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City Tells Group Trying To Pay It Forward That Front Yard Giveaway Falls Under Garage Sale Ordinance

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A pay-it-forward group in Sacramento is in trouble for having too many garage sales after their giveaway attracted city code enforcers.

According to the city code, it's possible to have too many garage sales. It comes with a warning first, then a fine of up to $1,000. But some roommates say they got in trouble for having what they call a giveaway.

Kate Worsley and her roommates were all recently homeless, but say after good people helped them get back on their feet, they're giving back. They're giving away everything from canned food to baby toys to romance novels and accepting cash donations to feed the homeless from their front lawn.

"We all needed help," she said. "There's nobody in the whole world, that doesn't need help from somebody."

They started a pay-it-forward group on Facebook and say they got enough people to donate to their "giveaway" to make an impact.

But from a distance, it looks like a garage, and neighbors like Brent Sanchez complain it's an eyesore.

"They leave up signs on the trees and stuff, kind of tacky," he said.

He sees garage sales across the street every weekend.

"If the city doesn't allow that kind of stuff, guess what you have to go with that," he said.

Code enforcers served the group with a warning on Thursday. They say the roommates are in violation of city code because they're having too many garage sales and it's becoming a business. The neighborhood isn't zoned for businesses.

City code allows for one garage or yard sale a year, but Worsley maintains all the stuff is free.

They feel like they're doing nothing wrong and it's their right to continue.

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