NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some neighbors on Staten Island are fed up with a massive yard sale that they say is an eyesore.
Scavenging at yard sales is Debbie Nelson’s thing.READ MORE: Gen. Colin Powell, Former Secretary Of State, Dies At 84 Due To Complications From COVID-19
“I have so much at home, so if I buy something, I have to get rid of something. That’s my policy,” the Westerleigh resident told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
She likes the big selection at 654 Willowbrook Rd., open daily in the mixed use residential-commercial district with all kind of items on tables, stretching around the corner to also face busy North Gannon Avenue.
Neighbors remember the yard sale started small, weekends only, about six years ago, but now it’s nearly all the time.
“This one has really got big,” Nelson said.
“I think it’s just grown, and I think you have a lot more people that just come and park over here,” Willowbrook resident Wendy Em said.
John Scamardella‘s home is right next door, and while he considers it handy if he needs something and can find it there, he also says it’s gotten too big and he doesn’t like the view from his second-story bedroom window.
“It’s sort of an eyesore for us,” he said.READ MORE: Gen. Colin Powell Remembered Fondly At His Alma Mater, CCNY, And In The Bronx, Where He Was Raised
The city has more than 40 neighbor complaints on file.
Some have concerns that it’s a retail business that brings too much traffic and double parking, and items have blocked sidewalks.
Some neighbors say over the years, it has grown into a sprawling flea market, but owner Robert Renaud says it’s still a yard sale.
“We’re just selling trinkets, knickknacks, gifts, thrifts … and I do this as a fun hobby,” he said.
Renaud expanded it after he retired from the bar business four years ago. He says the sellers are family and friends only, and he’s made sure it is legal.
“In New York, you can have as many yard sales as you want and you don’t need any permits for a yard sale,” he said. “Out of the whole summer, I got two tickets. Their main concern is to make sure that the sidewalk is clear.”
CBS2 reached out to the city departments of buildings and transportation about the property. We did not hear back. One official said this happening entirely on private property leaves little recourse.
It would seem, for better or worse, the biggest yard sale many people say they’ve ever seen is here to stay.MORE NEWS: Report: Feds May Allow Americans To Get Different COVID Booster Than Vaccine They First Received
The city’s sanitation department told CBS2 that it doesn’t remove material from private property, but it does issue violations if excessive material is visible from the street.