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Monday, July 16, 2012

Here we go again: Another illegal yard sale mars Braddock Road

4127 Braddock Road
Just when the illegal yard sales at 3908 and 4508 Braddock Road appear to have disappeared, at least for the time being, another one has popped up at 4127 Braddock.

Braddock Road resident Richard Zambito, who has made it his personal mission to get Fairfax County to shut down these “extreme yard” sales, saw a commercial truck July 14 unloading refrigerators, washers, dryers, grills, gym equipment, rugs, furniture, vacuums, and other items on the front yard at 4127 Braddock Road. Traffic was backed up all along the street, as people stopped to check out the “bazaar.”

Zambito noticed an elderly man on the corner apparently serving as a “spotter” to alert the sellers in case the police show up. “They know how to outwit county officials by doing this on the weekends,” he says.

In an email to county officials July 14, Zambito wrote: “This behavior is destroying our district and our inner beltway neighborhoods . . . I am outraged that this activity continues to plague Mason District and that the community has to continue to put up with this lawlessness.”

Susan Epstein, code compliance supervisor in the Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance, sent an email to Zambito July 16 promising to open an investigation of yard sales at 4127 Braddock Road. Epstein notes that there was a zoning violation at that property in 2010, and the residents at that time subsequently moved out.  

The property, which is in the Lincolnia Heights neighborhood, is a rental; the owner lives in Falls Church.
“It is beginning to appear as if this may be a well-organized black market community that is staying well below the radar screen of county officials and law enforcement,” Zambito says, “or they are copycats and know they can get away with these commercial market activities.”

He blames the lax enforcement on weak laws. The police don’t have jurisdiction for these issues, the zoning department and police don’t work together, and Supervisor Penny Gross’s hands are tied, he says, adding that it’s ludicrous that the zoning staff doesn’t work on weekends when these sales occur.

Unless the law is changed or the enforcement procedures are strengthened, “nothing will change,” Zambito


  1. not to be too broken record on the smart growth stuff, and realizing that selling old stuff is differnt, but to some extent this shows that the "market" wants to mix uses, and the segregating commercial uses from residential is artificial. Whats really destroying aging inside the beltway neighborhoods, built to a 1950s paradigm of low densities, autocentrism, complete seperation of uses, is their own unsustainability.

    Though I can understand being passing that the zoning folks won't come out on a weekend.

  2. Perhaps someone could hold a huge flee market for these folks in the Magills parking lot.

  3. That is just nonsense.

    the problem is thieves and crooks trying to fly under the radar and sell their junk. The problem is not enough police and unenforced zoning laws. the problem is cheapskakes looking for an illegal bargain.

  4. The problem is illegal aliens are taking over Mason District and FX County is doing nothing to stop them.

  5. What does illegal yard sales have to do with illegal immigrants? Stick to the topic. And they taking over the county? This is a multi-cultural community with residents from all over the cannot label a "foreigner" an illegal because he or she doesn't look like you.

    1. Are you at all familiar with the rhetorical device of hyperbole, as in "taking over the county." Folks are responding to a perceived degradation of their communities -- trashy yards, overcrowded homes, cars,vans, trucks lining residential streets, loud parties. Legal or illegal not the issue I think -- just code for unacceptable behavior.

    2. This is an issue of legal vs illegal aliens. (and by the way dear, my spouse is a LEGAL alien, who's skin is rather dark -- so get off the liberal talking points) Neighboring counties have scared them away and FX county is welcoming them with open arms. THe sharp decline in quality of life here while this is happening is no coincidence. And if someone worked hard enough to get into this country legally, you can bet they do not appreciate or condone or participate in these type of yard sales, the increase in trash, the illegals loitering at every corner and the decrease in home values.

    3. I agree with you. Now they are up at the Braddock home depot (day laborers) and trash is on every roadway. It all happened in 2007 when Prince William County cracked down. Dont forget the completely overcrowded schools here as well. Major downhill turn in our quality of life. If my property values weren't so tanked due to their trashy yards - I'd move with the rest of the folks who have left.

    4. Property values and quality of life are down because of the overall economy, be thankful you at least still have a house and live in an area that wasn't as hit as hard as other places - so everyone stop being so melodramatic. And also, guess what is also contributing to that? The fact that Annandale has stagnant infrastructural and commercial development; hence; Annandale is aging! Driving around Annandale, these "trashy yards" belong to all types of home owners, unfortunately even to people who are too elderly and don't have the cash flow they once did to maintain their homes properly.

      But the moment there is a proposal about revitalizing the area, people go up in arms always finding a negative side to it or trying to block it because they want to continue envisioning a idyllic community that was probably more fit several decades ago and not in these modern age. Meanwhile, surrounding neighborhoods are changing and Annandale is being left behind in time. Times they are a'changing peoople.There is so much potential here is Annandale, it's a diamond in the rough - and I just feel any type of fruitful development is always being deferred.

    5. So life here is bad, but be thankful that its not as bad as other places? Yeah, that's the kind of complacency that lets government run all over us.
      But I agree that we need revitilization, which does not include drastic dense infill. I agree that we need our business community to get with the times. But guess what? B/C the government has allowed the illegals and illegal businesses to run wild in Annandale, the individual business owners who make this country successful don't want to come here. The government won't enforce existing laws that would clean up this town and bring in vibrant businesses that attract more businesses. Instead, as the weeds grow and the illegal yard sales continue, people who could turn this town around are running away.
      And yeah, I do envision an idyllic community b/c it is possible. THis is America and I don't plan to aim low in my life and just accept the crap that is thrown at me and call it enevitable. What a sad, herd mentality you have.

  6. Not sure the market wants mixed uses, but a certain market segment does. And am interested if you live in one of these "unsustainable" communities like I do (and love it)

  7. If a person is constantly selling the same item(s) new and/or used like appliances over and over again, chances are that they are stolen.

  8. Tax ID #: 61-3-7-E -13 FAIRFAX
    4010 BRADDOCK RD, ALEXANDRIA, VA 22312-1014 Public Record

    Legal Subdivision: Parklawn Condo/Coop Name:

    Incorporated City:
    Owner Name: Tony Marks Absentee:Yes
    Additional: Company:
    Mailing Address: 4010 BRADDOCK RD, ALEXANDRIA, VA 22312-1014
    Care of Name:
    Legal Description: Parklawn Lt 13 Blk E Sec 1
    Mag/Dist #: 5 Lot: 13 Block/Square:E/
    Election District: Legal Unit #: Grid: Tax Map: 0613 07E 0013
    Section: 1 Subdiv Ph: Addl Parcel Flag/#: Map:23151
    Map Suffix: Suffix: Parcel: Sub Parcel:
    Historic ID: Agri Dist: Plat Folio: 613 Plat Liber:

    Tax Year 2011
    TOTAL TAX BILL: $3,550 City Tax: Tax Levy Year: 2011
    State/County Tax: $3,115 Refuse: 345.0 Tax Rate: 1.1
    Special Tax: $90 Homestd/Exempt Status: TAXABLE Exempt Class: 00
    Front Foot Fee: Tax Class: Mult Class:

  9. I have a house that is being rented. The tenants are holding a yard sale every other weekend. I did not forsee this would ever happen and did not have anything in the rental agreement limiting yard sales. I have informed them not to hold anymore but they have responded that there is no law limiting yard sales. Is this correct? Is there a law that I can cite?

  10. That's a zoning violation. The Fairfax County zoning ordinance says you can't have more than two yard sales a year on a residentially zoned property (Article 10, Part 1). File a complaint with the Department of Code Compliance.