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County debates limits on yard sales

At first, county commissioners proposed limiting each household's yard sales to two each year. Now, they are considering forcing everyone to hold their sales on the same two weekends, resulting in a sort of countywide yard sale.

The idea, proposed by Commissioner Paul Sullivan, was a hit with yard sale opponents, who have complained about weekly sales that they say are a front for small businesses being operated in residential areas.

"Make it a bazaar type of affair and enjoy it," said Morty Miller, president of the Spring Hill Civic Association.

Commissioners approved the measure 4-1 and gave code enforcement manager Frank McDowell until next month to work out a proposed ordinance. They also scheduled a public hearing on the subject for 10 a.m. April 15.

The change comes after commissioners considered an ordinance that would have limited yard sales to two per year for each household. However, they were split over whether to force those holding sales to buy permits.

Tax Collector Leona Bechtelheimer had said she would have to charge a $10 administrative fee for each permit, in addition to the price of the permit.

Sullivan then came up with the designated yard sale days, modeled after an ordinance in Madeira Beach.

But Commissioner Bobbi Mills opposed the idea of the government telling people when they can sell their wares. "I think we're going to get a lot of static," she warned. "We're telling people that on two special weekends a year they have to have their own garage sales."

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