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Garage sales may be limited to four per year for North Hempstead residents

Joe Iannaco, of West Babylon, looks through items

Joe Iannaco, of West Babylon, looks through items at his garage sale on June 26, 2015. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

North Hempstead officials want to limit residents to holding four garage sales per year to prevent the suburban tradition from growing into a cottage industry.

A bill to regulate perpetual sales is to be addressed at a public hearing before the town board Tuesday.

"Some people are basically running constant sales, and you have to draw the line," Supervisor Judi Bosworth said Monday. "It's not just isolated to a few places; it's more of a common problem affecting the quality of life for our neighbors."

Officials said they have fielded concerns from residents across the town, particularly in North New Hyde Park and Roslyn.

If the bill is adopted, North Hempstead would become the first Nassau County town to restrict yard sales. Officials in Oyster Bay and Hempstead towns said they have no laws regulating garage sales.

"Garage sales have become a symbol of suburbia, and we have not historically had any problems," Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said in a statement. "We have found our residents to be conscientious of the needs and concerns of their immediate neighbors and local community."

Babylon Town officials are re-evaluating a proposal to limit garage sales after residents opposed a bill in July. The original proposal restricted residents to hosting sales up to twice a year, only on the weekends, and between April and September.

Bosworth said the North Hempstead regulation would make sure the town's code "is clear," and empowers town officials to enforce the law. "Otherwise, it becomes too subjective -- how many is too many?"

North Hempstead Councilman Peter Zuckerman, whose district includes Roslyn, said the issue can affect "an individual's enjoyment and use of the property."

The bill does not apply to the 31 incorporated villages in North Hempstead. Flower Hill village officials last year dropped a $25 fee for garage sales.

North Hempstead's town code currently bars residents from operating a commercial business in residential zones, but with some exceptions, officials said.


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