Pasco crackdown begins on illegal ‘donation’ bins

Pasco County is ramping up enforcement efforts in a quest to put an end to the unlawful placement of donation bins, and illegal dumping that the bins tend to attract. News of the crackdown came during the Pasco County Commission’s May 21 meeting, when Commissioner Mike Moore advocated banning the bins. “I hate to call them donation bins because most of them aren’t actual donation bins,” … [Read more...]

Pasco commissioners seek way to stop panhandlers

They already have an ordinance on the books that addresses panhandlers, and another one that addresses trespassing. But, the Pasco County Commission still hasn’t found an effective way to put a stop to panhandling. “We have a panhandling ordinance in place. We write a lot of tickets to all of the people that are doing the panhandling. One gentleman has 240 tickets,” Commissioner Jack Mariano … [Read more...]

Pilot code enforcement program yields results

A more proactive approach to reducing blight in Pasco County appears to be working, and the Pasco County Commission wants the efforts to continue. Commissioners approved a pilot program in April 2017, described as “high return enforcement.” The focus was to become more aggressive in pursuing the worst of the county’s code violators through the use of fines and court actions. A … [Read more...]

Pasco County moves to speed up demolitions

Pasco County has new rules aimed at speeding up the demolition of blighted, and unsafe commercial buildings. The Pasco County Commission initially agreed in August to amend an existing ordinance to make the process faster, after Kristi Sims, a senior assistant county attorney, presented the ordinance. The final ordinance, approved by commissioners on Sept. 26 in New Port Richey, requires … [Read more...]

Pilot program to get tough on code violators

The Pasco County Commission has approved a pilot program to more aggressively pursue the worst of the county's code violators through the courts. In coming months, the county attorney's office hopes to increase the number of lawsuits filed against individuals and property owners who seem to skirt the current system of citations and fines. In cases where judges issue injunctions, repeat … [Read more...]

New rules ahead for dispensing medical marijuana

Voters statewide overwhelmingly said they want more people with debilitating illnesses to receive the benefits of medical marijuana. But, approval of the constitutional amendment in the Nov. 8 general election is only a first step in expanding an existing, but limited, medical marijuana program. State lawmakers and health department officials will have a say in what comes next. In the … [Read more...]

Pasco grapples with marijuana dilemma

Pasco County commissioners want to extend an existing moratorium on the growth, sales and distribution of cannabis until the end of the year. The delay would give the county's legal staff time to craft an ordinance to ban those activities in the future. As a backup, the county would approve regulations to restrict those activities to industrially zoned locations, with conditions. The … [Read more...]

Views exchanged on ending Pasco blight

A proposed ordinance to tackle blight and enforce minimum standards for maintaining commercial buildings drew mostly favorable reviews at a town hall meeting. But, some remain skeptical about what they see as more government bureaucracy. Pasco County Commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal on Oct. 20, following a public hearing. The issue has sparked considerable … [Read more...]

Pasco denies medical marijuana zoning appeal

Pasco County commissioners denied a zoning appeal from a local businessman who wants to qualify for Florida's program to manufacture and distribute a non-euphoric form of medical marijuana. Florida legislators approved the use and sale in 2014 of a low-strain of medical marijuana, known as “Charlotte’s web,” but the state has yet to launch the program. An announcement to award permits to … [Read more...]

Businesses fight ‘cotton-pickin government’

When he was running for office, Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore heard a recurring theme: Do something about the blight. The county, like many other Tampa Bay communities, suffered from the recession, and voters told Moore they wanted something done about neglected buildings. But a proposed ordinance that would set minimum standards for maintaining commercial buildings is stirring … [Read more...]