New rules for yard sales in Madera

MADERA, Calif.

Yard sales can be great places to find deals, but Madera's Neighborhood Preservation Manager says they can also be a nuisance and an eyesore. "People would come in at 6 in the morning and set up and sometimes they wouldn't leave until 5 or 6 in the afternoon."

That's why the city has approved a new ordinance that will only allow yard or garage sales on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month, from 8am to 4pm.

Liz Goetsch said, "I think that's a really good idea because I'm tired of trying to get out of my driveway or park in front of my house and I don't have any place to go, and then the litter that gets left, I think it's a good idea."

City officials say the ordinance will be easier to enforce than measures that just set limits on the number of yard sales people can have each year. They also believe it will draw more bargain shoppers to Madera from across the valley.

Ruiz said, "The first weekend of the month, everyone knows that's the day to come and shop around for your yard sale."

But some argue it's not fair to people who are just trying to earn money in this tough economy.

Fran Donnelly said, "I think it's just pretty harsh at this point in time to put that on them."

The city says people who don't want to wait for a yard sale do have other options, like bringing their goods here, to the flea market.

Now an effort is underway to make sure residents know about the ordinance before it takes effect on Saturday. The city mailed out 13 thousand notices in English and Spanish and plans to run public service announcements on six Spanish radio stations.

People who violate the new yard sale ordinance will have to pay a $75.00 fine the first time, $200.00 the second time, and one thousand dollars for a third violation.

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