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Yard Sale Returns

New rules are in place to make community yard sale more manageable.

Sterling’s community yard sale at Briar Patch Park will return Saturday, after a two-month hiatus.

The Sterling Community Center, in conjunction with Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services, called a halt to the yard sales in July, because vendors broke many of the rules.

Sky Dantinne, manager of the center, said Friday that the advisory committee has developed new rules to restore the event’s community flavor.

The committee also decided against having a November yard sale. “What we are trying to do is put this back in the hands of the community,” he said. “Having it in the winter months didn’t make sense. We’re doing it during yard sale season.”

The yard sale, at 1500 N. Sterling Blvd., will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors will be allowed to set up one hour before the opening, and they will be required to close down by 3 p.m., he said.

Under the new rules, fewer vendors will be allowed on the site. The guidelines prohibit vendors from selling their wares on the Rolling Ridge Elementary School property on Frederick Drive, Dantinne said. Sterling Boulevard and Frederick Drive intersect.

Next spring, out-of-county vendors will have to pay $50 for a space, while county vendors pay $15.

The committee is considering whether to use pre-registration as a means of determining where each vendor will be located. Currently, vendors pre-register, but location is decided on a first-come-first-serve basis, he said.

Next year, vendors will be allowed to set up no earlier than 6 a.m. and shut down by 3 p.m. “That’s very important,” Dantinne said. “They have been setting up in the middle of the night … and lingering afterwards for many hours.”

He said he is looking for volunteers to serve on the committee. “We need a grass roots effort to keep it going,” he said.

Steve Torpy of Parks, Recreation and Community Services said a staff member has been assigned to enforce the rules at this Saturday’s yard sale. He said the advisory committee might have a facility supervisor at all of the future yard sales, but vendor fees would have to finance his or her services.

“There would be no cost to the county,” he said. “I think we’re going to continue to look at the issues that rose from such a well-attended event and the limitations we have at Briar Patch Park.”

The yard sale was canceled because vendors left trash, boxes and unwanted sale items in the park, sold pornography and weapons, parked in front of fire hydrants and broke other rules.

“I’m excited that it’s back on,” Torpy said. “The fact that we all came together to get it back up and running shows the commitment that the department has to the event.”