Know where to get your garage sale permit?

Here’s a hint: You can’t do it online. And you have to show up in person Monday through Friday between 8 a.m.-4 p.m., with proof of residence, to receive the $15 permit that will allow you to hold a garage sale. Otherwise, you’re breaking the law.

Backing up a little bit, recall that this new city ordinance was part of the council’s recent attempts to balance the budget. The city estimated the fee will bring in $250,000 in revenue, over and above the costs of implementing it and overseeing it. And it’s hard to argue with the stated intention of the permit, which is to drive the “professional” garage-salers out of business.

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But the idea of having to drive to one of three locations (7901 Goforth1818 Westmoreland or 3112 Canton) to obtain a garage sale permit doesn’t seem very customer-friendly to me. Surely, there is some way to handle this online or even by mail? Another bummer: No refunds if your sale is rained out or you wake up on Saturday and just don’t feel like dragging everything out.

Being conservative, I’m figuring it would take about two hours to get in a car, drive to one of the locations, wait in line, produce proof of residency, pay my fee, get my permit and then get back in the car and drive back to work — my garage sale profits are already in the red $15 for the permit, $10 or so for gasoline and $30-$50 in personal time value (or more), and I haven’t even sold my first gently-used shirt for $1 yet.

The idea behind this program seems laudable, but the implementation sure seems to smack of government bureaucracy run unintentionally amok.


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  • Toklas

    This is unbelievable! NO signs except on the property where the sale is being held?
    Just another C of D joke!
    FYI, early last spring when we had our home up for sale, our wonderful C of D Code Enforcement was out taking DOWN our real estate agents open house signs!!! Said they were in code violation..OPEN HOUSE SIGNS!

  • Virginia

    Unbelievable!! They’ve just guaranteed that no one will get the permit. It won’t make any difference because as far as I can tell no code enforcement is ever out anyway on Saturdays. I’ve only held one garage sale in my entire life and I cleared a whopping $30.

  • colinnwn

    When this garage sale permit requirement was announced on the Observer blog, I observed that in general it was a good idea IF you could get the permit by mail or online, and IF code enforcement worked weekends or the police were required to investigate illegal garage sales on weekends when they weren’t responding to an emergency.

    I see the city took an idea with some merit, and turned it into a tawdry piece of trash rulemaking. Typical of Dallas City Hall.

  • Speaking of Parking Tickets

    Not to hijack the thread (well, maybe a little –)

    Last evening during National Night Out (of all nights) the City of Dallas Parking Enforcement car showed up and issued parking tickets to several cars in our neighborhood parked within one block of the NNO event. Never once have I seen them in my area before, and I walk twice a day. That’s my City at work! “Come & meet your local police and fire fighters, and while you’re there we’ll give you a ticket!” Gee, thanks!

  • nancy wilson

    Another half brain idea implemented by the city. I am sure the meter maid will be driving around issuing tickets for parking the wrong way at the “no permit” garage sale.