City proposes yard sale changes

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brewton would have new yard sale rules and a new, designated flea market area under an ordinance proposed Tuesday.

The ordinance would create a flea market on city property on the northwest corner of Mildred Street, in a tree-lined area just before the bridge, City Clerk John Angel said. Ten spaces would be available for rent for $10 per day.

Yard sales on business property would require the permission of the business owner and a $150 permit; yard sales at residences would remain free with a permit. Residential yard sales would remain limited to three per year.

“In no way is this coming from the city to try to discourage yard sales,” city councilman Dennis Dunaway said. “We feel like this puts everybody on a level playing field with businesses.”

Yard sales are permitted to sell personal property — that is, not merchandise for resale or hand-made items, according to the ordinance.

Dunaway said farmers who sell produce on roadsides will not be affected by the ordinance.

“If anything, I think it will enhance their sales” to have the designated flea market area, he said.

According to the proposed ordinance, yard sales will be allowed at the Mildred Street site from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with permits available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“(Permits) are only good for that day,” Angel said, regardless of weather.

People selling new items for purchase or other items that are not personal property are required to buy a peddler’s license, Angel said.

Dunaway said some sellers have tried to set up yard sale-type operations without buying any kind of permit, even though they are selling new items.

“They are selling some of the same things that our businesses pay a license to sell and pay taxes on,” Dunaway said. “We hope this will discourage it. It’s important to protect our businesses.”

The council voted to introduce the ordinance Tuesday and will vote on it at the next meeting April 12, pending a review by the city attorney.