddball
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I cant say I mind them, however, its when the signs arent taken down after (same thing with politcal signs) that I start to get annoyed.


    I once got fined for hanging "Lost Cat" signs in a ROW when I was in college.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    We are working on a permit system for yard sales. local store-based merchants complain the most here, followed by code enforcement staff about signs in the rights-of-way and on utility poles, followed by the finance department about the lack of a sales tax number. Some offending signs are painted cardboard boxes secured to the ground with a brick.

    We are likely to propose 2 sales a year with a free permit; a fee after that. State law requires a sales tax number on 3 or more anyway.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I think yard sales are great and in Albuquerque, it is something of an obsession - the listings in the paper are often a few pages long.

    I personally have no problem with the "messiness" of cars parked on the side of the road and people milling about, slowing traffic and generally making a scene. Its about public space and the temporary conversion of private yards (and to some extent the roadway) for a more public gathering space. But then, we don't have much of a pretentious streak here.

    The only problem I have is when people do not take down their signs (which are often cardboard nailed to a telephone pole or a box with bricks in it on a median). We do have people who seem to do it 24/7, but most who do this kind of thing take their wares to the local flea markets, of which there are several. In an area as generall poor as ours (lowest in personal income acccording to the 2000 census!), there is a great market for recycled items.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
         
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    In our town the biggest problem is with perpetual yard sales. Since we don't want to regulate the yard sales themselves we are considering adding language to the definition of retail sales "yard sales that operate more than 3 consecutive days or 6 days in a calendar year are considered retail sales." This will allow the zoning enforcement officer to shut down the ones that go every weekend from April through November (none go through the winter, nobody has gotten that bad). We only do enforcement on a complaint basis (I know, absurd, but that's another story...) so I don't think this is a bad approach. Sure, many will go longer then the 3/6 day limit, but as long as they are not unreasonable we don't care. One problem we have that may not be addressed by this is the lazy people who just never clean up after a tag sale... although we may decide to get the Health Agent after them through enforcement of the sanitation code.

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