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City Looks to Limit Yard, Garage Sales

Council considering a measure that would regulate the sales.

There are very few limits on yard sales and garage sales in Lakewood.

That could all change with an ordinance working its way through city council.

Last week, the introduced an ordinance to council that would put some restrictions on garage and yard sales in the city.

Council president said that it’s a discussion that council is “taking seriously.” 

“Garage sales in the summer are an American pastime,” Madigan said. “We’re not out to stop the fun commerce of yard sales. But we’re having a good conversation about limiting them.”

Madigan said there have been several homes in Lakewood known to host "chronic garage sales.” 

“We’re trying to accomplish a more orderly series of garage sales,” she said. “If you’re going to have a commercial enterprise you can’t have it in a residential neighborhood.”

Compared to some of Lakewood’s neighbors, the city has few limitations on garage/yard sales, according to a data compiled by the law department.

For example, Lakewood does not limit the number of sales a resident can have each year — most communities cap the number at two or three. 

Also, Lakewood doesn’t regulate how many consecutive days a sale can take place.

Essentially, residents can host a garage sale every day.

All of that may change.

“This is the beginning of a very long conversation,” said Madigan. “People have asked ‘don’t’ you have anything better to do?’ But you can’t have a garage sale from April to October.”

Law Director Kevin Butler said he would expect some changes to be made to the proposal before any vote is taken.

“There’s no rush on any of this,” said Butler. “Whatever the committee suggest is going to be a good thing.”

Robert Mihaly June 28, 2012 at 05:19 PM
While it is reasonable to question a resident having nearly continuous garage sales, the limits that have been proposed seem entirely too restrictive. I like garage sales, but I've never held one. Having a garage sale is a major undertaking. Limiting it to 2 days, instead of Thursday through Saturday, seems to overstep what's necessary. Similarly, restricting the number in a year to 2 looks like the work of busybodies. Lakewood Council seems to always choose the most heavy-handed approach first and rarely makes things better, even when it proves unworkable or unfair. It's time for the Council to be reasonable or move on and find a real problem to address. Who knows how many burgeoning small businesses could be dissuaded from locating in Lakewood by policies like this? I'm certainly thinking twice about it.
bill s August 09, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I love the idea of holding our Lakewood neighborhoods to high standards as the east end, especially ward 4, has been going down hill for a decade now. The more we have of community upkeep laws the better off renters and homeowners alike will be. I must say, however, that limiting garage sales on our street would also limit our entertainment. By this I mean that every year a neighbor of ours (2 houses down on Ridgewood Ave) holds a garage sale of no more than 15 worthless items and we get a kick out of watching, from our apartment window, he and his girlfriend wait for someone to come buy their junk. They are on the 4th day now (a Monday and Tuesday garage sale? really?), and we have yet to see a single customer. Normally, we do not make a habit of laughing at others' misfortunes and inabilities but this is so rediculously funny (yet very sad) each year that it would be a shame to take this away from us. This particular garage sale entertains us, please don't take it away !! Yes, we have bouht pitty items from them the past few years. This is not meant to belittle these weird but harmless people, this is meant to save our entertainment !!
Kristine DuPont September 06, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I agree with the limit as it pertains to the amount of sales per year. That being said, they are a lot of work and I think that a homeowner who hosts a sale should have the opportunity to sell their unwanted goods from Thursday through Sunday. This gives an opportunity for more sales over the weekend and also ends the sale the day before trash pick-up, giving the homeowner a way to dispose of unsold goods, keeping these items from becoming unsightly yard ornaments! If the city wants to put its' efforts into a more effective cause, they should really take a good hard look at the standards at which they hold property owners of rental units to. One reason for the large percentage of rentals in the city may well be the ease of being a slum lord with out too much regulation.

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