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City to regulate yard, garage sales

| Saturday, Sept. 14, 2002

In an effort to crack down on multiple garage and yard sales in Connellsville, council is considering a new ordinance regulating the sales in the city.

Council member Judy Keller introduced the ordinance and city council unanimously approved it at its meeting this week.

The ordinance, which must now sit for 30 days before it can be officially adopted by council, requires residents to obtain a license or permit from the city clerk after submitting an application with information on the sale. Residents must be prepared to show the permit during the sale if asked by authorities. It is being advertised in the Daily Courier as a legal notice.

The ordinance covers the sale of two or more new, used or secondhand items of personal property at one residence at one time and includes garage sales, yard sales, tag sales, porch sales, lawn sales, attic sales, basement sales, rummage sales, flea market sales and moving sales.

Any individual, partnership, family group, voluntary association or corporation holding a sale are subject to the ordinance with the exception of:

  • Persons selling items pursuant to an order of court.

  • Persons acting in accordance with their powers as public officials.

  • Anyone selling or advertising for the sale of not more than two items, which are specifically named in an advertisement.

  • Any publisher of a newspaper, magazine or other type of communication media who publishes something without knowledge of its false, deceptive or misleading character or without knowledge that the terms of the ordinance haven't been met.

  • Any sale conducted by a legitimate business, commercial or industrial establishment on property zoned under zoning laws of Connellsville or any sale conducted in a properly zoned area and not prohibited by state laws or other city ordinances.

  • Sales by confirmed charitable, educational, cultural or governmental institutions, civic groups, service clubs, religious or fraternal societies or other tax-exempt organizations.

  • Any public auction lasting no more than two days and conducted by a licensed auctioneer.

    In addition, the ordinance establishes fees associated with holding a garage sale. For the first garage sale permit issued to a person within one year there is no charge.

    However, the second or third permits in that one-year period will cost a nonrefundable fee of $2 per permit. No individual or residence is permitted to more than three permits in a year, and permits are not valid for any more than two consecutive days.

    The person who obtains the permit, is conducting the sale, and the owner, tenant or occupant of the location where the sale is held, is solely or jointly responsible for maintaining order at the sale.

    They are required not to permit loud conduct or vehicles to impede traffic and must obey all reasonable orders from members of the police and fire department that concern the public's health, safety and convenience.

    Enforcement of the ordinance will be handled by the Connellsville Police Department and zoning officer for the city. If a violation is found, a complaint shall be filed before a district justice. Penalties for violating the ordinance are a fine of not more than $600 and imprisonment of up to 30 days if the fine is not paid.

    Anyone interested in viewing the ordinance can do so between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Connellsville Municipal Building on North Arch Street.

    Council is expected to act on the proposed ordinance at its Nov. 12 meeting, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

    Council also voted this week to have the street department temporarily erect stop signs at the intersection of East Gibson Avenue and Park Street during the East Crawford Avenue construction, and to erect "Watch Children" signs on Park Street near Zachariah Connell Elementary School.

    The signs are being erected in an effort to control increased traffic in the area due to the East Crawford Avenue resurfacing project. Normally, such requests are routed through the city's traffic committee, but Mayor Judy Reed said she felt immediate action was required due to a safety issue.

    In other business, council approved the following appointments: Kristen Porter, to the Planning Commission; Nancy Dye, to the Shade Tree Commission; and Carl Helinsky, to the Firefighters Civil Service Commission.

    Council also voted to transfer $100,000 from the INVEST account and $100,000 from the PLGIT Capital Improvement account to the Smithfield Bank Super Saver Account to take advantage of the bank's 4.25 percent rate; accept a bid from American Rock Salt for $17,830 for 500 tons of rock salt; place the construction of a new salt shed out for bid with measurements and specifications listed in an advertisement and bids accepted to Oct. 7; and authorization for the city clerk to advertise for bids to renovate Woodruff Park Ballfield with specifications available at the municipal building and bids accepted until 5 p.m. Oct. 8.

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