Owners of boats in disrepair or without current registrations are going to notice a change in the Pinellas County codes soon.
A proposed ordinance scheduled for a public hearing at the January 24 Board of County Commissioners meeting will change how Pinellas County Code Enforcement officers view derelict vessels in neighborhoods. The ordinance defines these vessels as those that are inoperable or not registered. The ordinance would prohibit the parking, placement and outdoor storage of these boats on any residential property in unincorporated Pinellas. In addition to the condition of the vessel, officers will also be monitoring the condition of the trailer that carries it. Trailers in inoperable condition or without a current registration would also be considered derelict vessels. Inoperable vehicles stored indoors - in a garage, for example - are not affected by the changes.
"The changes add 'derelict vessel' to the definitions section of the Inoperative Vehicle Code," said Bob Mortoro, Code Enforcement's division director. "A boat that's inoperable falls under this definition, and so does a boat that doesn't have a current registration."
In 2005, Pinellas County Code Enforcement held community meetings to present proposed changes to the codes that would have regulated the parking and storage of vessels. As a result of the subsequent public hearing, Commissioners requested that derelict vessels in residential neighborhoods be addressed.
Proposed changes affecting the penalties for code violations, the lot clearing code and the minimum housing codes are also on the agenda for the Jan. 24 meeting.
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