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FULLERTON : City Changes Stand, OKs Car Swap Meet

Six months after the City Council closed an automobile swap meet at Fullerton College, the council has reversed its decision, despite opposition from Fullerton car dealers.

Mayor A. B. (Buck) Catlin changed his vote; he no longer thinks that the car sales will compete unfairly with established used-car dealers in the city or that using a public college for a non-educational purpose is inappropriate.

In November, Catlin had sided with the 3-2 council majority to stop Irvine-based CarFaire Inc. from organizing private-party auto sales on the college’s parking lot. Last week, the council voted 3 to 2 to let CarFaire reopen.

CarFaire opened at the college in October, charging car owners $15 a day or $25 a weekend to display their cars for sale. The company leased the parking lot space for $500 a weekend, advertised the sales and assisted buyers and sellers with ownership transfer forms and other information.

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The operation competed unfairly with established automobile dealers who must pay overhead and comply with the regulations of several government agencies, said James Miller, general manager of McCoy & Mills Ford in Fullerton.

The council voted to close CarFaire last year after a city code-enforcement officer determined that the business required council approval and a business license, which CarFaire had not purchased.


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