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Babylon will rework proposed law regulating yard sales

A man at an estate sale looks at

A man at an estate sale looks at items in the yard of a West Babylon home on Thursday, June 24, 2015. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Babylon Town officials are presenting a revised law to regulate garage sales after receiving complaints from residents about a previous version of the law.

Residents spoke out about the proposed "personal property sale" law earlier this summer, their anger specifically targeted toward certain sections of the regulations which they said were too restrictive. A personal property sale is defined as the "offering of more than five items of tangible personal property for sale."

After the backlash, town officials decided to modify the proposed law.

"We are looking to protect the character of neighborhoods by curbing excessive round-the-clock property sales, without infringing on the traditional yard sale that is a fabric of Long Island," Town Councilman Tom Donnelly said in a statement.

Donnelly has said the regulations are needed due to some residents using yard sales as a way of running a business, disturbing neighbors and leaving discarded items in the street. Enforcement of the proposed law would be complaint-driven, he said. The town's incorporated villages have similar regulations, as do a number of Long Island municipalities that require permits for yard sales.

Among the changes made to Babylon's proposed law, the number of garage sales allowed each year has been increased to four weekends instead of two weekends. The definition of "weekend" has also been expanded to include Fridays, but the law still limits garage sales to two consecutive days.

The revised law also removes a requirement that all sales be held from April to September. The restriction on the number of signs advertising sales -- limited to one -- has been removed, although residents still must keep all signage on their property and are not allowed to post on telephone poles or any other public property. All signs must be removed within 24 hours of the last day of the garage sale.

While residents will still be required to obtain a permit for all yard sales, the town has abandoned plans to charge a fee for the document. Penalties for violations of the law remain the same: a fine of $100 to $500 for a first offense; a fine of $500 to $1,000 for a second offense within a five-year period; and a fine of $1,000 to $2,500 for a third offense within that same period.

A public hearing on the revised law will be held Sept. 1 at 3:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 200 E. Sunrise Hwy., Lindenhurst.


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