Avoiding Common Violations
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 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.
Search Codes Enforcement Map
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.
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. View the Parking Commercial Equipment Brochure.
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.
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. Discarded items (considered junk and rubbish) cannot be left in the yard, and should be collected and disposed of properly. Examples of prohibited outdoor storage include auto parts and tires, building materials, tree trimmings and limbs, yard clippings, appliances, furniture, paper, plastic and cardboard debris or containers, and other trash and debris. View the Junk, Rubbish and Outdoor Storage Brochure.
Inoperative Motor Vehicles
Abandoned, disabled, or inoperative motor vehicles are not allowed to be parked anywhere in the City.
As we age, we take steps to maintain and improve our health. The neighborhoods and structures in St. Pete 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. View the Property and Building Maintenance Brochure and the Painting to Protect Your Home Brochure. To understand which dwellings or structures may be classified as unfit or unsafe, view the Unsafe or Unfit Structures Brochure.
To keep St. Pete neighborhoods safe and uncluttered, City Codes govern where vehicles and equipment can be parked in residential areas. View the Good Neighbor Guide to Residential Parking.
Property owners are required to maintain vegetation on both the private property and the City right of way, including mowing grass, edging sidewalks and curbs, and trimming hedges and trees, according to specific criteria outlined in the City code.
The law requires that the property owner be notified of violation conditions and given a reasonable time to comply. If the owner fails to bring the property into compliance, the property is referred to the City's Sanitation Department whose crews mow, trim, edge, and clear rubbish from the property. The costs of these activities are charged as a special assessment to the property owner. View the Yard Maintenance Standards Brochure and the Rodent and Insect Control Brochure for more on proper yard maintenance.
There are City codes that govern where vehicles and equipment can be parked on residential property. Passenger vehicles and motorcycles can be parked in front of the house or in a street side yard provided they are in an approved, legally recognized parking area.