Zoning code amendment limits Albuquerque garage sales

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Before you hold your next yard sale, you might want to review the city of Albuquerque’s strict garage sale ordinance.

A quick check on Craigslist any given weekend and you’re bound to find dozens of garage sales taking place across Albuquerque.

That, or just follow the signs that are so often placed on medians and street corners, guiding the way to the sale.

“A lot of people aren’t aware that you’re allowed to have a sign advertising your garage sale but it has to be placed on the property where the garage sale is occurring,” Brennon Williams with the City of Albuquerque’s Planning Dept. said. “It can’t be blocking the sidewalk, it can’t be placed in the median.”

There’s actually a fair amount of rules when it comes to having a garage sale written into the city’s garage sale ordinance, which was recently amended to allow for two garage sales spanning three consecutive days each in a calendar year.

Previously, the ordinance allowed for just one in one 12-month period. The city says the amended ordinance was enacted this month to clear up any confusion over people claiming to have one garage sale one weekend, then having one the next weekend and claiming it was a “new” 12-month period.

KRQE News 13 spoke with homeowners hosting garage and yard sales this weekend, who said they had no clue about the ordinance.

Sure enough, the city says it gets a fair amount of complaints about folks having way more than the legal limit. Often times, the complaints come in via 311.

“The Planning Department can send an instructor out and have them notify a property owner what the rules are,” Williams said.

And when a city worker out and about spots a sign that shouldn’t be where it is, “As part of their routine cleanup, they take those signs and dispose of them because they constitute litter,” Williams explained.

Another interesting section of the code: you can only sell your own household goods at a garage sale. Meaning, if the city sees you trying to make a buck or two off of 15 washer and dryer sets, it will become suspicious.

The zoning code is a criminal code, and thus consistent rule breakers could be taken to court, but the city says it has yet to have a situation escalate to that point, and it would prefer to keep it that way.

Click here to view the recent garage sale amendment.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story contained the outdated version of the City’s zoning code on garage sales, which previously stated you could hold one garage sale per 12-month period. This story has been corrected to include updated information regarding the amendment enacted May 4, 2017.

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