IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF
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.
Attorney for the appellee
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
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.”
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
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.
AND ORDERED in Chambers at
Nancy Moate Ley
R. Timothy Peters
John A. Schaefer
cc: City Attorney
Scot Samis, Esq.