Garage sales to be limited in town
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Jun 26, 2012 | 2726 views | 11 11 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patterson residents may soon be limited in the number of garage sales they can have each year under an ordinance that passed its first test June 19.

The ordinance, which received a 5-0 vote at the regular Patterson City Council meeting last week, would stiffen fines and limit each city address to four garage sales per year.

Violators would face a $100 fine for first offense, a $200 fine for a second offense, a $500 fine for a third offense and $1,000 fines for subsequent offenses.

Offenses include having more than four garage sales in a year, not removing signs after a sale and operating outside the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to a city staff report, the city receives many complaints about continual garage sales throughout Patterson. The city’s existing code requires only a fee of $2.50 for the first garage sale license and $25 for each subsequent sale. Garage sales are limited to two consecutive days per garage sale, but there is no limit to the number of sales that can be hosted at a given address. No penalty is specified for noncompliance.

Council members approved a first reading of the ordinance this week, but it will be on the agenda for the council’s July 17 meeting for a second, final vote.

City Manager Rod Butler said presented information about the proposed ordinance to the council June 19.

“We’ve had several instances where we’ve had serial garage sales,” Butler said. “That begins to have a negative impact on neighbors.”

Neighborhoods with ongoing garage sales deal with noise and traffic congestion, he said.

“We understand that people may need to have a garage sale,” Butler said. “So this will allow people to have a sale without running a retail business out of their yard.”

Council members removed one proposed provision, which would have allowed garage sales only at three-month intervals, after discussing the matter.

Patterson resident and real estate agent Eric Bendix spoke to the council about the three-month restriction, saying that some people needed extra time to sell all their belongings during a moving sale, for example.

Councilman Larry Buehner agreed.

“I just think that it sometimes takes more than a week to sell some of these things,” Buehner said.

He supported limiting residents to four sales per year but wanted to allow moving sales to run in consecutive weeks.

Councilman Dominic Farinha also pressed to remove the three-month stipulation.

“Trying to get rid of that much stuff — that is a little large, the amount of time in between sales,” he said.

Councilwoman Annette Smith disagreed with removing the provision, which she said went against the intention to limit serial sales and prevent a “flea market atmosphere.”

Mayor Luis Molina agreed with Smith.

“It’s not their neighbor’s fault they have sold everything they wanted or needed,” he said. “There have been red flags, with some people using it to run a business.”

The city fee for a permit to host a garage sale will remain at $2.50 for the first sale and $25 for each additional permit within a given year.

“We’ll need to educate people about the new rules to stop them from abusing the sales,” Molina said.

• News reporter Nick Rappley can be reached at 892-6187, ext. 31, or

Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 03, 2012
I'm so happy! That guy off walker ranch parkway who was turning the street into a flea market was worsening our home values greatly. That is not a welcoming sight to people in our community!
July 10, 2012
I so agree with you. I have to utilize that turn every day to get to my home and always thought how it looked like crap! Now, if he can rid the 4-5 junk cars he has in his driveway!
June 30, 2012
I'm so happy that the City is correcting the misuse of garage sales. One thing is to have a yard sale but there are people who do this as a business at of their homes? If you are in business, then lease a space at the flea market or a store. Its irritating seeing the excessive garage sales it just puts a bad taste in the minds of the people who drive looks like a junk yard or flea market!
June 29, 2012
this is many bitchy people who live in will never change. plus this town will make changes like this...but not clean up the town...down town looks so dirty and messy....the streets in by the homes look and ride horrible. the city miss uses the peoples they attack the garage sales people who need the extra money.... patterson really sucks.
July 03, 2012
I take it that you are the second house in on Walker Ranch Parkway????
June 27, 2012
So how is the code going to be enforced if the "serials" are still going on? Does the city have a code officer on call during the weekends?
June 27, 2012
Amen. A big thank-you to the City Council for passing this ordinance and for not allowing modifications or exceptions for moving sales. The residents of Walker Ranch have had to endure a constant "garage sale/flea market" at a house on Walker Ranch Parkway for well over a year without any support to shut it down until then. The flea market amosphere at this residence, must have been a nightmare for the neighbors in the houses that are adjacent to it. So happy to see that this riff raff will be going away!
June 27, 2012
I would agree that there are plenty of other issues to deal with but we have to start somewhere. This flea market/garage sale attracts way too much traffic and less then desirable cliental. Try living next to a house that has a garage sale three times a week, every week.

It's okay, I don't expect you to empathize with anyone.

Good for you....for getting out!

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