Any given weekend from Trail to the Beaver Valley there are signs taped to street lamps and postings in the newspaper and online as locals try to get the word out they are having a garage sale.
As many have likely seen firsthand, a good garage sale can draw plenty of interest along with a lot of traffic and, of course, a streamline of bargain hunters.
Once the yard sale is done, usually that is that.
But when the same households are putting on garage sales over and over, problems may surface. Apparently this is what’s happening in Montrose.
Now, village leaders are looking to regulate how residents go about holding a yard sale.
At the Tuesday meeting, council directed staff to start drafting a bylaw that will put some parameters around these neighbourhood events.
“We have had a few residents who have had more or less a perpetual garage sale – pretty much every week,” explained Larry Plotnikoff, chief administrative officer.
“This can cause negative impacts to neighbors, increase traffic and cause safety issues, (such as) noise,” he told the Times.
“It can become a re-use/re-purpose commercial venture that may take the form of a garage sale, but for all intents and purposes, it becomes more of a commercial business rather than a garage sale limited by their own regular household items.”
Plotnikoff referenced a bylaw similar to one Brandon, Manitoba has on the books.
“Other communities have experienced perpetual garage sales and have addressed it through a garage sale bylaw that regulates number per year, time of sale, and items that can be sold,” Plotnikoff clarified.
“Staff will be preparing a bylaw later this month for council consideration.”
If Montrose council does go ahead with a garage sale bylaw it will be the first local municipality to do so.
The City of Brandon’s garage sales bylaw permits a maximum of three sales in one calendar year. As well, each sale must be held over a period of no more than two consecutive days.
There are also rules around garage sale signs. For example, the maximum size is two feet by two feet, the sign can only be put up the day before a sale, and it must be removed immediately after.
Notably, the bylaw states that public trees and/or utility poles are not to be used for hanging of signs.
Residents found in noncompliance may be fined up to $100.