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Thread: Garage sale

  1. #1
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Garage sale

    *sigh* We've had a complaint about ongoing garage sales at a property which brings me to you wonderful folks.

    Do any of your ordinances deal with garage sales and if so; how.

    Seems so silly to me, but hey what's a NIMBY going to do when they've run out of real things to worry about? LOL

  2. #2
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    Hey, I don't know about you, but it would piss me off pretty good if my neighbor had a perpetual sale going on. My code doesn't address it, its kind of a judgement call, but at my old municipality, you could have a sale at your home 2 days per year. That took care of it.
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  3. #3
         
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    We have a limit of 2 garage sales a year because we do have people who try to have them every weekend or even everyday. These people often are buying stuff at other sales and reselling the stuff out of their house. If someone complains or if a staff member notices we send code enforement out to investigate.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    If you've ever lived next door from a "perpetual" garage sale, you wouldn't think it was a NIMBY issue. It's really about somebody running a business in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Nah, nothing like that bothers me. I'm a hard-skinned planner. My husband always marvels at my ability to tone out all of these things. Then again I don't care much for the "code enforcement officer" hat either. I'd rather stick to reviewing application proposals and the comprehensive plan.

    I thought about calling it a home-occupation and we might go that route but if we do that, then we're going to get a ridiculous amount of requests on this issue. Maybe we should create a definition for "perpetual garage-saler".

    Anyway, thanks for your replies. I will just tell the Mayor that we can amend the code to include a limit if he so desires or pursue the home-occupation route, but then again this use would be fine under that definition if they just put all the stuff in the garage instead of the driveway.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    We call it an accessory use ("garage sales" are a separate section, but come right after "home occupations" in our code):

    * each sale can be no more than 12 hours per day for a maximum of 3 consecutive days
    * no more than 3 sales per year on any premises
    * all sale items must be stored in an enclosed building from dusk to dawn

    My worst enforcement day ever was when I had to shut down the perpetual yard sale run by the old veteran on disability who said it was how he could stay in his home. But he wasn't mad at me, he said. "I was a Detroit riot cop, and I busted a few heads - I understand it's just the job you have to do."

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Most of the cities that I have worked for, regardless of the state, limit garage sales to two or three a year with two or three day time limit. Requires a permit and is usually enforced on complaint basis.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Check out your Department of Taxation and Finance. In NYS, garage sales are not taxable if the sales are not anticipated to exceed $600. in a calendar year, not last more than 3 days, and the seller may not conduct a trade or business in which similar items are sold. Of course, tax issues are covered under zoning, but it does give a basis for how your code can be set up. I've seen many codes that only allow just what slides under the taxation laws.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    It wasn't in our zoning ordinance, but some other ordinance in the county (can't recall who enforced it, right now, but it wasn't us). Also restricted vehicle sales from a home to 4 per year.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    RandomPlanner is on the right track. In KS, more than 3 sales a year requires the operator to submit sales taxes...never enforced, but provides the rationale for local codes to limit the number to 3 a year.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    I don't think you need a taxing rationale to limit retail in residential neighborhoods. The zoning ordinance, supported by your comp plan, should do that well.
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by KSharpe View post
    I don't think you need a taxing rationale to limit retail in residential neighborhoods. The zoning ordinance, supported by your comp plan, should do that well.
    Agreed. But if your Comp Plan doesn't reference it (which I've never seen one that does), using the tax laws can give you a foodhold, I think.
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    Touche, Random.
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Do people tend to regulate garage sales through the zoning ordinance, or a non-zoning ordinance? I've typically seen them in zoning ordinances. The community I'm in now does not have any regulations, so I'm putting some together and I am curious where people put these regs. I think I want to put it in a non-zoning ordinance, since I think this is more of a nuisance matter as opposed to a land use issue.
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  15. #15
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Do people tend to regulate garage sales through the zoning ordinance, or a non-zoning ordinance? I've typically seen them in zoning ordinances. The community I'm in now does not have any regulations, so I'm putting some together and I am curious where people put these regs. I think I want to put it in a non-zoning ordinance, since I think this is more of a nuisance matter as opposed to a land use issue.
    Make it a seperate ordinance if you can. Easier to enforce (someone else does it). I usually stick it in a vendors or business license code.

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