New rules for Dallas garage sales




Posted on October 3, 2010 at 11:24 PM

DALLAS — It's that time of year again for Mayra Martinez: A fall clearing of the items piling up inside her house.

"It's kind of stuck in the house, just there," she said. "I guess creating more, just taking up space and stuff."

The unwanted, the old, and the barely used are now on display on the front yard, up for sale.

"We have never had any problems at all," Martinez said, but she had to dodge a problem this weekend. She didn't get a permit for her garage sale.

She didn't even know she needed one.

"We are not going to like it, but at least give us a little bit of more notice and put it out there a little bit more," she urged.

The $15 permit fee went into effect on Friday. City leaders approved it last month to help narrow the budget deficit. The garage sale permit is expected to bring in $225,000 a year to support the Dallas Arboretum and cultural progrms.

But Martinez said the new fee will hurt her own budget; most of the items she had for sale were less than $10.

"Sometimes you might not even sell that," she said. "I don't think that's right."

But for the City of Dallas, garage sale violations are a problem. It hopes the fee will help it enforce the rules already in place:

  • A homeowner is allowed to have only two sales per 12-month period.
  • Sales must be inside the home building or garage and not on the front lawn.
  • Signs advertising the sale can only be posted on the property where it is taking place.

Any violations can lead to a citation. But with so many rules, Martinez said she might just abandon her yearly tradition.

"Not even worth it," she said.