Fort Worth to get rid of garage sale permit requirement

Fort Worth residents who want to make a little money by holding a garage sale may soon be able to do it without the hassle of getting a permit.

The city can't find the deal in hanging on to a 40-year-old law that requires a permit to have a garage sale. The city council is expected to vote to remove that requirement at least to try it for a year.

At garage sales, treasures hide in plain sight.

"I like to know where my pieces have gone instead of calling somebody and saying come get this lot,” said Jo Gupton.

Every weekend, people wander up driveways looking for deals. For 40 years, Fort Worth has required a permit to have a garage sale, but the city council is expected to end the requirement.

"The city's time could be better used to serve its citizens,” Gupton said.

A garage sale permit in Fort Worth doesn't cost anything except maybe time and valuable resources at city hall. Fort Worth says 75 percent of the permit requests come in by phone even though they can be done online.

"Building permits are in the same department. There, the backlog is unreal — six months or whatever it is,” said Kay Flynt, a garage sale customer. “They don't need the city taking extra time on garage sale permits.”

Even though permits might go away, the garage sale ordinance will not. There's a limit of two sales per household each year to prevent people from turning it into a business.

“Every couple of weekends, all new and trying to make it more a flea market. No,” Flynt said. “This is the perfect garage sale. We can come and get a bargain. That's it."

Arlington and Keller are among the cities that don't require garage sale permits while places like Dallas and Plano do.

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