The Canal Winchester Times

Yard sales may be banned on Groveport festival days


Groveport-sponsored festivals may lack one aspect of community involvement if city council passes new legislation.

City Administrator Marsha Hall asked council to approve an ordinance that would ban city residents from holding garage sales on the day of any city-sponsored festival.

According to Hall, the request initially came from Apple Butter Day vendors, who felt it was unfair that they are required to pay the $35 vendor fee in order to participate, but then have to compete with residents who sell similar goods at garage sales or simply have tables set up in their yards.

"This originated with vendors who pay to sell their wares, but then nearby neighbors sell similar items without paying ... by doing that (they) also increase traffic, making it harder for people coming to the festival to park," Hall said. "However, this isn't just about Apple Butter Day. It'll be in place for all of our city-sponsored events."

Current code requires that residents obtain a permit to hold a garage sale. There is no cost, but any resident who does not receive an approved permit could be found guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

The proposed ordinance would not prevent any recognized nonprofit groups or religious organizations from holding garage sales on their own property, regardless of city-sponsored festival days.

Hall said the legislation is similar to how downtown business participation worked for Canal Winchester's Labor Day Festival when she served on that neighboring community's festival committee.

"When I served on the Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival committee several years ago, I know that we'd work with the downtown businesses, asking that if they wanted to do any street sales that they pay the vendor rate like the other vendors so this wouldn't be a problem," Hall said.

Groveport City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed legislation at its Sept. 9 meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 655 Blacklick St.