FREEPORT — Residents who have turned garage sales into regular shopping destinations could soon see their operating hours cut.
Freeport City Council is considering a new ordinance that would limit how often a resident can have a garage sale. The city’s planning commission voted to recommend the proposed regulations during its meeting Aug. 27 and council is expected to take up the measure this month, Building Official Billywayne Shoemaker said.
If adopted, Freeport residents will need to receive a permit from the city to have any form of a garage or yard sale at their home, Shoemaker said. Sales would be limited to between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. four consecutive days — they cannot be broken up, Shoemaker said.
The permits will be free, Planning and Zoning Commission Chairwoman Nicole Mireles said.
Freeport residents have complained about homes where people host sales weekly, if not daily, and customers tend to impede traffic, Mireles said. The hope is the ordinance will help alleviate those problems, she said.
“I think it is going to be a good thing for the city,” Mireles said.
Freeport already has an ordinance in effect prohibiting residents from posting off-premises signs advertising yard sales. Only one sign is allowed and it must be on the property hosting the sale, Shoemaker said. Violators could be fined under that ordinance.
The city understands residents want to get the word out about their sale, but the city is willing to help if sellers apply for a permit in a timely manner, Shoemaker said. That will allow information about the sale to be posted on Freeport’s website and Facebook page, he said.