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Thurmont yard sale ordinance under consideration before season begins

Stephanie Mlot
News-Post Staff

(3/18) As April showers bring May flowers, yard sales are likely to be springing up on town lawns.

Code Enforcement Officer Kenny Oland discussed Thurmont 's proposed yard sale ordinance with four members of the Board of Commissioners. Mayor Martin Burns was absent from Monday's town meeting.

"Chief Eyler told me that we've had some problems with yard sales," Oland said. "Thurmont does not have -- or did not have at the time -- an ordinance dealing with yard sales."

Oland modeled the town's ordinance after Frederick City's, which limits the number of yard sales to four per year per individual. Each yard sale can last no longer than three consecutive days.

A $50 fee will be given for each excessive day, Oland said.

Working hours will be set from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. All equipment and sale items must be stored out of sight before and after those hours.

The October weekend of Colorfest will be considered under special circumstances.

Commissioner Ron Terpko said yard sales during the event weekend are required to have permits, discounting it from the three consecutive days allowed.

Holding a sale from Wednesday to Friday would count toward one yard sale, Terpko said, and the weekend's sale would not extend the three-consecutive-day limit.

Rules about yard sale signs are included in the ordinance. No signs are allowed to be posted more than three days in advance of a sale and must be removed by 9 p.m. of the final day.

Any signs misplaced or posted longer than necessary will garner a $25 fee, also issued for each succeeding day.

"I have heartburn about the town officers giving out fines," Commissioner Glenn Muth said. Though the ordinances will be in place, officers still have discretion over what fines are given, Oland said.

"If people understand what they can and cannot do, there shouldn't be any problems," he said.

Commissioner Bob Lookingbill said more yard sales will be popular this year, if for no other reason than to make extra money.

The ordinance is not legally sufficient, Oland said. The board will make any necessary changes to the language before the ordinance can be enacted.

Oland said ordinances should be posted in the town office and on Thurmont 's website for at least 30 days before being imposed.

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