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Published: Wednesday, 3/9/2005

Genoa: Garage sale rules weighed by council

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Genoa residents may soon need a permit if they want to sell vintage clothes, toys their kids outgrew, or surplus holiday decorations.

Because garage sales have become so popular in Genoa, Village Council members are thinking about passing an ordinance to regulate them.

Village Law Director Peter Gwyn said council is considering the ordinance because garage sales can sometimes get out of hand, or some people abuse them by essentially running a business out of their garage.

"This is an attempt to put limits on them," he said.

If the ordinance passes, residents will be required to obtain a permit, which will be free, from the village before they plan to hold the garage sale.

They would be prohibited from holding more than three sales a year, and would not be able to have a garage sale for more than four consecutive days.

Residents would be able to put up to four signs advertising the garage sale 24 hours in advance of the sale, and the signs would be allowed to remain up only during the hours of the sale and 24 hours after the sale. They would not be permitted to be larger than 4 square feet, and would not be allowed in the public right of way, on utility poles, or on street or traffic signs.

Councilman David Adams said there have been problems with signs remaining up, or posted illegally, in the past, necessitating the ordinance.

"Without something on record, we have no control over the situation," he said. "It was a problem of abuse."

Anyone violating the ordinance would be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and fined no more than $150.

When village council gave the ordinance a first reading in February, several residents spoke against the restrictions. One resident presented a petition with 415 signatures opposing the ordinance Monday night.

"We don't like it. We don't want it," said village resident Joanne Bankertz about the ordinance.

Kym Diekman, 920 Washington St., said she agrees with the rules regarding the size of signs, but doesn't see the logic in having to obtain a permit.

"I just think it's silly that you have to get a permit," she said. "It seems like they want a permit for everything in this town. Where does it end?"

Kym Diekman, 920 Washington St., said she agrees with the rules regarding the size of signs, but doesn't see the logic in having to obtain a permit.

"It seems like they want a permit for everything in this town. Where does it end?" she said.

She doesn't want to have to ask for permission to have a garage sale.

Ms. Diekman said she can understand some people having problems with those who seem to have continuous garage sales, but said there aren't any in her neighborhood.

"I don't have a problem with that, but I can see how it would bother people if it was all the time," she said. "To each their own."

In other action, council recently passed an ordinance creating a director of public safety position.

The director of public safety has the authority of the mayor to supervise the police department on the mayor's behalf, and Mayor Tom Perry recently appointed Village Administrator George Adams to the position.

Mr. Adams' salary will remain the same, but Mr. Gwyn said it may be increased.



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