EAST CHICAGO | The East Chicago City Council has tightened its regulations governing garage sales within the city.
New language added to the existing city code states no garage or yard sale shall be allowed from the same residential property more than four times a year.
Signs advertising garage sales can only be posted on the residential property where the sale occurs, and not on city property, such as light poles, street signs or utility poles.
The person holding the garage sale must pay $5 to the East Chicago city controller for each day of the sale.
The days sales are allowed are restricted to Thursday through Sunday, and the allowable hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At-large Councilman Juda Parks, who is also an East Chicago police officer, sponsored the ordinance.
He said a $5 permit fee had been required previously, but now residents will have to come to City Hall to fill out a form specifically stating the times, dates and locations of the sales.
Parks said the ordinance was needed because too many people in the city were having what he called "unnecessary" garage sales.
"The garage sales are intended for people to get rid of old property and things like that," Parks said. "We had people making a living off garage sales."
Parks said perpetual garage sales can be an inconvenience to neighboring properties.
He said the new ordinance can be a useful tool for the Police Department because at times stolen property is sold at garage sales and having a record of when and where sales occur would allow police to check out what is being sold.
The new ordinance also requires that for community, district or block garage sales, which involve more than one resident, a $25 fee must be paid for each day of the sale for the entire group.
The large group sales will be limited to twice a year and cannot exceed three days for each sale, with the days restricted to Friday through Sunday.