City officials are reminding Niles residents there are laws in place regarding where and when to place signs advertising garage sales. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Garage sale signs can be nuisance

Published 3:54pm Friday, April 6, 2012

Flowers aren’t the only things popping up in yards around Niles this spring.

Garage sale signs are also becoming more prominent as the weather warms.

Larry Lamb, chief of the Niles City Fire Department, said many people are unaware of or ignore the rules regarding the placement of signs advertising garage sales.

According to city ordinance, only one advertising sign can be placed in the yard where the garage sale is taking place. Signs aren’t allowed on utility poles or in yards separate from the garage sale.

Oftentimes, Lamb said, people place garage sale signs on utility poles in high traffic areas. People are also placing signs in the yards of people who live on intersections that get a lot of visibility.

While Lamb admits it isn’t the city’s largest problem, misplaced signs can be a nuisance.

“The problem is the people that live on the corner properties that have high traffic have a sign in their yard all year long, and that isn’t fair to them,” Lamb said. “It also is an aesthetics issue. We want Niles to be nice, clean and safe place to live.”

Lamb said code enforcement officers spend on average two to three man-hours removing illegally placed signs from utility poles and yards.

“On a good day you can get 40 to 50 signs,” Lamb said.

The punishment for violating the city’s sign ordinance is a small fine, although Lamb said they rarely write people up.

“We look at it more as trying to educate the public,” he said.

Last year, the city erected a sign on the east side of the fire department station. People can advertise their garage sale on the sign after picking up a garage sale permit from the building safety division located inside the fire station. Garage sale permits cost $1. People are allowed two garage sales a year, lasting up to three consecutive days per sale.

Lamb also encouraged people to advertise garage sales on the internet or in the newspaper.

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