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Dothan Yard Sale Ordinance

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

If you live in Dothan and want to get rid of some of your things through a yard sale, you may have to get a permit.

You've seen the bulky signs reading 'Yard Sale' in the front yards of Dothan homeowners and even some taped to power poles and utility boxes. But Dothan city commissioners say some people are making a business out of yard sales and they need to be stopped.

“I've had several complaints with people who have yard sales from three days to three weeks and the neighbors are getting tired of looking at that all day and all night,” said Commissioner Paul Lee of District 3.

This is why a new city ordinance is in the works which would require Dothan city residents to obtain a permit before holding a yard sale.

They may only get three permits a year, and wouldn't be allowed to hold a sale more than two times in a six month period and if the ordinance is violated, a resident could receive a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail.

“We're not going to go neighborhood to neighborhood to go counting, but if we get a complaint we now have an ordinance and then we begin counting,” said Dothan Mayor Pat Thomas.

However, Dothan resident Elizabeth Tillman says the city has taken it too far.

“It's for the poor people a lot of people have yard sales to make ends meet sometimes and when you start taking away and Big Brother, Big Brother is into too much as it is,” said Tillman.

Regardless, certain city officials believe if residents make their livelihoods off of yard sales and they're violating laws. You can't have a business in a residentially zoned area.

If approved, Dothan will be the second city in the area to have a yard sale ordinance. Enterprise has one also. The issue will be placed on the administrative agenda once again next week.


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