AUGUSTA — The city may limit the duration of yard sales to a maximum of three days and to no more than six per year.

Some city councilors expressed support for the proposal last week, though others had reservations. The proposed yard sale ordinance, which would also apply to garage sales and church yard sales, is expected to go back to councilors Thursday for the first of two readings required for approval.

Ward 4 Councilor Anna Blodgett proposed the ordinance in an effort to prevent ongoing, sometimes year-round yard sales.

“It’s not really restrictive. I think it is common sense and it protects everybody,” Blodgett said.

The proposal is much simpler than a previous proposal that would have required anyone having a yard sale to acquire a permit from the city to do so.

The new proposed ordinance, according to Matt Nazar, development director, doesn’t require permits and would be enforced only when a complaint about a yard sale leads to an investigation that determines a rules violation occurred.

“There is no permit required for this,” said At-Large Councilor Jeffrey Bilodeau, who, when the previous proposal was discussed by councilors in July, said that more burdensome version’s imposition of requiring residents to get permits for a yard sale was over-regulation. “This is just for those who decide, for eight months, they want to have a yard sale. I don’t have any issue with it.”

Ward 2 Councilor Darek Grant said he’s on the fence about the ordinance, saying he’s worried limiting each sale to three days could make it harder for people who are moving to have a sale long enough to sell as many items as they might hope. He also questioned the extent of the problem of continuous yard sales.

“I haven’t heard this is a problem,” Grant said. “I’ll think about this. I just moved and think having an extra day or two (more than three days to have a yard sale) would be helpful. I don’t want to burden people who are moving.”

City Manager William Bridgeo said the city does get a few calls from people complaining about ongoing yard sales. He said last week he could think of two or three that were going on “right now.”

Matt Nazar, development director, said city workers will not be out looking for yard sales or counting the number of days they take place. He said enforcement of the ordinance would take place when complaints about a property prompt an investigation, which he said is the case for enforcement of some other city zoning rules as well.

He said the three-day limit would allow what he said is a typical Friday-Saturday-Sunday yard sale.

The ordinance would also require people who have yard sales to remove the items they had for sale and any advertising for it at the conclusion of the sale. The items, the ordinance states, “shall be properly stored” after the sale ends.

Blodgett said there have been some ongoing yard sales in the city where the property owners leave the items that were out for sale in their yards around the clock.

Nazar said the city has no regulations on yard or garage sales now, so there is no specific limit on their duration or frequency.

At this year’s Manchester Town Meeting, residents approved a yard sale ordinance that restricts the sales to a maximum of three consecutive days and to no more than six sales at any single property or by any resident per year.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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