St. Albans officials remind residents of yard sale permits

Published: May. 17, 2021 at 8:19 AM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 1:06 PM EDT
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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - As the weather gets nicer, the city of St. Albans is reminding residents to get their permit if they plan to have a yard sale.

A recent Facebook post about the policy that’s been in place for more than two decades is creating some confusion.

“Before this year, or before I saw the post, I didn’t know this was a policy,” said Nikoa Kmetz-Derr, who has lived in St. Albans for almost a decade.

The post was made by the city clerk’s office on May 5.

“I think people were upset because maybe they think it’s a new policy? Because they also didn’t know about it,” said Kmetz-Derr. “It feels kind of like the city is trying to control what you are doing on your own property and that obviously makes people upset.”

That single Facebook post from the city clerk’s office got more than 100 shares and lots of comments.

“It shows the value of putting something out on social media, especially if there are a lot of questions about it and there is a response, it means more people see it,” said Chip Sawyer, the director of planning and development for the city.

Sawyer says the permit system has been in place since 1997.

According to the city website, the first two permits are free and last a total of 10 days, that way it encompasses two weekends. A third license is $10 and a fourth is $15.

“The city clerk said she can’t remember the last time someone had to pay for a third or fourth permit,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer says the city simply wants to keep track of what is happening in the neighborhoods.

“So there are impacts that need to be managed, this is exactly like the zoning and green belt regulation that we see happening in so many different areas,” said Sawyer.

Kmetz-Derr says she’s glad she knows about it now. And even though this is old policy, more importantly, she says this has opened a larger conversation about involvement.

“So maybe I need to start paying attention to you know the meeting minutes, or maybe I need to start attending some of these Zoom city planning meetings,” said Kmetz-Derr.

Sawyer says they will continue to try to put out information through social media, but Kmetz-Derr says an email or phone call to the city can never hurt.

“Maybe rather than sharing all of their feelings on a Facebook post, maybe it’s worth a call to the city clerk’s office saying, ‘Hey, why is this policy in place?’” said Kmetz-Derr.

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