Accessibility Information skip navigation

Ordinances & Laws

Panhandling

Section 20-79 was amended on January 10, 2008, to expand the "no panhandling" zone in downtown St. Petersburg. The expanded "no panhandling" zone covers those areas and attractions in downtown that contribute in large part to the economic vitality of downtown by drawing retail, pedestrian, and tourist oriented business. The ordinance already prohibited panhandling in a number of locations throughout the
City such as sidewalk cafes, within 15 feet of an ATM or bank entrance, at bus stops, at the bus transfer facility on Central Avenue, on public transportation vehicles, and on private property (unless the property owner has given permission). The ordinance also prohibits aggressive panhandling anywhere in the City and prohibits panhandling between sunset and sunrise each day.
2-1-1 map

Sleeping in the Right-of-Way

Section 20-74 and Section 20-75 were adopted by City Council on March 15, 2007. Both sections address sleeping in the right-of-way. Section 20-74 makes sleeping in or on any part of the right-of-way unlawful and requires, that if shelter space is available for a homeless individual, that individual must go to that shelter or they will be charged with violating the section. Section 20-75 makes it unlawful to sleep in the right-of-way contiguous to residential property lines. If the individual moves from the location after being notified of the violation, he will not be charged with a violation.

 

Sec. 20-74. Sleeping in or on right-of-way

  • (a) It shall be unlawful and a violation of the City Code for any person to sleep in or on any part of the right-of-way, which shall include any public sidewalk.
  • (b) A law enforcement officer observing a violation of subsection (a) of this Section, shall inquire of the person violating this section if the person has legally existing available shelter space, either owned or available for use by the individual, and if the person has such available space and agrees to travel, begins to travel immediately and continues to travel until reaching such shelter space, the person shall not be charged with a violation of this section.
  • (c) If shelter space is available at a shelter within the City of St Petersburg or within three miles of the borders of the City of St Petersburg, and such shelter space is known to be available by a law enforcement officer observing a violation of subsection (a) of this Section, the officer shall advise the person of the violation and, when necessary and when available, afford the person the opportunity to be transported to the shelter with any personal items requested to be
    removed by the individual, provided the shelter will accept the person. The person shall not be charged with a violation of this section if the person agrees to be transported to the shelter. If the shelter space is outside the borders of the City of St Petersburg, public or other transportation will be made available to the individual at the shelter space so that the individual can travel to locations within the City which are necessary to the individual.
  • (d) If the officer is not aware of available shelter space within the City of St Petersburg or within three miles of the borders of the City of St Petersburg, the person shall not be charged with a
    violation of this section.
  • (e) It shall not be a violation of this subsection for a passenger to be asleep while traveling in the right-of-way if they are being transported by another in or on any device or by any method otherwise legally permitted in the part of the right-of-way being used for such travel.
  • (f) Any violation of any provision of this Section of the City Code shall be punishable as provided in Section 1-7 of this Code.

    (Ord. No. 817-G, 1,3-15-07)

Sec. 20-75. Sleeping on right-of-way contiguous to residential property lines.

  • (a) It shall be unlawful and a violation of the City Code for any person to sleep in or on any part of the right-of-way, which shall include any public sidewalk, which is contiguous to a residential property line. As used herein, "residential property line" shall have the meaning set forth in the City's Land Development Regulations.
  • (b) If a person is found to be sleeping in a right-of-way where sleeping is prohibited by subsection (a) of this section, a law enforcement officer shall request the person to move to an area where sleeping is not prohibited. The person shall not be charged with a violation of this section if the person voluntarily moves from and does not return, within 72 hours, to sleep on any part of any right-of-way, which shall include any public sidewalk, which is contiguous to a residential property line.
  • (c) It shall not be a violation of this subsection for a passenger to be asleep while traveling in the right-of-way if they are being transported by another in or on any device or by any method otherwise legally permitted in the part of the right-of-way being used for such travel.
  • (d) Any violation of any provision of this Section of the city Code shall be punishable as provided in Section 1-7 of this Code.

    (Ord. No. 816-G, 1,3-15-07)

Temporary Shelters & Property In Right-Of-Way 

Section 20-76 which addresses placement and use of temporary shelters was also adopted on March 15, 2007. Pursuant to Section 20-76, it is unlawful to place, use, or occupy a tent, hut, lean-to, shack or other temporary shelter on public property unless a permit has been issued by the City, or on private property unless the property owner has consented, and the individual complies with the City's Zoning Code (and Park permitting requirements, if necessary). Section 20-76 also prohibits any of the items specified being placed in the right-of-way without a permit. A procedure is in place for the individual to remove the prohibited item(s) or for the City to have the item(s) removed and stored for a period of time.

Sec. 20-76. Placement and use of temporary shelters.

  • (a) Prohibited items.
    (1) It shall be unlawful and a violation of the City Code for any person to place, use or occupy any tent, hut, lean-to, shack or other type of temporary shelter (hereinafter collectively referred to as "prohibited items" ) on public property unless a City permit has been issued therefore when a permit is authorized to be issued by another section of this Code. It shall be unlawful for any person to place, use or occupy any prohibited item on private property without the written consent of the property owner, compliance with the City's Zoning Code and, if required by another section of this Code, unless a City permit has been issued. It shall not be a violation of this section for an individual, in City parks, to use temporary covers with open sides such as beach umbrellas to protect against sun during daylight hours or to protect against rain when it is raining where such use is not prohibited by other sections of this Code or by City regulations for the use of the park.
    (2) It shall be unlawful and a violation of the City Code for any person to place, use or occupy any prohibited item in or on any part of the right-of-way unless a City permit has been issued therefore when a permit is authorized to be issued by another section of this Code (e.g. parade permit, street closure permit, etc.). It shall not be a violation of this section for an individual, in the right of way, to use a handheld type of umbrella to protect against sun during daylight hours or to protect against rain when it is raining.
  • (b) Removal of prohibited items.
    (1) Prohibited areas for the purposes of this section means those areas described in
    subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section where prohibited items can not be placed without violating subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.
    (2) The person shall not be charged with a violation of this section if the person
    removes or causes to be removed all prohibited items from any prohibited areas
    immediately and does not return any prohibited item, within 30 days, to any prohibited area.
    (3) If requested by the person in violation of this section, the city shall remove, or cause to be removed, all prohibited items, and any personal items requested to be removed by the individual, to a secure indoor or outdoor location where they will be held for a period of ninety (90) days. If they are not claimed by the person who was in possession of them at the time of removal within the ninety (90) days, they shall be deemed abandoned property and be disposed of accordingly. If a person makes such a request and allows the Prohibited Items to be removed, the person shall not be charged with a violation of this Section provided the person does not place any Prohibited Item in a Prohibited Area within thirty (30) days.
    (4) If the person refuses to remove all prohibited items and the person is cited or
    arrested for a violation of this section, all prohibited items shall be removed or cause to be removed by the city to a secure indoor or outdoor location where they will be held for a period of ninety (90) days. If they are not claimed by the person who was in possession of them at the time of removal within the ninety days, they shall be deemed abandoned property and be disposed of accordingly.
    (5) If any prohibited items are found in a prohibited area by a law enforcement officer and there is no person present who claims ownership of them the officer shall cause them to be moved to a secure indoor or outdoor location where they will be held for a period of ninety (90) days. Upon removal of such items, a notice shall be affixed to the ground in the area where the removed items were located. The notice shall provide a telephone number and a location where information concerning the retrieval of such items can be obtained. Such notice may be removed after five (5) days. If the items are not claimed by the person supplying sufficient proof of ownership within the ninety (90) days of removal, they shall be deemed abandoned property and may be disposed of accordingly.
    (6) When removing prohibited items pursuant to subsections (b)(3) or (b)(4), any other personal property inside or around a prohibited item may be removed and stored with the prohibited item.
    Cc) Any violation of any provision of this section of the city Code shall be punishable as provided in section 1-7 of this Code.

    (Code 1973, 20-11(b)(5); Ord. No. 815-G, ~ 1,2,3-15-07)


Storage of Personal Property on Public Property

 

In the interest of promoting the health and safety of all people, the City of St Petersburg must regulate potentially dangerous conditions on both private and public property, including the right-of-way.  Personal property stored on public property may pose a health, safety, or security threat to others.  All pedestrians, including those with disabilities, must have unobstructed access to the public right-of-way.

On January 24, 2008, St. Petersburg City Council amended the ordinance relating to outdoor storage.

Any items of personal property, including clothing, bedding, materials, equipment, furnishings, furniture, appliances, construction materials, or any items which are not designated to be used outdoors (except as specifically allowed in the St. Petersburg City Code) will not be allowed to be stored on public property, including public right-of-ways. 

Items found on public property, including public right-of-ways, may be identified and posted with a written notice that the items should be removed within 36 hours.  After 36 hours, if the property still remains, it may be removed by the City and stored for 30 days.  If the property is not claimed by the owner after 30 days, it may be disposed of.  Any items which are deemed to be a public health or safety concern may be subject to immediate removal from its location on public property and stored for a period of 7 days.  If the property is not claimed by the owner after 7 days, it may be disposed of. Any item determined to be junk, rubbish or garbage will be subject to immediate removal and disposal.

*Moving unlawfully stored items to another location on public property or right-of-way shall not constitute compliance with the ordinance.

If you believe that your personal property has been stored by the City of St Petersburg, please call (727) 893-7373, to schedule an appointment to regain your belongings.  
If you are in need of temporary storage for your personal belongings, a small container is available in a secure location at St. Vincent de Paul, 401 15th Street N.  You may access the storage container during the hours of 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  This temporary storage facility will be secured and monitored.

The City of St Petersburg will not be liable for loss or damaged items placed in storage.

Print page Text resize: Increase font size Decrease font size Original font size Updated:

City of St. Petersburg
P.O. Box 2842
St. Petersburg, FL 33731

  • p: 727-893-7111
  • f: 727-892-5102
  • tty: 727-892-5259
Copyright City of St. Petersburg St. Pete TV - Off The Air