Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg council member wants to strengthen nuisance law

ST. PETERSBURG — Troubled by growing complaints surrounding a Midtown trouble spot, City Council member Karl Nurse is calling for an overhaul of the city's nuisance abatement process.

Nurse asked the City Council to broaden the definition of a nuisance property to include sites heavily frequented by police. The measure could make it easier for city officials to shut down criminal hot spots.

"We have properties in the city that generate hundreds of police calls per year," he wrote in his request to put the issue before the council. "However, if the crimes are public drinking, brawling, drug possession and similar crimes, they do not count as a nuisance under our nuisance abatement ordinance. Clearly, these properties are a nuisance."

The abatement board can declare a property a public nuisance if the city can prove it is the site of drug sales, prostitution, gang activity or stolen property dealing.

Nurse said the nuisance abatement board should also consider the frequency of crimes at a location.

Complaints growing

Nurse said he was motivated by growing complaints regarding the TyRon Lewis Memorial Garden and That Dam New York Liquor Store, two adjoining properties along 16th Street S that have become a gathering place for drug dealers and drunks, according to area business owners and residents.

Police were called to the area 131 times last year, and 162 so far this year. At least 44 people were arrested near the garden for crimes such as public drinking and battery, including five cases of drug possession.

"It seems kind of 'Duh!' that if a property has 162 calls to the Police Department in 10 months it seems inherently a nuisance," Nurse said.

Catherine Weaver, president of the Sixteenth Street South Business Association, said she has been trying for years to get the city to shut down the liquor store.

"This is really hurting the businesses here. People don't want to come down here if they don't feel safe," she said. "I know (the council) can do something about it. It's just a matter of doing it."

Cristina Silva can be reached at csilva@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8846.

St. Petersburg council member wants to strengthen nuisance law 10/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Convicted murderer whose release Pam Bondi fears will stay behind bars

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Tampa police officer convicted in 1980 of murdering a security guard will not be released from prison after a parole hearing that Attorney General Pam Bondi said could have put her at risk.

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi arrives for an injunction hearing at the Hillsborough County Courthouse, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Tampa, regarding William Norman Wilkes, the man she alleges has been stalking her. On Wednesday, the Florida Commission on Offender Review is set to consider whether to let Charles Norman, a former Tampa police officer convicted of murder, will seek his possible release. Bondi says Norman has sent her threats. "He is a menace to society and needs to remain behind bars," Bondi said.   [Loren Elliott | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Romano: On this education bill, you decide who is evil

    Politics

    The political ramifications are not lost on Kristine Benson.

    Six-year-old Chase Benson was born with down syndrome and autism. He attends a private school in Palm Harbor through a Gardiner Scholarship. [Photo courtesy of Kris Benson]
  3. St. Petersburg police team with federal agencies to crack down on gun and drug offenders (w/video)

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police say Raymond Adams, 29, jumped a fence to break into a home in the 800 block of 51st Street Avenue S.

    Some of the guns confiscated during an eight month firearms, drug trafficking, and violent crime operation dubbed the St. Petersburg Violent Crime Reduction Initiative were on display Wednesday, 5/24/17 at the St. Petersburg Police Department.  Federal charges have been filed against 35 individuals and state charges have been filled against 9 individuals in St. Petersburg. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  4. Graco recalls car seats; webbing may not hold child in crash

    Public Safety

    Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained.

    Graco has recalled eight different car seat models.
  5. Pro Bowl returning to Orlando in 2018

    Bucs

    ORLANDO — The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando in 2018 for the second straight year.

    Bucs  wide receiver Mike Evans runs a route as Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. defends during the first quarter of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in January at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]