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Palm Coast Will Require Garage Sales to Be Registered and Pay $5 Fee to Ensure Tracking

| August 28, 2012

Some Palm Coast City Council members consider garage sales nuisances, when they begin to be chronic features of certain lots. The city is taking stronger tracking measures. (Palm Coast)

Palm Coast is about to change the rules controlling garage sales. Soon, you will no longer be allowed to have a garage sale without registering it with the city, enabling city government to track the frequency and locations of your garage sales. That’s to ensure that certain rules already in place arte better followed, city officials say.

If you live in Palm Coast, you are already limited to two garage sales per year, per lot. You can only have a garage sale for two consecutive days, and only between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Those rules are in the city’s code.

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They’re not necessarily followed. By 8 a.m., garage sale connoisseurs will tell you that the best hunting is already over: most garage sales break out the goods at dawn. Also, the Palm Coast administration believes that there’s enough of a problem with residents holding more than two garage sales per lot within a calendar year that it’s time to regulate them further.

“What we’re proposing is a way that we can better track these garage sales,” Nestor Abreu, community development director said, “and ensure that they are no more than twice a year and are consistent with all the other things that are already in our code.” The city, he said, saw “an opportunity to make this program more than just a bureaucratic how-do-we-better-manage-it, but see how better we can do to improve garage sales.”

For example, you will no longer be able to have as many garage sales as you please by ignoring the ordinance’s limit. You will not be allowed to have a garage sale without registering it with city government ahead of time. You will be required to pay a $5 fee for each sale. The garage sale will be listed on the city’s website. It will help treasure hunters, the city believes, and make the operation more efficient. People holding garage sales will be allowed to list, on their website listing through the city, certain items they’re putting up for sale. It will also give the city documented evidence of where and when any lot will have held a garage sale, thereby presumably eliminating the possibility that a homeowner will claim innocence when confronted with the charge that he or she is on a third or fourth garage sale within a calendar year.

The city will make it easy. You can apply online or by phone, and make payments either online, by phone, at city offices or through your utility fee.

frank meeker palm coast city council

Frank Meeker. (© FlaglerLive)

The city will also give you its own, branded garage-sale sign (with Palm Coast’s “find your Florida” logo in the upper-left corner), with the given address printed on the sign. The city is not requiring you to have its own signs, however, but it’s still prohibited to post your garage-sale signs anywhere beyond your own lot. All those garage sale signs on utility posts, in right-of-ways, on fences? Illegal. Those who break the rules face citations from the code enforcement department.

But it’s not as if having a garage sale without telling the city will get you in trouble, if and when found out. Assuming you’re having a sale and a code enforcement officer sees it, the officer will register it on the spot rather than issue any sort of citation—unless, of course, there’s documented evidence that there’s been more than two garage sales on that lot.

“I’m not that crazy about it being permitted,” Frank meeker, the council member, said. “Those that want to hold three or four, we can catch them through code enforcement anyway.” Meeker wanted tracking limited to either code enforcement taking note of garage sales, or through neighbors’ accumulating complaints. Jim Landon, the city manager, said the city prefers to call the system a registration, not a permit. Other council members disagreed with Meeker, saying the tracking mechanism was key.

“I personally can’t see why this would be objectionable to anybody unless you want to talk about the $5,” Landon said.

Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, DeLand, and Port Orange, among Palm Coast’s neighbors, all have a registration process, though some allow for three garage sales as opposed to two.

Jason DeLorenzo. (© FlaglerLive)

Jason DeLorenzo. (© FlaglerLive)

“We currently pick up 500 illegal garage sale signs a month,” council member DeLorenzo, who’s pushed the hardest for stronger garage sale regulations, said. “We’re spending a ton of money on code enforcement every weekend, going out and cleaning up all this stuff. What it does, if you drive around town, just go near a stop sign, telephone poles, they’re littered with stuff falling down, right? We’re giving the citizens the opportunity to go this way, but have maps, advertising, everything to get them to the house that has successful garage sales, save the rest of the citizens who are not interested in garage sales a lot of money because we’re not doing as much code enforcement clean-up on the weekends, and we’re protecting our neighborhoods from having multiple garage sales, which cause traffic conditions and people ins swales.”

The city can still make garage sales more convenient for treasure hunters now, with the proposed registration process, Meeker said—as long as it wasn’t mandatory. But his argument carried little weight as other council members, including DeLorenzo and Bill Lewis, termed garage sales a “nuisance.”

“It’s all about enforcement,” Landon said. “People who are holding one garage sale every five years, this isn’t about them. Only thing this does for them is provide the resources there to help people find their location. What this does though is when you have the people who do it on a regular basis, you now can go to your code board and say, they did not have a permit and they’re violating the ordinance, versus well, they didn’t register, registration is voluntary.” It makes it “much cleaner when you have something you’re trying to enforce through a formal process to say permit or not permit,” Landon added.

To Bill McGuire, another council member, the problem is traffic: often people stop in middle of streets to shop at their garage sales. The proposal doesn’t address that problem. But he wasn’t opposed to the permitting and registration process.

“You can argue, oh my god it’s more government, more big brother, blah blah blah,” Mayor Jon nets said. “On the other hand it’s the only way the city can deal with what appears to be a legitimate problem.”

The council will vote on the new ordinance at its next meeting, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, giving the public a chance to weigh in, though the council’s votes for it appear to be a lock.

Other than DeLorenzo’s anecdotal number of garage sale signs every weekend, the city, while looking to document residents’ garage-sale habits, provided no documented evidence of its own of the extent of what it presented as a problem.

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47 Responses for “Palm Coast Will Require Garage Sales to Be Registered and Pay $5 Fee to Ensure Tracking”

  1. Sheri Bradfield says:

    This is what is important to Palm Coast City Council members – regulating garage sales?
    And there are no documented facts or data to support the “legitimate problem”?


    • Scott Adams says:

      Your city is retarded…come to flagler beach if you need to have a yard sale I’ll let you do it at my house.


  2. Harry says:

    This is one of those laws that a City hates to have to adopt but unfortunately without it, some neighbors will have garage sale every other weekend. Some will even bring in used merchandise and start operating a salvage business from their garage. I do think twice a year is a little too strict.


  3. BeachGuy says:

    What a lovely quote from our Mayor: “You can argue, oh my god it’s more government, more big brother, blah blah blah.” How disgusting can one get?


  4. Magnolia says:

    What is the matter with our council? They’ll bend over backwards to allow a builder to rape the place but want their last pound of flesh from a group of homeowners trying to make a buck to pay the bills???

    THIS is what you get when nobody votes. These are the people who arrest small children for having the nerve and audacity to open a lemonade stand without their permission.

    Yeegads, somebody SAVE US from these idiots.


  5. Mike L says:

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. Why should the city care? The signs should be allowed in certain areas so long as they are removed in a timely manner. I myself have a garage sale once in a while and it’s impossible to get a good crowd when the city takes down your signs 5 minutes after you put them up. If the sign isn’t taken take as soon as the sale is over, fine the person. That’s pretty fair.


    • michelle says:

      So true!! But they can have 100 political signs on 1 corner up for months!!


      • Anonymous says:

        oh yes…how disgusting to see 30 political signs all jammed together if anyone pays attention or sees who is running because it is just a big mess of signs and an eye sore and a distraction. Also they stand on corners holding signs during election time…also what a distraction!! My husband was rearended because someone was busy waving and honking at the political sign holders as my husband was at a light!!! But this is ok!!?? why is this ok but a few yard sale signs are not!!! Sickening!!!


    • flip it says:

      on the money!! twice a year I think is dumb..but YES!!! let those lil guys driving around making sure lawns are cut ,grab that sign left and go to the house and FINE them!! There is the money they want…not this weak $5 buck a clip only TWICE a year.


  6. Clint says:

    Well whats next good people of Palm Coast…..$5.00 charge for every FLUSH of your toilet ? Maybe its going to be a $5.00 charge every time you have sex in your house.


    • Flagler Native says:

      @Clint…Maybe its going to be a $5.00 charge every time you have sex in your house. I’m goin’ broke then…LOL


  7. Maryjoe says:

    So they’ve identified the issues as being signs left up everywhere and traffic. And they then proceeded to put something in place that addresses neither. heheh…. at lease Netts got the blah, blah, blah right.


  8. question says:

    “still prohibited to post your garage-sale signs anywhere beyond your own lot..”.

    If garage sale shoppers have made it to your house…and SEE the sale…isn’t that a TAD late for a SIGN? What’s the point at that point. One of the stupidest things I have ever heard …nay…down right stomping on a great American tradition…the all-American Garage Sale. Can’t post a sign on the nearest active corner to get customers to your house…! No, that’s just not right!

    However, also not nice if people are little piggies and don’t go and take down those signs at the end of the day. So, here is a proposal – BEFORE these rules are carved in stone: a trial period to see if people can be responsible garage sale citizens.

    Not understanding who has enough stuff for more than 2 garage sales a year. What % of homes are having more than 2 per yr? Really a huge #…or like the non-existent voter ‘fraud’ ruse to suppress votes……00007% ?

    Might save the City a lot of wasted staff time permitting garage sales…if we can keep it to 2 and people DO take down their own signs.

    Geesh…we are in trouble if we can’t self-handle garage sales without tax-payer $ having to be spent.


  9. question says:

    and P.S. Be a good neighbor…NO parking on ANYONE’S lawn.


  10. rickg says:

    @Clint… Wow I could invision even more jobs being created to investigate in house sex. :-)


  11. rickg says:

    And I must state in full disclosure that I do not live in Palm Coast… Now I don’t just state that to be correct, I state it to my exhilaration…. Let us all pity those who live there….


  12. w.ryan says:

    How is passing this law going to change our quality of life? Quite honestly, garage sales don’t bother me. In these hard times this is a good way for some of us to make a couple of extra bucks to help. Money is generated and items and potential garbage is recycled all in PC. The argument by City Council is moot. It seems to me the city has created more work for code enforcers and have passed work on to other staffers. Plus they have imposed a tax on its citizens all because of pleasing some high strung constituent. If the same signs and addresses are up repeatedly then enforce. This is like school uniforms!


  13. patty says:

    City Council members, Get a Life!!!!! Stop being so petty and pleeease do something BIG for a change to make Palm Coast a better place to live in. In my 10 years here, I have never once held a garage sale nor do I ever intend to. Yet I believe you have provided no emperical evidence and ergo no real justification for imposing this silly rule. This the silliest decision following a host of others such as 62 cameras in such a small town, ban on truckers who bring in much needed revenue to the city, killing home based bakeries, etc. etc. Big government in a small town! Like another poster said, what next, imposing a tax on the number of toilet flushes? Sheesh.


  14. Joe says:

    Well now that the 75 thousand dollar a year economic development lady is turning out to be a bust, I guess they had to dig pretty deep to find a way to recoup some of the money somehow…..


  15. PJ says:

    Mayor Netts said it the best “blah, blah blah” this is exactly what every resident thinks about you, Landon and the rest of the city council. …………..”blah, blah blah back at ya……..

    Give people the chance to earn a few bucks during the worst economy since 1929.

    People usually have garage sales because they need it and could use the money. Why would you not have some consideration to those folks.

    Here are a few things that make it simple, allow up to no more than four a annually at one location by the current owner.

    Pay for right of way sinage by charging a good fee for it and removal by the purchaser or be charged for removal by code enforcement.

    You city council members don’t address the fact that someone may move out that had two sales at that address. My guess is your ordinance does not address that issue of the next/new owner at the same address?

    DeLorenzo like usual you don’t think it all the way through. Please re-read the ordinance when you have to speak on them this help your communication skills.

    One last thing is this the best you all can do is to address a tag sale?
    Another sad note from our city council that does nothing but what Landon and Netts wants you all to do………………………


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