West Sac Set to Limit Garage Sales

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(West Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cindy Aguirre: “Joe, can you get the cage down?” 
Joe and Cindy Aguirre are moving from West Sacramento to a smaller house across the river.  So this past weekend, they held a garage sale.
Joe Aguirre: “A lot of the stuff that’s gonna be extra in our home that’s not gonna fit in there, the new place that we’re moving to, we need to get rid of.”
Cindy Aguirre, to a customer: “I don’t have a five, so five ones.  Oh, that one’s not for sale…”
This is the Aguirres’s first and only garage sale, but a lot of other ones are popping up regularly – especially in the northern part of town.  How regularly?  Well, when it’s warm outside, just about every weekend, says West Sacramento code enforcement manager Larry Brooks.
Brooks: “They obtain items from auctions that are held at public storage facilities.  They go to the flee market.  They go to other yard sales and they collect items and they bring them home and they hold yard sales every weekend as a way of making money.” 
Brooks says he’s gotten more and more calls from residents who complain about noise, traffic and blight.  And other area cities and counties already have limits – in fact, Sacramento only allows one per year.  Brooks says the West Sac ordinance would allow three garage sales per property per year.
Brooks: “There’s enough yard sales that are being given by individuals who aren’t trying to run a business to where those folks who enjoy going out on the weekends and looking for that bargain will be able to find it.” 
That’s fine with Joe Aguirre.
Joe Aguirre: “That seems pretty fair to me.  I just can’t imagine somebody having more than three garage sales a year.” 
But not with Stephaine Lara, who held her own yard sale over the weekend.  Lara says her friends rely on yard sales to make ends meet.  And she holds them every few months to clear out extra stuff.
Lara: “Like, if you can’t have them?  It wouldn’t be right.  I don’t think it’d be right.  Cause it helps people out, the way it’s getting harder every year for everybody.  So what little bit we can get rid of, it helps a lot – it makes a difference.”
The city council is expected to finalize the ordinance Wednesday night.