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Town of Babylon rethinks yard sale law after criticism

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

The Town of Babylon is taking yet another look at a proposed law to regulate yard sales after residents criticized revisions to the town's original proposal.

At a public hearing last week, two residents spoke out against the proposal's requirement that residents keep all signs advertising a garage sale on their property, making it a violation to post signs on telephone poles or any other public property.

Patty Marshall of Wheatley Heights told the town board that it is "utterly ridiculous" to limit signs to yard sale property because without advertising elsewhere only a "fraction" of customers would show up.

"Without people there, there is no sale," she said.

The town revised its original proposal after it was lambasted earlier this summer by residents who said the regulations were too restrictive.

The town will now review the signage portion of the proposal. If no changes are made, the proposed law will be voted on by the town board at the next meeting on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. If it is altered, the town board will set a date for a public hearing.

"This is an issue that is important to a lot of residents, both those that value the tradition of neighborhood yard sales, and those that want to curb excessive sales that are harming quality of life," Councilman Tom Donnelly said in a statement. "That's why it's important that we take the time to strike the right balance of enforcement without hampering residents that play by the rules."

The proposed garage sale law requires residents first to obtain a permit from the town clerk's office.

Sales would be limited to four weekends a year for two consecutive days, from Friday to Sunday.

Penalties range from $100 for a first offense to $2,500 for a third offense.

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