Communities consider limits on yard sales

NORWALK 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.
Annie Zelm
Jun 21, 2010



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.






swiss family

 I think that along  with putting a cap on how many  sales you can have, they also need to enact legislation  about where and how the posters can be displayed.. and at what point someone needs to remove the signs after the sale... I have seen garage sale signs that are on telephone poles all summer long, and look dingy and trashy... there should be a penalty for not removing them. and for putting them on street signs, and telephone poles


After turning left from Milan Rd onto Bogart Rd heading west, the first residential house on the right has had a "garage sale" every day for five months straight except the days they put up the "closed" sign.  Ridiculous.


What is taking Sandusky so long to decide to clean up Sandusky?  Garage sales go on forever.  WE NEED MORE CLEANUP IN THIS TOWN!  If it were not for Eire County, Sandusky would still  have a lot of trashy houses still setting around. 

Kottage Kat

Garage sales in Norwalk have been regulated in the past. You had to get a permit, and they were to last for no more than 3 days.  Not sure who is going to monitor this, I live on private property so it is not a problem for me.


Yellow Snow

One person sells at a huge loss, compared to what they paid for their items. 

Said person has a sale and sells for approximaltely 15% of what they paid to a person who is trilled for a great bargain.  I'm just guess here, but that sounds like a LOSS not a money gain.

Huron County has the highest unemployment rate, and also list more garage sales than all surrounding communities combined. Think there's a connection? 

If it weren't for garage sales, there'd be no reason to go to Norwalk.


6079 Smith W

I've been in places where the unemployment rate is higher than that of Huron Co. and many of the yard signs read "Antiques."

It ain't "junk" - it's an antique!

“If I’m not mistaken that’s a rare Early WalMart entertainment center.”


Maybe take the soon-to-be-vacant Valu King building and turn it into an indoor flea market?

Increasingly Norwalk needs all the tax revenue and personal income it can get - a sad state of affairs.






I'd say it's a nice, legal way to make some extra money when so many people are not working.   I guess people just aren't supposed to eat in the U.S. very sad.


Just Bring It, REALLY, BINGO,

Most of the buildings uptown Norwalk, That are open Have old things in them for sale.

It's like E-Bay in real life..

I guess the yard sales are taking money away from the store's uptown.

P.S. I Really love the big tree in my front yard.

Maybe i should put up a big sign on myside of the tree so nobody from the road could see it & tell the big shots in Norwalk where they can stick it.

yard sales are not to last more that 4days

9am -8pm

30days before you can have your next sale no posting on poles in raoad way.

and so on and so on Theres rules for yardsales in Norwalk,

What there's not are LOTS & LOTS of high paying jobs like there was 4 years ago

P.S. Going Going Gone What A Ghost Town, REALLY




Ordinarily I would agree with the city on this, but people would not be running extended sales like this unless they HAD to.  Think about it--they obviously aren't working if they are having a yard sale 5 days a week.

Yard sales aren't really profitable, but it does liquify your assets when the need arises.   They aren't really fun to do--you ask for 20% of what you paid for an item, and someone comes along and offers you 12%, and you take it just so that you can sell something.  

I think the city should just leave this be for the time being, and maybe before next summer discuss it.  Don't take away an unemployed person's only legitimate source of income at times like this.