TEGA CAY -- Beth Ferguson made quite the charitable donation to Goodwill last month.
She's just not sure why she had to.
Ferguson, Tega Cay mother of two who has hosted a dozen or so yard sales at home the past 14 years, hoped to raise about $700 at a June 20-21 yard sale at her home to help pay for an air conditioner in her car. She brought in $70, and all the items not sold went to Goodwill.
"I know it seems like a small issue," Ferguson said. "I don't want someone else to go through the headache I went through."
The problem, she said, was the signs she placed throughout the city advertising the sale were all removed. She didn't realize the signs were being removed until no one showed up Friday and her sister, from Wilmington, N.C., with a car load of sale items, scrambled to make more.
A city worker removed the signs again, leaving Ferguson with only one yard sale sign in her car window. She found out the signs violate a city ordinance.
"I don't know of another city that doesn't allow people to have yard sale signs," Ferguson said.
Chris Rice, city zoning administrator and code enforcement officer, confirmed last week that most yard sale signs are prohibited in highly-trafficked areas of the city.
"In effect, signs are prohibited in the roadway," Rice said.
Signs cannot exceed three square feet, cannot be installed more than three days before an event and must be removed within one day following the event, according to Ordinance 70. The code also states yard sales cannot last longer than two consecutive days.
Signs are allowed only on private lots where the event is being held or on a private lot with written permission from the owner. Signs on the roadways require approval from the highway department, city and zoning administrator.
"It hasn't changed at all," Rice said of the rule went into effect in 2004.
What has changed is enforcement. City Councilman George Sheppard, who e-mailed a response to Ferguson about the ordinance, said the existing code is being more strictly enforced.
"The difference is that we now have a code enforcement officer that works on the weekends," wrote Sheppard. "In the past, people would put their signs out after the code enforcement officer left on a Friday afternoon."
Mayor Bob Runde, who also exchanged messages with Ferguson, said the ordinance affects the city in other ways, such as prohibiting baseball scoreboards with advertisements. Runde said the issue would be sent to city manager Grant Duffield to possibly be revisited.
For more on the current ordinance or city contacts, visit tegacaysc.org.