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Garage, yard sale ban in Olds lifted

A Central Alberta town again allowed garage sales two years after they were banned because of COVID.
MVT Heather Ryan yard sales
Coun. Heather Ryan said she continued to attend garage/yard sales in town despite a ban on them voted in by council in 2020. Ryan said while doing so, she adhered to COVID protocols such as masking and using hand sanitizer. File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS — Garage and yard sales are officially allowed again in Olds two years after they were banned due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Council voted to eliminate that ban during its April 25 meeting.

A bylaw creating the ban was passed on April 27, 2020. Administrative staff recommended repealing it because COVID-19 restrictions in the province have now been lifted.

Known as the Garage-Yard Sale Prohibition bylaw, it outlawed any garage sales or yard sales in the town, including at “any driveway, dwelling, garage, premises, property or public place.” 

Peace officers were empowered to issue a notice, violation, tag or ticket to anyone they had “reasonable and probable grounds” to believe had violated the bylaw.

Potential fines ranged from $500 for a first offence to $1,000 for a third offence and $1,500 for any offence afterward. 

People who didn’t pay the fines within 14 days after having been ticketed/tagged, could be jailed for up to six months, according to the bylaw. 

“I know our community absolutely loves these, so I’m happy to see this come forward,” mayor Judy Dahl said as the topic came up for discussion. 

"Actually I didn’t even realize we had this in place because the love for garage sales is so strong in this community they’re just going on anyways, so thank you for bringing this to our attention." 

Coun. Heather Ryan said, “Well it didn’t stop the garage sales from happening. It just made them adhere to AHS (Alberta Health Services) rules, so I just wanted to point that out.

"I still went to them and wore my mask and made sure that I was washing my hands and sanitizing and everything. I’m glad to see this off the books because obviously this is no longer necessary.” 

“I’m certain we all are,” Dahl said. 

In an email to the Albertan, interim chief administrative officer Sheena Linderman said no fines issued as a result of the bylaw.

"There was high compliance from the community," she wrote, but noted that some garage sales did occur within the last two years.

Linderman said the bylaw gave the chief administrative officer, in conjunction with the town's Emergency Operations Centre, the ability to allow or not allow garage or yard sales, based on AHS regulations.