Wheaton residents may be limited to two garage sales per year
Wheaton residents may soon be limited to hosting only two garage sale per year, each for a maximum of two days.
The Wheaton City Council reviewed a proposed ordinance Monday that would modify the city's existing garage sale regulations.
"There are some homes in the city where people have stuff out on their lawn every weekend throughout the year, or at least throughout the summer months," said Councilman John Prendiville. "The neighborhoods are becoming a little bit upset with that, they think it is hurting the enjoyment of their property."
City Manager Don Rose added that this summer has been "different," with the number of "almost continuous garage sales, taking up the name of hoarder sales" becoming problematic in several neighborhoods.
While most of the proposed changes to the city code clarify existing practices, there is a significant change that limits the number of sales at any one location to two times in a calendar year.
Other prohibitions include operating a garage sale more than two consecutive days. Sales cannot be held before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m., and they are banned from being held on Sundays or on the public right of way.
Some signage requirements were also updated. The proposed ordinance says no signs or other forms of advertisement can be on display for more than one day prior to the day of the garage sale.
However, Councilmen Thor Saline and John Rutledge said they thought the amount of time signs could be on display should be lengthened.
"I would like to see a little more latitude for signs posted. My suggestion would be two or three days," Saline said. "Typical garage sales are Friday, Saturday in the neighborhoods, so if you have a sign out and posted it Thursday, could it not stay through Saturday?"
Rutledge added that he understood the objective of the proposed change, but would like to see the city do what it can "to not unduly burden residents."
Councilwoman Suzanne Fitch said she believes "there's definitely a problem to be addressed," but felt the proposed restrictions should be a little more "lenient."
Rose said city staff will consider making some changes to the proposed ordinance. The city council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, at city hall.