Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003 | 9:26 a.m.
North Las Vegas' new law limiting yard and garage sales might get another look by the City Council after one councilman was alerted to the fact that the law prohibits the sales from taking place in front yards and driveways.
Councilman Robert Eliason said he will ask his fellow council members during tonight's council meeting whether they want to revisit the law, which the council voted 4-1 to adopt on Oct. 1.
Eliason was the lone vote against the law then, but at the time, he was primarily concerned about the law limiting the number of garage sales a resident could have to two a year. He said residents should be able to have four yard sales annually.
Eliason said he thinks the rule banning the sales from in front of homes sneaked by all of the council members, "otherwise some questions would have been asked."
He said he must have missed it because he was too focused on the proposed limit on the number of yard sales.
The law says that yard/garage sales are unlawful in the "front setbacks of any property."
City Code Enforcement Manager Sheldon Klain said that means the sales are barred from the property between the front edge of a home and the property line.
Councilwoman Shari Buck said she too didn't realize the law banned such sales from front yards and driveways.
"If it says that, that's going too far," Buck said, adding that such sales should be allowed in driveways at least.
Buck said it may have slipped past her because she was focused on proposed laws that would, among other property maintenance regulations, require broken-down cars be kept off driveways and out of sight. Those laws are now the subject of public meetings to determine how much power the city should have.
"If they're making you store your car in your back yard where are you going to have your yard sale?" Buck asked.
But it was unclear Tuesday whether the council would go along with Eliason's request.
Councilwoman Stephanie Smith said she was not sure whether she realized the new law banned yard and garage sales from in front of homes.
"I know we don't want them in front yards. It looks bad," Smith said. "But we should allow it in driveways."
However, Smith said that if the new law hasn't been a problem so far, maybe it shouldn't be changed.
"I don't know that it's that big a deal," she said, adding that the primary purpose of the law was to guard against people who turn regular yard sales into a small business.
Mayor Michael Montandon and Councilman William Robinson did not return telephone calls seeking comment on Tuesday.
Klain said no one has been cited under the new law as of Tuesday, and so far 20 permits have been issued for such sales.
Klain said the language in the law was reviewed with council members before the October vote. He said the part of the law that pushes yard and garage sales into garages or back yards is based on similar laws found in Missouri. He said no local governments have a similar restriction.