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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.

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”?

  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………………………

  16. BeachGuy says:

    Clint, $5 fore every time I have sex in my house??? Pretty sure I could afford that!!!

  17. Clint says:

    Here’s a suggest to the city council. Instead of trying to nickel and dime whats left of the local population, why not go make offers to 2 MAJOR corporations that were in the news yesterday that may be packing up their factories and moving to a more friendly state. Those corporations are ( in case you don’t listen to the news) Remington and Colt…..Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the old city back account if we could get these two companies to move to Palm Coast ?

  18. Witchy Mamma says:

    This seems a little over zealous. I don’t understand why they feel the need to regulate something as simple as Garage Sales. Something that has been done for generations. Especially since this new ‘registration’ process doesn’t address the problems they have listed. It does however create new ones.

    As PJ noted, it doesn’t account for new residents in the case that the previous residents already had their two allotted sales for the year. It also doesn’t account for Duplexes. Two addresses, same lot. So if my neighbors beat me to the punch they could have both and then I’m left without any options.

    I also think that two is a little stingy. I think four would be a better number. In our house we don’t only do ‘spring cleaning’ but fall, winter and summer cleaning as well. I would rather make a little money and help someone else out with low cost alternative than have it hauled off the city dump.

    Then there is parking… uh, sorry but this new policy doesn’t address that at all. Honestly, they could probably make more money for the city by issuing parking tickets to those inconsiderate people who park in the middle of the street or in a neighbors yard.

    As for signage… if I understand this correctly, they are now replacing home made signs with pretty PC ones that have their pretty little emblem on them. That makes this better? No. Prettier maybe, but the problem still remains. Again, if the inconsiderate dolts that hang the signs and then doesn’t take them down would just become responsible adults this wouldn’t be an issue. I also think that it would be better management, if we gave the sign enforcement crew the weekends off. That way we can have signs up on Saturday and Sunday as long as they aren’t placed until Sat and are removed by Sunday night. Enforcement crew goes back to work on Monday. The city saves on gas and wages for the weekend.

    I definitely think this is government reaching a little to far for sure.

  19. Anon says:

    No one has touched on the fact that the Code Enforcement Department is the largest in the city government. Yet they cannot enforce the city code. They don’t appear to have any issues enforcing any other city codes. So let me get this straight. The Code Enforcement Department CAN’T enforce the code regarding yard sales now but they will be able to enforce the code with this new ordinance. They can’t find yard sales and document the date and address without the new permit structure now they will be able to find yard sales with the new permit structure. It sounds like there are too many people on the payroll in Code Enforcement.

    Someone is full of it.

  20. Gia says:

    This fee is not high enough.

  21. sam8131 says:

    How about registering tupperware parties and mary kay parties? If signs are the problem, charge to post any signs. Or have the code enforcer write a ticket for the signs.

    Put it on the ballot!

    By the way, where are those jobs?

  22. Initialjoe says:

    I don’t know how I feel about this. I think 2 is too strict…maybe one a quarter would be better. At 5 dollars this is not a money maker, but I think it is a good thing for code enforcement and to keep our neighborhoods nice. I suppose I can see how people can abuse garage sales…

  23. sam8131 says:

    blah, blah, blah, blah. We know better than you. Give us more money! Eat your peas and shut up!

  24. Hillbilly delux says:

    Palmcoast suits got nothin better to do? Can’t even keep people in their houses

  25. Magicone says:

    Mayor Netts “blah, blah,blah” Code enforcement does not enforce the code for parking commercial vehicles in your driveway, overgrown conditions, recreational vehicles, boats on trailers, or just trailers they do not do anything unless it is reported to them. Let code enforcement officers pick up the left over yard sale signs it will give them something to do. 2 yard sales a year I agree with, but at $5 for each one, that is just another way to raise money for our overpaid code enforcement department.. If Palm Coast wanted to raise some money, put code enforcement officers to work at night and have them start fining people for parking commercial vehicles at home every night, parking on the lawn or the swale. Hint : if you want to park an recreational vehicle in your driveway; 3 days is allowable; if it has Florida tags (back it in) and those idiots that work for code enforcement won’t be able to tell where it is from. 3 days is allowable for a boat, does it take that long to rig your boat and unload your catch? There are boats in my neighborhood that are constantly in the driveway, very rarely in the water. The code enforcement board is accepting applications for another Board member. I should apply; I can do nothing just as well as the rest of the whole Code Enforcement Department. Code enforcement in Palm Coast is a joke! As well as a waste of our taxpayer money. This sitting city council is just sitting around trying to figure out a way to get their next pay raise at our expense.

  26. PJ says:

    well said witchie mama!

  27. Shelly says:

    Ill just pay my boys the 5 dollars and have them stand at the corner with my garage sale sign lol this is so stupid just another way to make money stop paying the guys to drive around and taking signs and you wont have to complain about the money it cost for them most people can take down their signs and for the people who cant fine them make a time signs have to be taken down then go from there! 2x a yr is stupid whats next I cant walk my dog more then once a day….

  28. Ben Blakely says:

    Are the overpaid, power crazed PC officials also going to require all drug dealers and dangerous gang members to register as well?

    What about all the burglers and crooks? Don’t they get to be registered as well?

    PC has decided to regulate all those dangerous garage sales and “TRACK THEM.:” What the heck is that all about? Track them? For what purpose? And where does it end? How involved does PC government get in your life.
    Just make sure you wash your hands after you take a dump. PC officials are tacking you.

    This is just the beginning. The greedy slime ball politicians will have you taking a course and an exam to get the ‘right’ to have a garage sale next.

    Welcome to obam’as leftist big, bigger, biggest government in Palm Coast.

    As PC government grows, your rights and freedoms SHRINK.

  29. says:

    just think the mayor came form the north, no jobs but garage sale regulations, again i say the city council council and the mayor do not have the intelligence to attract corporations to the city, than agian the old population do not want any industry here so our young high school graduates will not come back after college and i do not blame them

  30. DP says:

    @ Magnolia
    Oh I voted, not for these knuckle heads, @ Clint don’t give them anymore ideas that might just happen. And to top it off these fools just raised our storm water fee’s 46%. Just like our government is going down the drain, let’s continue to tax its citizens, take away our guns, and freedoms of speech, dictate what our children have to wear @ school, sounds like socialism at its finest. Let’s just keep pounding the citizens, with times how they are, and the highest unemployment in the state PALM COAST won’t have any tax payers left. Time to move.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Is this what’s important to our City Council ? No wonder only 5% vote. If the the city is so riled up about Garage Sales an d folks mowin their yard, I suggest that each section of Palm Coast form it’s own home owners association and let us monitor ourselves. The last thing we need is another fee, tax or someone down at city hall being paid to do this task. The City has a lot bigger fish to fry than to be concern about this. We need smaller city city government, and keep the city out of it. Such a waste.

  32. Anonymous 2 says:

    Theres other ways to post you garage sale that is hard for them to catch social sites(dont want to name on here) in palm coast and you can use messaging for your address…. and why are they putting so much money into trying to track garage sales when our schools need money or they could put in towards the storm water fees and it wouldnt have too go up 46%!!!!!

  33. David B says:

    Once again our elected official are making something like this an issue. I think it’s about time that each section of Palm Coast forms its own homeowners association and start monitoring ourselves. We don’t need the city to tell us how many garage sales to have. or when to mow our yards. This is such a waste of taxpayers money. The emphasis is to have a smaller city government, and less involvement in how to run our neighborhoods. This should be left up to the neighborhoods homeowner association to have rules and regulations.The City has far bigger fish to fry.

    • ryan says:

      Just leave people alone who have garage sales. Let;s worry about crime instead. Homeowner’s associations tend to take advantage of their power and allows neighbors to walk around with a pen and pad and nit pick people to death, same thing the city is doing, so they are the last thing we need.

  34. Maryann says:

    Who’s regulating the political signs that are STILL up? And they are worried about garage sale signs. I half agree with this process. Registering the garage sale – fine. Two a year – fine. Listing on the website – fine. Issuing the signs – fine. However – Let the person put the signs up around the block on the main road, etc. Their address is on the sign. When they are not down, another $5 fine. Otherwise, give THEM the opportunity to retreive them. I don’t see a single politician taking their ugly signs down. Why are we spending so much ridiculous time on garage sale rules and regulations? It’s hard times on some – this could be some of their means to eat.

  35. Joan Benish Binder says:

    Its one more example of government control .. And i agree about the campaign signs all over town looking trashy.. But that is acceptable?

  36. Anonymous says:

    I have lived in palm coast for over one year and I go to garage sales. I am not sure who came up with the two a year. Is this some magical number? Doubtful! . Traffic is very seldom a problem that I have witnessed. We do not park in the middle of the street blocking traffic, we pull to the side without going into the grass leaving the street open. Most that have garage sales are moving out of palm coast, even out of florida, having a garage sale lets them make a little money but it also keeps items out of the landfill. Maybe the council should do some fact finding before they enact a law. Make people responsible for removing their sign, if they don’t then give them a fine. How much money is spent paying someone on the weekend (is that overtime or time and a half), wasting fuel to remove signs is a waste in itself.

  37. tulip says:

    Here’s an idea—-Residents are allowed to have 2 yard sales a year. Let the resident get a FREE permit for each of the 2 yard sales. After that, if someone wants to go over the limit charge a $100 fee. That would stop a lot of it, and give the honest ones a break.

  38. Geezer says:

    Our bully government at work!

  39. ryan says:

    Those evil people that abuse having garage sales. What a joke! It doesn’t ruin the neighborhoods. I say if these people want to nit pick people to death, move to a homeowner’s association neighborhood where they can walk around with a pen and pad and make up lies to get people fined.

    You can thank our city council and their solidarity with our scam artist redevelopment agencies. That is why the infrastructure has gone to hell and why some of our shopping centers are almost ghost towns. Most of the tax revenue goes to these agencies. This is more of that up north type of complaining which has led to the policies that have rendered our town with such a “not welcome” atmosphere and businesses fleeing.

  40. ryan says:

    Also, sometimes people cannot sell everything in one weekend, so they try again the next weekend, and if that makes the difference between food or keeping the power bill paid or not, this rule would screw them.

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