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City of Wewa considers ordinance curbing flea markets, yard sales in parks

The City of Wewahitchka held the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would prohibit flea markets or yard sales from being set up on park property without prior approval from the city.

At their Aug. 31 meeting, the Wewahitchka city commissioners unanimously voted to approve the ordinance’s first reading and advertisement.

City Clerk Rachel Jackson read from the proposed ordinance, stating “Ordinance number 2023-1225L, an ordinance of the city of Wewahitchka Florida, (would prohibit) conducting yard sales and flea markets on public park property, providing for definitions, providing for exemptions, providing for penalties, and providing for an effective date.”

Their decision followed several minutes of discussion at the commissioners’ July 27 meeting, where among discussing the need for a potential ordinance, city commissioners unanimously voted to adopt signage indicating that flea markets could not be set up at city parks without prior approval by the city.

The issue was first raised by Commissioner Charlie Pettis, who had noticed that a yard sale and flea market was regularly being set up in city parks without prior approval from the city.

“I want to talk about the flea markets at the park,” he said. “Do we really want that going on, the yard sales?”

Under the proposed ordinance, law enforcement personnel would be able to have flea markets or yard sales set up in violation of the ordinance removed from park property.

The ordinance would only apply to public city park property.

Certain exceptions would be allowed under the ordinance for special events, though prior approval of the board of city commissioners would be necessary.

“We need to make certain provisions though for groups like the historical society, the women’s club,” said Jackson on July 27. “… We would need a way for them to come before the board and request permission.”

A second reading of the proposed ordinance will be held at the city’s September meeting, at which time the commissioners will be able to vote on whether or not to pass the new legislation.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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