Long Island town looking to crack down on yard sales

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Kristin Thorne reports from Babylon, where the town council is considering a law to regulate yard and garage sales. (WABC)

A town in Suffolk County is looking to crack down on yard sales and garage sales.

Some people say the sales are getting out of hand, making the neighborhood a mess.

A hearing was held Tuesday on restricting sales in the town of Babylon.

People say yard sales are part of the culture on Long Island.

But the town of Babylon is considering a law which would make it trickier to have one by requiring people to get a permit. It would cost $5.

"Over the past 6 months to a year we've had a couple dozen complaints of people essentially running a junk yard from their front lawn," said Babylon Councilman Tom Donnelly.

"The $5 is inconsequential," said Wheatley Heights resident Patty Marshall. "It's the time. Having to go get it, having to post it. It's just a nuisance for the rest of us who are just having a garage sale."

"The people that are having the garage sale need the money. They're doing it for good intentions to recycle the stuff and everything and give people that can't afford the prices somewhere to go," said Copiague resident Bill Sabo.

Under the proposed law yard sales could not be held for more than two consecutive days. Must occur from April through September. And only two sales would be allowed per property every year.

"We're not going to have the garage sale police out patrolling neighborhoods looking for garage sales, but what it does it gives the town some enforcement power on those folks who are really disrupting the quality of life of their neighborhoods," said Donnelly.

The town has issued a number of summonses to one homeowner in Deer Park who they say is essentially operating a business out of his front lawn.

Neighbors here tell us he has a yard sale at least every other weekend. The owner, Felice Gaglia, says he's not doing anything wrong.

"I'm not doing it all the time. I'm within limits. They've never set a limit before. As far as my neighbors, all my neighbors are fine," said Gaglia.

But that's not what neighbors told us. "The attention he attracts, you get homeless people coming with shopping carts," said Deer Park resident Frank Pasquale.

A resident gave us a picture which they say shows Gaglia's lawn covered with merchandise.

"It's just continuous cars. People coming in, double parked. It's very hard to turn on the corner, so it's a little bit of a safety concern," said Deer Park resident Maria Stein.

We told Gaglia about the proposed town law. His response: "I have no problem. I'll stay within the law."

The town has not yet set a date for a vote.


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shoppingsalesshoppinglong island newsBabylon
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