Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Springville City's comments about the ordinance
SPRINGVILLE — Dan Vineyard was surprised to see a city employee approaching his home holding posters from a yard sale held the week before, saying the sign and sale were “illegal,” he said.
Vineyard was issued a citation for the non-compliant sign — posters are not allowed to be posted on utility poles, street signs, street lights, fences or trees in the public right-of-way — but was spared a citation for the yard sale for which he did not have a permit.
A judge has since dropped the citation against him, as it was his first offense and he was unaware of the ordinance, Vineyard said.
The city requires organizers of yard and garage sales to obtain a free permit from the city before they set up shop, and rules restrict posting any signage “above, over, in, on, or around any street.”
"The reason that we require a permit is just so people don't have perpetual yard sales, because it affects the neighborhood," said Fred Aegerter, Community Development Director. "When people choose to live next door to each other, there has to be some civility."
Springville City may have some of the most strict rules in Utah County for those hoping to turn their trash into treasure with a garage or yard sale, but it is not the only city making an effort to make the summer tradition less of a nuisance for neighbors.
No permit necessary for yard sales in Provo, but “Garage, basement, yard or other similar sales shall not be allowed more than a total of ﬁve days in any calendar year.”
Signage may not be posted on city property — utility posts, street signs/fences, trees, medians, etc. — either.
Orem only asks that residents holding yard sales follow a few rules about signage: Signs are not to exceed 4 square feet in area, cannot be posted in public right-of-ways or on utility poles or private property without consent, cannot be posted more than 48 hours before and must be removed within 24 hours of the sale’s conclusion.
In American Fork, one address may only host four yard sales each year, and each sale must be shorter than three consecutive days. Merchandise must be cleared from the yard by noon of the day after the sale, and may not be put out earlier than 24 hours before the start of the sale.
American Fork limits the number of signs per yard sale to eight. Those organizing the sale must obtain a sticker from the city and affix it to the sign in order to comply. Signs cannot be placed earlier than 24 hours before the yard sale, and must be removed by noon the next day, per the sticker’s instruction. The city also limits sign placement from public property, and private property owners must give consent to a sign placement on their property.
The city requires people to obtain a permit for signs, and limits the number of signs to 10. Signs are allowed to be posted for five days, but not on city right-of-ways.
Lehi City limits signage to two 4 square feet in area on the property of the sale and three 2-square-foot directional signs elsewhere.
Though most cities restrict signage, some offer yard sale posting on their website, and hundreds of yard sales are posted on ksl.com Classifieds regularly.
What ordinances concerning yard or garage sales in your cities? Tell us in the comments section.