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Community Digest

Downey : Cracking Down on Yard Sales Scofflaws

September 09, 1993

City inspectors will increase efforts to stop out-of-control yard sales, but lack the real authority needed to combat the problem, officials said recently.

In a report to the City Council, Downey administrators said many residences are flouting city rules on yard sales.

Residents must pay $5 for a yard-sale permit and are allowed to have two sales a year.

"Twice a year gives you a pretty good shot at clearing out the garage and your closets," Councilwoman Diane P. Boggs said.

But many residents either don't know the rules or don't care to follow them, city staffers said. And the city has no penalty for transgressors beyond a letter of reprimand.

To deal with the problem, the city plans to add two code-enforcement officers to the staff of three within the next six months. These officers will visit rummage sales and inspect permits to ensure that residents are not turning their yards into weekly swap meets.

Because of noisy and crowded sales, neighbors have complained that they can't turn on their sprinklers and can't get their cars out of their driveways, officials said.

In November, voters will decide whether the city should fine violators $25.

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