Town of Johnston, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston 6-14-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-9; amended in its entirety 11-13-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-16. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Business operations — See Ch. 125.
Licensing — See Ch. 204.
Zoning — See Ch. 340.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FLEA MARKET
Flea market, swap shop or similar activity by whatever name involving the temporary setting up of 10 or more booths, tables, platforms, racks or similar display areas for sales by three or more vendors.
YARD SALE
Sale or offering for sale of 10 or more items of personal property outdoors at any one residential premises at any one time, but not including a flea market. The sale of items actually owned and accumulated by a person, and on private property, owned, rented or leased by the licensee; and such sale conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The term "yard sale" shall also mean garage or barn sale or any other term used to describe a sale of the type identified in this chapter under the term "yard sale." The intent of the provisions for yard sales, therefore, shall not be circumvented by using a different term to reflect such an activity.
"Yard sales," as defined in § 272-1, shall be permitted in the Town only by compliance with the following requirements and provisions:
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to hold a yard sale of any type without a legal permit to do such. Said permits shall be issued only by the office of the Town Clerk.
B. 
Permitted yard sales may be held and operated only by the person or persons who live on and own, lease or rent the property on which the yard sale is conducted.
C. 
No more than two yard sales may be held in any one calendar year by any person or persons.
D. 
No more than two yard sales may be held in any one calendar year at any one property.
E. 
Only items actually owned and accumulated by the owner or owners of the property on which the sale is being held can be sold at a permitted yard sale; this provision shall specifically preclude the sale of items purchased from another source for the purpose of resale.
F. 
Permitted yard sales may be conducted, under a single permit, on three consecutive days; said permit will be valid only for the days so specified thereon. In the event a permitted yard sale is not held on any days due to inclement weather, the permittee may select rain dates, without additional cost, for a future date or dates in the same calendar year at the time of issuance of the original permit.
G. 
Permitted yard sales may be conducted only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
H. 
Temporary signs publicizing the permitted yard sale may be displayed up to 24 hours prior to the start of said sale and during the permitted period of the sale. All such signs, however, shall be removed within 24 hours following the end of the permitted sale period. Signs shall not exceed four square feet in size, and each sign must be personally signed by the person to whom the permit has been issued.
I. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to casual sales by minors, nor to legally recognized nonprofit organizations, if otherwise legally conducted, and no permit shall be required therefor. This provision shall in no way be used by any adult person or persons, however, to circumvent the provisions and intent otherwise applicable.
A. 
"Flea markets," as defined in § 272-1, shall be permitted in the Town only by compliance with the following requirements and provisions:
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct or operate a flea market of any type without a license to do such.
(2) 
Licenses to conduct or operate a flea market shall be issued only by the Town Clerk and only after approval of every said license by the Town Council. Application for a license to conduct or operate a flea market must be submitted in writing to the Town Council, who shall have the sole authority to approve or disapprove such license.
(3) 
Before granting a license to any person under the provisions of this section, the Town Council shall give notice of such application by causing an advertisement to be published, once a week for at least two weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. Such notice shall include a statement that remonstrants are entitled to be heard before the granting of such license, and shall identify the time, date and place where a public hearing shall be held on the matter. At said public hearing, a fair opportunity shall be granted the remonstrants to make their objections known before acting upon said application for license.
(4) 
Applications for a license to conduct or operate a flea market shall include, as a minimum:
(a) 
The specific location of the land on which said flea market shall be conducted or operated (by Assessor's plat and lot numbers);
(b) 
The provisions made for required off-street parking;
(c) 
A statement that the building in which the flea market is conducted or operated is not a dwelling;
(d) 
Approved building and fire inspections;
(e) 
Approval from the Zoning Department prior to submission of an application and approval and issuance of a license.
(5) 
An issued license shall only be valid for the stated date, dates or period of time stated thereon, and only during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
(6) 
Off-street parking of vehicles must be provided in accordance with the specifications contained in the Zoning Ordinance of the Town.[1] All parking areas must be paved, and parking spaces marked allowing for 290 square feet per vehicle space. Traffic-control costs shall be borne totally by the operator of the flea market and shall be as required and approved by the Chief of Police.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 340, Zoning.
(7) 
All buildings used for ancillary sales must be approved for such as to sewage disposal by the State Department of Health; in addition, if food is to be sold, a letter from the Food and Drug Division of said Department stating approval of sanitary conditions shall be required. Restrooms must be provided for men and women.
(8) 
At no time shall goods, wares or merchandise of any sort be displayed outside of any building.
(9) 
Temporary signs publicizing a licensed flea market shall not be permitted. A permanent sign for the purpose of identifying and publicizing the licensed flea market shall be permitted, providing said sign is in accordance with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town. Notices of special sales are permitted to be affixed to and become part of a permanent sign on a temporary basis, but the entire permanent sign must be kept in a clean and neat condition at all times.
(10) 
Flea markets will be permitted and licensed only if all activities related thereto are conducted and maintained entirely indoors.
B. 
The Chief of Police shall be responsible for and authorized to enforce the provisions of this section.
In acting upon and imposing limitations and conditions upon a flea market or yard sale permit, the Town Clerk shall assure that:
A. 
Traffic safety will be adequately protected.
B. 
The hours, location on the site and methods of operation will cause no unreasonable disturbance to the neighborhood.
C. 
The premises will be cleared of trash and debris, and all signs erected will be removed.
A. 
Yard sale permit fee: $10 per yard sale.
B. 
Flea market permit fee: $25 annual fee.
A. 
The Zoning or Building Official shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. Upon demonstration of violation of the conditions of a permit, such permit may be revoked and security may be required as a condition for any subsequent permit issued to that operator.
B. 
Violation shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $50 per offense, with each day that a violation exists considered as a separate offense.