Yard Sales

Commissioner’s office to target yard sale violators
By Evans Poston, Norfolk Commissioner of the Revenue

 

Last fall, Evans Poston was asked about repeat violations of the city’s yard sale ordinances. Shortly after
taking office as Norfolk’s new Commissioner of the Revenue, a meeting was arranged with several civic
league presidents in the city’s most affected areas. The result is a campaign to rein in yard sale
violations.

But first, some background.

Norfolk’s regulations allow citizens to hold two yard sales per year. Each yard sale requires a $5 permit
issued by the Commissioner’s office.

Unfortunately, some locations seem to have yard sales every week, which can adversely affect property
values and wreak havoc on a neighborhood’s peace and quiet. Beyond that, it’s very clearly against the
law.

One solution would be to have employees from the Commissioner’s office drive through Norfolk’s
neighborhoods looking for violations, but I wouldn’t call that a wise use of staff time or your tax dollars
Instead, those closest to the problem are the ones best suited to report possible violations, so here’s
what we hope will be a reasonable solution that will meet everyone’s needs.

We will start by targeting Friday yard sales because that’s when most violators seem to begin doing
business.

All it will take is a call from you to 664-7892, pointing out locations where someone seems to be running
a business instead of a yard sale. When you call to report a possible violation, please let us know that
you’ve made notes about what you have observed and can testify if needed.

From there, we will do our best to quickly inspect the location and assess compliance, and – if warranted
– issue a violation notice. Though we all hope it will not come to it, police will be called if needed.

In sum, we think this is a way to target specific offenders in a way that will be cost-effective and
responsive to one of Norfolk’s community needs. I hope you will agree, and I hope we will be able to
count on your cooperation and support.

 

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