Yard sales can be a great place to troll for treasures -- or a way for residents to dump their trash.
In Norwalk, some sales lasted so long it was hard to tell whether the residents were just trying to peddle some old household items or running a side business.
"When your furniture's out for a month, it's not a business," councilman Dwight Tkach said during a council meeting earlier this week.
Norwalk already had a policy in place to regulate yard sales, but it was being abused at some households, said Tkach, a downtown business owner.
The city amended its ordinance to limit yard sales to four per year at the same location. Each sale at that address must be at least 30 days apart, and sales can't last longer than four days.
Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch said some people expressed concern that certain yard sales were competing with local businesses -- essentially operating as unlicensed vendors.
"It's hard to identify when a business is a business, not a hobby," she said.
The change in wording should clear up the confusion and make the regulations easier to enforce, Lesch said.
Norwalk residents were already required to have permits, while signs for the sales must be taken down within 24 hours after the sale. If they fail to comply, residents could be hit with a fine of up to $150.
Sandusky discussed a similar ordinance this year, but city leaders determined they didn't have the manpower to enforce it.
City commissioner Dave Waddington said in the spring he received a handful of complaints from residents about stoves or furniture rusting in front yards for weeks, creating an eyesore.
"Neighbors don't like it, and they have a right to complain," Waddington said. "We could have someone go out and probably stop it ... but with our budget constraints, everybody's already doing more."
When Sandusky officials hear several complaints about a particular property, the city's law director can call the resident and ask them to keep their sale close to the house, away from public sidewalks.
So far, residents have cooperated with that request, Waddington said.