People violating yard sale ordinance through ignorance, or deliberately

A yard sale sign illegally placed on a city utility pole. This was during the previous year.
May 15th, 2021     Featured News General News

Yard sales are becoming a problem again in New Albany.

Some are essentially retail sales under the guise of yard sales while others simply don’t follow the city ordinance and can present nuisances.

Officials are encountering individuals who try to obtain multiple permits by getting them under different names, but this violates the ordinance as well.

City code enforcement officer Eric Thomas said they had few problems this past year because the pandemic put a damper on yard sales generally.

This year, with mostly good weather, there has been a resurgence of the sales.

Some people may be violating the ordinance out of ignorance while others do so knowingly.

Thomas said ordinances allow residents to have one yard sale every 90 days and the sale can be in any type of municipal zoning.

A residential permit is $5 and is good for three consecutive days, but not Sundays.

If the sale is on commercial property the permit costs $15 and the seller must be able to provide written permission by the property owner or tenant.

If the sale is on a shopping center or other lot with multiple businesses, there must be written permission from every business owner there.

Also, there can only be one sale every 90 days on such a parking lot, no matter how many businesses are there.

If weather forces cancellation of a sale on a day, the person can call the code enforcement office to have the permit extended.

Yard sale signs are permitted on the private property where the sale is occurring only and no signs of any sort are permitted on city property and utility poles particularly. This part of the ordinance is blatantly ignored and officials remove signs when they see them.

Businesses or other groups may hold sales as well as individuals.

Although it happens rarely, violation of the yard sale ordinance is a misdemeanor, which can bring a fine of several hundred dollars, some jail time, or both.

The permits are available at City Hall. Call 662-534-1010.

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