Enforcement of minimum property maintenance, zoning and development standards is not just about improving neighborhoods; it is essential to the success of the City's Vision 2020 initiative and to Neighborhood Partnership planning and programs. Neighborhoods have a better chance to thrive when blight is held in check. Blighting influences are on the department's "Top 10 Violations" hit list. Code violations often cited by the department include inoperative motor vehicles (cars located on private property that are not "street legal"), yard maintenance, prohibited outdoor storage, junk and rubbish, improper parking of domestic and commercial equipment, and illegal dwelling units.
Most codes investigators are assigned to a specific geographic area and build a partnership with each neighborhood association in that area. Because every neighborhood has a unique character and may identify their own enforcement priorities, the codes investigator will emphasize enforcement concerns identified by each neighborhood.
Inoperative Motor Vehicles
Abandoned, disabled or inoperative motor vehicles are not allowed to be parked anywhere in the City. Often these types of vehicles look bad, which hurts the appearance of a neighborhood. These vehicles can also be safety hazards for children who are attracted to play in or around them.
Domestic equipment includes boats, utility trailers, camper trailers and recreational vehicles.
No more than two pieces of domestic equipment (not to exceed 35 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 12 feet in height) may generally be parked on any one residential lot in the rear or interior side yard of the lot anytime, however depending on the arrangement of the lot or proximity to the street, required shielding or other rules may apply.
Commercial equipment includes any vehicle or equipment which is designed for a commercial or industrial function or contains exterior commercial advertising. Commercial equipment cannot be parked in residential districts unless it is stored within a completely enclosed building, such as a garage.
Commercial equipment is generally large, noisy and often painted to provide an advertisement for the business, which can adversely affect the appeal and livability of residential areas. Restrictions on commercial vehicle parking have been a part of the City Code since 1973 when the increasing numbers of businesses were operated with mobile facilities, such as tow trucks, service and delivery trucks and vans. In some cases, these businesses expected the employees to take the equipment home after work hours. The results were increased truck traffic in residential areas and less attractive neighborhoods.
Outdoor storage is prohibited by City Code. This means there are limits to what can be left out in the yard. Ordinarily, any equipment, materials, or furnishings that are not used outdoors may not be stored outdoors.
Also, discarded items (considered junk and rubbish) cannot be left in the yard, but should be collected and disposed of properly.
Some examples of prohibited outdoor storage are:
- Auto parts and tires
- Building materials
- Tree trimmings and limbs, yard clippings
- Appliances and furniture
- Paper, plastic and cardboard debris or containers
- Other trash and debris
As we age, we take steps to maintain and improve our health. The neighborhoods and structures in St. Petersburg also require maintenance to stay in good health as they age.
Individual structures and neighborhoods that are poorly maintained cost citizens more money, depress property values, and foster vandalism and crime.
- Illegal or Abandoned Dwelling Units Brochure
- Yard Maintenance Standards Brochure
- Painting to Protect Your Home Brochure
- Property and Building Maintenance Brochure
- Unsafe or Unfit Structures Brochure
There are city codes that govern where you can park vehicles and equipment on your property.
It is easy to become familiar with the basics of the code governing residential parking. You can then park or store your vehicles and equipment accordingly. Passenger vehicles and motorcycles can be parked in front of the house or in a street side yard provided they are on an approved, legally recognized parking area.