The Coastal Star

Boca Raton: City cracking down on garage sale ‘businesses’

By Steve Plunkett

Starting next spring, homeowners will be able to hold only two weekend garage sales a year, or four days in all, and must get a free permit beforehand from the city.
Brandon Schaad, Boca Raton’s development services director, said issuing permits would let the city keep track of how many times a particular resident holds a garage sale.
“There’s been some complaints received by the city regarding excessive numbers of garage sales held on some properties, to the extent that on some properties they essentially constitute a business operation,” Schaad told City Council members at their Oct. 10 meeting.
The frequent sales cause parking problems and noise for neighbors, Schaad said. Council members unanimously approved an enabling ordinance.
Schaad said his department would spend the next six months educating residents on the new requirements. After the outreach program ends, violators will receive one warning and face a $150 fine for a second occurrence. Permits will be available online and at City Hall.
“The whole point is not to make it difficult for regular residents,” Mayor Scott Singer said.
Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers asked if Development Services could publish the list of garage sale permits so shoppers could plan their trips.
“It gives a way to publicly advertise for free in the city what yard sales are going on. … In that way we’re adding value I think,” Rodgers said.
In other business, council members authorized the sale of $36.7 million in capital improvement bonds to be paid back with proceeds from the county’s 1-cent sales tax. The bond money will finance projects that include Lake Wyman Park, Wildflower Park and Silver Palm Park.

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