Streetsboro council rejects yard sale crackdown

Streetsboro council unanimously scrapped proposed legislation that would regulate garage, yard and household sales in the city. The legislation stated that the sales, and others of a similar nature, “take place in such a manner and time so as to detract from the character of residential areas.”

Failure to comply with the regulations would have resulted in a minor misdemeanor charge on the first offense. If a person pleaded guilty to, or was found guilty of, additional charges within a year, that person would have faced fourth-degree misdemeanor charges.

Council members on Monday said residents made it very clear on community discussion boards that the proposed legislation was an overreach and that city council should focus on businesses, not individuals. More than 100 comments were posted on Facebook.

“The legislation looks to burden the residents more than it benefits them as a whole,” council member Justin Ring said. Absent a permitting process, there would be no way to establish when a sale starts and ends, causing more confusion than anything else. The concept of yard sale police is inconceivable, he added.

Most residents have reasonable sales, and one particular resident the proposed legislation was allegedly aimed at does not even live in Streetsboro anymore, he said.

“I don’t think it’s good, and I don’t think it’s necessary,” Ring said.

When council member Julie Field advocated for legislation that would address Streetsboro’s aesthetics, Ring said ordinances already exist or could be tweaked to include yard sales.

Existing ordinances already in place are fine, council member Chuck Kocisko agreed.

“We’ve beat this thing to death for hours. Where do we stop? If somebody’s got a for sale sign on his car and it’s sitting in his yard with a sign on it… how far do we go with this?” he asked.

Council member Mike Lampa also supported scrapping the proposed legislation.

“When something doesn’t make sense, you start over,” he said.

Under the terms of the proposed legislation:

No one could have a sale on the same property more than four times a year, and no sale could last longer than 72 consecutive hours, including set-up and tear-down. Sale items could not be visible to the public prior to or after sale hours, which were limited to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The person holding the sale must reside on the property where the sale would be located.

Sales could not feature a single commodity, primarily new merchandise or food items. No sale items, signs or other materials related to the sale could remain visible to the public after dusk on the last day of the sale.

Water rates likely going up

Residents will see an increase in their water bills. The only question is how much.

The city’s various water projects are on pace as council approved a $780,873 contract with GPD Group to plan and design watermain replacements and extensions. 

To finance it all, council is borrowing money. Lots of it. To pay the loan off, they are considering raising residents’ water rates by 1% over the annual 2% increase, and perhaps another 0.5% (or more) over that to free money for other projects and emergencies. 

The increases would be in effect for six years, then would revert to the standard 2% rate hikes.

The city’s Finance Committee will continue to investigate the city’s options.

Water line replacements are slated along Frost Road, from the Gardens at Liberty Park to Greenhaven; in the Greenhaven and Gaylord Park Allotments; and in the Arrowhead Trails Allotment.

Water line extensions will be installed on Hale Drive from Stone to East End, on Harper Road from Stone to East End, on state Route 303 west from Market Square to Walters, on state Route 303 east from the police station to Page, on Stone Road from McCracken to Harper, and on Walters Road and Olga Drive from state Route 303 to Brook Valley Trail.

Other items

  • Council approved the 2022 tax budget, required annually to support county tax levies and to give the county the go-ahead to set property tax rates.
  • Council also gave the nod to a $50,759 shot in the arm for Streetsboro schools, in accordance with a 2019 revenue sharing agreement the city has with Streetsboro City Schools.
  • Council also approved a collective bargaining union with Streetsboro Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 4281, which represents the city firefighters.
  • Storm water drainage improvements are slated to be installed between 2121 Laurel Lane and 8580 Deer Meadow Lane. The storm water drainage system is meant to alleviate flooding in the area.
  • A second storm water drainage system is slated to go in between 8739 and 8749 Seasons Road. The city had previously installed and jetted a clean out in the resident’s yard but found that flooding on Seasons continued.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.