Lakewood City Council is considering in the city.
However, the details are still being ironed out.
Council’s housing committee weighed some options at a meeting at on Monday night.
“Either we stick with this language, and we allow the desires from one administration to the next to determine enforcement, or we can make it more exclusive,” said law director Kevin Butler, who introduced the measure to council.
“I ask that city council develop a community standard.”
The opinions of the committee members were varied — with some suggesting the proposed ordinance is too harsh on the sales, while others noted that it doesn’t go far enough.
But they all agreed that the city needs some rules on the books.
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.
According to the amended proposal, residents would only be permitted to have four garage/yard sales per year; the sale would be required to take place at the rear of the property; and signs would need to be smaller than 5-square feet and displayed only one day prior to the sale.
“What will this do that our current nuisance ordinances won’t do?” asked committee chair David Anderson, referring to “chronic” garage sales.
Butler responded: “There is no general nuisance ordinance that would (prevent) repeat garage sales. Garage sales are generally accepted and not widely considered to be a nuisance.”
Ward 4 councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan said garage sales are an “American pastime,” but added that there needs to be some regulation.
“My concern isn’t the sign before the sale, it’s the junk left by exhausted and lazy people after the sale. We have to be serious, clear and creative with this.”
Ward 3 councilman Shawn Juris said he’d prefer to limit the sales to two per year.
“Garage sales in 2012 are relatively outdated,” he said. “We have second-hand stores, we have eBay and we have Craigslist. While it may be time-tested and nostalgic, it’s not something I think we need to hold on to … I think there should be two per year and I think they should be in the garage.”
Residents in attendance also had differing opinions.
Some shared concerns that frequent garage sales in the neighborhood could drive down their property values.
Lakewood resident Christina Ward took a different perspective. She said limiting garage sales to the backyard is “ridiculous.”
“This regulation is going to get a lot of people mad,” she said.
Council is set to discuss the issue again at its next meeting.