Some yard sales just seem to last forever

While there was agreement at Monday night’s Warren City Council meeting that perpetual yard sales shouldn’t be permitted, what has to be done to stop such sales isn’t so clear.

City Manager Nancy Freenock said that a continual yard sale has been occurring at 291 Prospect St. Councilman John Lewis noted that another perpetual sale is located at 317 Prospect St.

City Solicitor Andrea Stapleford said one of the steps that council could take would be to pass an ordinance to limit the frequency and duration of yard sales “so they aren’t ongoing every day.”

She added, “We can put some limits on those by an ordinance that would apply to every property in the city” but noted she was not sure whether anything is currently on the books.

“I think you’ll find we do have one,” Mayor Mark Phillips said.

Lewis said that he believed the issue was addressed by council in 2003 or 2004, but acknowledged, “It’s been a while.” Councilman Sam Harvey said that ordinance is “in the book of ordinances that is at the library in the reference room.”

“I’m in favor of people having household sales,” Councilman Jim Zavinski said, “but when you have stuff in your yards and porches day in and day out then we should do something.”

City Building Code Official Alan Gustafson said that another way to address the issue would be by deeming the sales excessive clutter under the nuisance ordinance.