The Royal Palm Beach Village Council last week agreed to look into the possibility of allowing residents four yard sales per year, rather than the two per year currently allowed.
Longtime Royal Palm Beach resident Candice Cavaleri said that she has been a classroom teacher for nine years and enjoys getting inexpensive school supplies from yard sales, and passing on her own surplus supplies through yard sales as well.
“I have a couple of proposals,” Cavaleri said, explaining that she spoke to Community Development Director Rob Hill, who told her that her suggestions would require a code change.
Cavaleri said she checked with different communities in the area and that many do not restrict the number of yard sales that residents are allowed in a year.
“I’m not looking for yard sales every weekend or free rein, but we have two right now, and two is a little difficult to clear out, speaking as a teacher and as a seasonal decorator,” she said. “My question is if it is possible to have four a year that would allow for that seasonal clean-out.”
Cavaleri suggested 60 days between the sales. “I understand that the sales are limited so that somebody doesn’t just have a flea market happening in their front yard every weekend,” she said.
Further, she added that Royal Palm Beach is the only community with a fee except for Palm Springs, which has a $5 fee. “We have a $10 fee, but if we doubled the number of yard sales, that would double the income,” she said. “I have come to be OK with that. At first I was a little offended by it 15 years ago, but I appreciate all the things we have here in Royal Palm. We have beautiful parks. It’s a fabulous place. We’ve been very happy here with our two children.”
Cavaleri also asked whether there was something she could get for her $10 fee in addition to two paper signs, such as a link on the village web page. “We’ve got a beautiful web site,” she said. “After you get your permit, it could list that information on the web page.”
Cavaleri also asked that exceptions be given to the two-sign rule for people such as herself — she lives on a double cul-de-sac in the middle of La Mancha Avenue.
“I have people constantly saying to me, ‘It’s hard to find you,’ and one time that I saved some signs from a previous sale, I put four signs up so you could find my street, they were removed, and I only assume it was by code enforcement. If there were four signs allowed, you could save your old signs, or charge another dollar or two for additional signs,” Cavaleri said.
Cavaleri felt there should be a fine for signs left remaining 24 hours after the sale ends. “There should be enforcement,” she said. “I don’t see a lot of sales now that don’t have a legal sign. I enjoy yard sales, and I take a ride on Saturday mornings just for being outside.”
While some people flout the law, Cavaleri stressed that she does not. However, she wants the rules to be enforced equally for everyone.
“My biggest wish is that whatever codes we have are either enforced, changed or dropped,” she said. “I’m a person who follows the rules, and I’m willing to face the consequences if I don’t.”
Mayor Matty Mattioli said he agreed with most of the things that Cavaleri suggested. “We do have, unfortunately, people who violate the rules,” Mattioli said. “It seems to me that you are in an unusual residential area… but it sounds to me like you almost run a business over there, so people should know who you are there by now. To change an ordinance takes a lot of doing.”
Mattioli suggested they refer her suggestions to the village manager and staff for consideration. “We have to look at it and make sure we’re doing the right thing and not open the door for a mass entrance or exodus,” he said.
Councilman Richard Valuntas agreed.
“I think we should send it for a proposed revision to the ordinance,” Valuntas said. “I think the four a year seems reasonable. I think the 60-day interval also seems reasonable. I don’t think I’m all for the [four] signs, but that’s something that is possible.”
Councilwoman Martha Webster told Cavaleri she made a good presentation. “I think you had some great ideas, and I’m glad you brought them forward,” Webster said. “I think they’re worth reviewing, and maybe it’s time for a few changes.”
Councilman Jeff Hmara asked Village Manager Ray Liggins and his staff to research it. “I think we definitely should consider it,” Hmara said.
Mattioli said the issue could return for discussion and possible action at the council’s Jan. 17 meeting.