County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL LAW – Code Violations – The fact that a long-distance trucker was frequently away, does not render his parking of his tractor-trailer at his house temporary parking – an exception to the St.Petersburg city code prohibition of parking a commercial vehicle at a residential property. Judgment and sentence affirmed. Chiandusse v. State, No. CRC 04-42 APANO, (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. May 27, 2005).










Appeal No. CRC 04-42 APANO









Opinion filed _________________.


Appeal from a finding of guilt

entered by the Pinellas County Court

County Judge Donald Horrox


Scot Samis, Esq.

Attorney for appellant


Ernest Mueller, Esq.

Assistant City Attorney

Attorney for the appellee




            THIS MATTER is before the Court on the defendant’s appeal from a finding of guilt entered by the Pinellas County Court. The defendant was found guilty of violating a City of St.Petersburg ordinance. The defendant is appealing that finding. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the finding of guilt.

            The defendant, who is a long-distance trucker, has been parking his semi-cab on his residential property for many years --- seemingly without objection from his neighbors. A St.Petersburg Code investigator, however, sought to put a stop to this practice by enforcing a St.Petersburg ordinance that prohibits the parking of a commercial vehicle of this size on residential property. Section 29-209(c) provides that:


                                    The parking of commercial equipment in any residential

                                    district is prohibited. This requirement shall not be

                                    interpreted to prohibit commercial parking and unloading

                                    in any residential district and shall not prevent temporary

                                    parking of vehicles on a lot as accessory to a lawful

                                    commercial use of the same residential lot … .


The defendant claims that he falls under the exception that provides that the ordinance: “shall not prevent temporary parking of vehicles on a lot as accessory to a lawful commercial use of the same residential lot.” The defendant claims that he uses his residence as the business address for his trucking company, and that he is only temporarily parking at the business because the undisputed evidence established that he is on the road approximately 18 to 21 days out of each month, with the vehicle being parked at his residence for approximately 10 to 12 days each month.

The defendant’s argument that his parking is only temporary is strained and unpersuasive. The defendant does not temporarily park his semi-cab at his residence. He parks it there full-time. Obviously, it is not parked there when he is using it; but when he is not using the vehicle it is parked there. That use is full-time, not temporary. To some extent all parking might be considered temporary in that the vehicle is moved when it is being used, but that reality does not affect a reasonable person’s understanding or definition of the phrase “temporary parking.”

            The defendant’s second argument is that the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague. The defendant claims that people must guess as to its meaning. A review of the ordinance does not lead this Court to find that it is vague. Moreover, this appellate court (albeit a different panel) has already ruled that this statute is not unconstitutionally vague. See Spaulding v. State, No. CRC 03-66 APANO (Fla. 6th Cir.Ct. Sept. 9, 2004).

            Finally, the defendant argues that the City should be equitably estopped from construing the ordinance against him. The basis for this claim appears to be that a previous City inspector showed him leniency by not giving him a citation. This previous good fortune does not support an estoppel argument.

            IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the finding of guilt is affirmed.

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this _____ day of May, 2005.



                                                                                                Nancy Moate Ley

                                                                                                Circuit Judge





                                                                                                R. Timothy Peters

                                                                                                Circuit Judge





                                                                                                John A. Schaefer

                                                                                                Circuit Judge


cc:   City Attorney


        Scot Samis, Esq.


        Judge Horrox