Saturday, August 30, 2014

ASK JODIE: Garage sale filing an easy safeguard

By JODIE GARCIA, Ask Jodie | 7/2/2014

QUESTION: Do I have to fill out a registration form with the city to have a garage sale?

ANSWER: In a word, yes. But let me explain further. The City of Ottawa requires that garage sales within the city limits be registered, with the exception of the citywide sales in the spring and fall. Registration forms, which contain the city’s garage sale policy, may be picked up at the City of Ottawa Department of Planning and Codes, 101 S. Hickory St. or The Ottawa Herald, 104 S. Cedar St. There is no registration fee.

QUESTION: Do I have to fill out a registration form with the city to have a garage sale?

ANSWER: In a word, yes. But let me explain further. The City of Ottawa requires that garage sales within the city limits be registered, with the exception of the citywide sales in the spring and fall. Registration forms, which contain the city’s garage sale policy, may be picked up at the City of Ottawa Department of Planning and Codes, 101 S. Hickory St. or The Ottawa Herald, 104 S. Cedar St. There is no registration fee.

I asked Tom Yahl, city planner and codes officer, about the consequences of violating the garage sale policy. He referred me to Section 11-1207 of the Ottawa Municipal Code, which cites a fine of as much as $500 upon conviction, per offense. However, Yahl also said that only residents with the “most egregious behavior or continued violations” would warrant a ticket. Otherwise, the city’s practice is to issue a verbal warning, Yahl said.

However, if you fall into the first camp, my advice to you is this: follow the city’s rules, or else your hard-earned garage sale profits could go toward paying that ticket.

Have a question about your community? Ask Jodie Garcia at askjodie@ottawaherald.com or call (785) 242-4700.

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