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Residents will ask Ferris to review yard sale decision

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS - Residents, outraged at the city's new garage sale ordinance, have asked to voice their opposition at next week's city council meeting, Monday, May 19.

Ferris resident Bill McCarty is ready to speak to the city council concerning the garage sale restrictions.

He and R.V. Proctor said they spoke to Mayor Jimmie Birdwell, asking the garage sale ordinance be listed on the next council meeting's agenda for discussion between residents and council members.

After several people questioned the ordinance,

Birdwell said he would be willing to listen and will probably list the discussion on the agenda for the next meeting.

'I'd be in favor of rewriting the way it reads,' Birdwell said.

Some residents said they are very much in favor of repealing the law or rewriting it.

'Glenn Heights has it were you can have two garage sales a year free and then all the rest, you can have as many as you want as long as you get a permit,' McCarty said.

'I think that's the way it ought to be here,' he said.

During the April 21 meeting, council members discussed and agreed unanimously to pass an ordinance stating no one may hold over three yard sales a year per address.

'That no person, firm, corporation, partnership, or organization shall hold such a sale regulated hereunder more than three times a calendar year. No sale shall be conducted at the same property address more than three times during a calendar year,' stated the new Ferris ordinance.

The restrictions also include obtaining a $5 garage sale permit for each of the three.

Gerald Thompson, a Maypearl resident, said he comes to Ferris quite regularly to shop at Soul's Harbor and yard/storage building sales throughout the town.

'I go all over anyway, so it would be one less place I would get to go (to go garage selling),' said Thompson.

Council members said one of the reasons for the garage sale restrictions was because of the 'perpetual' garage sale that has been held at the Ferris Self Storage buildings, next to the Postoffice, for the last several months.

Mayor Pro-Tem Scott Scott Born said garage selling is not what the units were designed to do.

'We got a lot of steady customers who come over here and they end up going downtown shopping and spending money,' said Frank Butts, a Ferris resident.

Butts is one of the people who open their storage units each weekend to sell their goods to garage sale hunters.

'We've [talked to] people ... [who] have come all the way over from North Dallas or South of Waxahachie, people come from all over the metroplex, so it's definitely good for everybody.'

Debbie Connell said one of the problems lies with the wide interpretation of the law. She said city leaders should be more specific in the writing.

'I don't mind paying the $5, but I don't think there should be such a restriction on the three times. What if we wanted to also have a car wash for the little league or cheerleaders. Does that limit us also?' Connell said.

Born said he was the one who asked the city secretary to place the item on the agenda after some local residents complained about people conducting continuous yard sales.

'There been some people in town that have a garage sale every weekend, which isn't fair to their neighbors,' said Born during the April 21 meeting.

Garage sale supporters said they are upset at council members for not asking more residents how they felt about the ordinance.

'They did not tell anybody they were even thinking about it. They just popped it up without any kind of pre-notification to the people, McCarty said.

'They didn't even get input from anybody in the city. No one was asked whether they liked it or didn't … they did not use the voice of the people in this thing. Just two or three people wanted to have it done and that was it.'

Some object to the city passing so many ordinances. They said they feel it is impending on their rights.

'If I wanted to live in Dallas and be micro-managed, I wouldn't have moved to Ferris,' said The Ellis County Press Editor Sheila Hatfield.

Born said he would be willing to listen to alternatives.

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