Ask NOW: Is there a limit to how many rummage sales one residence can hold?

Rummage sales abound during the summer months, and the city does not have any ordinances that directly regulate these events.
Published on: 7/24/2013

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Is there a limit to how many rummage sales one residence can hold?

Issue: A reader wrote, "Throughout the year, a Tosa resident in our area has at least three to four rummage sales a week. It not only looks tacky, but it creates traffic hazards when cars suddenly break short to turn on our street. At what point do rummage sales require a business permit? Can this 'business' be halted?"

Status: Three city officials confirm that no ordinance specifically regulates rummage, garage or yard sales. City Clerk Carla Ledesma, Principal Planner Tamara Szudy and Alderman Peter Donegan said regulation would be difficult to enforce unless there is an issue of noise or other disturbance. In that case, police should be called.

"I'm sure it could be a quality-of-life matter if it is a nuisance," Ledesma said. "It's something they may want to talk to their alderman about. We really haven't seen complaints about this."

Donegan, chairman of the city's Licensing Committee, said it is unlikely the Common Council would formally address the issue.

"As a citizen and as a neighbor, I would take issue with it (multiple sales at one location)," Donegan said. "I think people should use common sense."

Szudy said one course of action would be to report an unauthorized business to the city's property maintenance inspector by calling (414) 479-8907.

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