Garage sales

As the weather gets nicer, the city of St. Albans is reminding residents to get their permit if they plan to have a yard sale. But what are the rules surrounding yard sales?

St. Albans director of planning and development, Chip Sawyer, says the permit system has been around since 1997.

The Messenger spoke with Sawyer on Friday:

1. What is the purpose of yard sale permits?

We love our yard sales in Franklin County, and they can draw quite a crowd! The yard sale rule was put in effect back in 1997. Our understanding is that the rule was a result of a need to deal with properties that were having nearly “perpetual” yard sales and affecting traffic and quality of life in the neighborhood. The yard sale rule basically has the same zoning in limiting commercial uses in residential areas, and we use it to make sure that folks limit their sales to no more than 4 times per year at a max of 10 days per stretch.

2. What gathering limits, if any, exist for yard sales in St. Albans?

I am not aware of any gathering limits for yard sales. If the sheer number of people and cars becomes an issue at a location, we would deal with that on a case by case basis.

3. Are there any issues commonly reported to the city involving yard sales?

Over the past several years, we have responded to a few complaints of people seeming to have something for sale on their lawn on a regular basis, and we have directed those folks to get a yard sale permit and follow the rules. But overall the existence of the rule has helped to discourage any activities that would lead to complaints.

4. How are the rules enforced?

We’re big on compliance. Normally we don’t have to enforce these rules and typically all we have to do is say there’s a permit.

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