Tulsa City Council Reviewing Garage Sale Ordinance

Friday, October 25th 2013, 5:59 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Question: How many garage sales does it take before something becomes a business?

One of the homes at 23rd Street and Yale Avenue is one that generates complaints to the Tulsa City Council about regular garage sales.

The man running this sale didn't want to be on television, but said all this merchandise, the store style racks full of clothes and boxes of books is from his relatives; along with things bought on eBay to re-sell.

He also said he's had only three sales this year, but in Tulsa that doesn't matter because legally there's no limit.

"They're having them over and over again and the ordinance we have in place is pretty vague on how many we can have," City Councilor Karen Gilbert said.

The city council is answering the complaints by considering limits and permits for garage sales.

It's far from settled, but the draft calls for:

  • No more than two sales per year at each house.
  • A three-day limit per sale.
  • A ban on selling items bought just to resell.

"We have these perpetual garage sales and we need something on the books," Councilor Skip Steele said.

Several city councilors want something to change because they get a lot of complaints and have some complaints about their own neighbors.

"They have a garage sale every day and that's not fair to the neighborhood," Councilor Jennie Cue said.

But councilor Jack Henderson doesn't want any part of it.

"Don't mess with my community, because they haven't told me anything," Henderson said.

Leigh Musgrove says she's on her second garage sale this year and a permit, or limit, wouldn't bother her.

"I don't do them very often, so it wouldn't make any difference to me," Musgrove said.

She's literally selling out of the garage, plans to donate what's left over, and doesn't plan to have another sale any time soon.