[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Washington 4-24-1986 by Ord. No. 1356 (Ch. 13, Part 8, of the 1986 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Ordinance Regulating and Restricting Garage Sales."
Such rules and regulations as set up in this chapter are designed to control and restrict garage sales in order to protect the public health, safety and convenience and to restrict such sales to casual and/or occasional occurrences only in keeping with the character of the neighborhood where this activity is carried on and with the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Washington. The intent of this chapter is to eliminate perpetual, prolonged and extended garage sales in residential areas. Such sales, if carried on indefinitely, tend to become retail businesses in residential areas and zones, create a nuisance and usually violate the zoning regulations of the City of Washington. The provisions of this chapter arise from the need to limit, regulate, restrict and control garage sales. It is not the intent of this chapter to change or amend the zoning laws, transient business laws and/or any other laws or ordinances of the City of Washington.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- All residential dwellings located within any type of zone, zoned area, or zoning district (whether or not said areas or zones are residential, business, commercial or otherwise) within the geographic boundaries of the City of Washington.
- A. The sale or offering for sale of 10 or more new, used or secondhand items of personal property at any one residential premises for up to any three consecutive days.
- B. Includes all sales in residential areas entitled "garage sale," "yard sale," "tag sale," "porch sale," "lawn sale," "attic sale," "basement sale," "rummage sale," "flea market sale," or any similar casual sale of tangible personal property.
- Any goods, warehouse merchandise or other personal property capable of being the object of a sale regulated hereunder.
- Individuals, partnerships, family groups, voluntary associations and corporations.
It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct a garage sale within the geographic boundaries of the City without first obtaining a garage sale license from the City after filing an application containing the information hereinafter specified.
The first garage sale license issued to any one person or for any one premises within one twelve-month period shall be issued without charge. For the second such license issued in any twelve-month period, there shall be a nonrefundable fee of $15, as set by the resolution of the City Council. No permits will be issued to the same person or location for a period thereafter.
This chapter shall not be applicable to:
Persons selling goods pursuant to an order of process of a court of competent jurisdiction.
Persons acting in accordance with their powers and duties as public officials.
Any person selling or advertising for sale an item or items of personal property which is specifically named or described in the advertisement and which separate items do not exceed nine in number. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, any person may sell up to nine secondhand articles without being subject to the provisions of this chapter.
Any publisher of a newspaper, magazine or other publication or other communications media who publishes or broadcasts anything in good faith without knowledge of its false, deceptive or misleading character or without knowledge that the provisions of this chapter have not been met.
Any sale conducted by any legitimate business or commercial or industrial establishment on property zoned under the zoning regulations of the City with or without the protection of the nonconforming use section of the zoning laws, or any sale conducted by any other vendor or dealer when the sale is conducted in a properly zoned area and not otherwise prohibited by laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordinances of the City, including this chapter.
Sales by a bona fide charitable, eleemosynary, educational, cultural or governmental institution, civic group, service club, religious or fraternal society or other tax-exempt organization; provided, however, that the burden of proof to establish the exemption under this Subsection F shall be on the organization or institution claiming such exemption.
Any public auction having a duration of no more than two days and conducted by an auctioneer licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Police Department. It shall be the duty of the Police Department to investigate any violation of this chapter.
If after an investigation a violation is found to exist, the Police Department shall prosecute a complaint before a Magisterial District Judge pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
The person to whom the garage sale license was issued and the person conducting the sale and the owner, tenant or occupant of the premises where the sale or activity is conducted shall be jointly or severally responsible for the maintenance of good order and decorum on the premises during the hours of such sale or activity.
No such person shall permit any loud or boisterous conduct on such premises or permit vehicles to impede the passage of the traffic on any roads or streets in the area of the premises where the sale is being conducted.
In the event of an emergency, all such persons shall obey reasonable orders from any member of the Police Department or the Fire Department in order to maintain the public health, safety and convenience.
[Amended 12-7-2006 by Ord. No. 1766]
Any individual, person, firm, corporation or other entity who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon being held liable in any civil proceeding or upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a penalty, fine or charge of no less than $100 nor more than the maximum amount permitted by law, but not to exceed $1,000, and in default of payment or any failure to pay any fine or penalty, upon a summary or other criminal conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days, or both.
Each day that a violation of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense, subject to the fines, costs, penalties and charges set forth above for each offense.
Nothing herein shall limit, prevent or preclude the City of Washington from taking any and all legal action or exercising any other remedy available to the City by law, including but not limited to the initiation of civil or criminal proceedings or injunctive relief, in order to enforce or ensure compliance with this chapter. As an additional remedy, the City of Washington may abate any nuisance, dangerous or hazardous condition by any means permitted by law, which shall include but not be limited to an action in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Pennsylvania, for injunctive relief; the use of any City of Washington personnel, equipment and materials or that of an authorized agent or contractor hired by the City to remove or abate any nuisance, dangerous or hazardous condition and with all costs thereof or related thereto to be charged against the property owner(s) and/or person or entity who has violated the chapter or portion thereof; said costs shall include all actual costs and expenses, including all costs of collection and reasonable administrative costs of the City, incurred in enforcing the provisions of the chapter.