In North Port, Florida, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reports:
- The used car was a blessing, a gift from her church to help Diane Pearson, a single mother with three children and a long commute to work. And after receiving the 1998 Mercury from her church, Pearson found her drive to Sarasota a bit less stressful. But Pearson lives in North Port, a city that has targeted citizens for violating rules regulating everything from how often you mow your grass to the cars in your driveway.
- North Port took Pearson to court this month over fines of more than $27,000 for keeping her old car in the driveway without a license plate. If the city wins its case, Pearson could be facing bankruptcy. "It's been a nightmare," said Pearson, 49, who works two jobs to stay afloat as she raises three teenagers. Pearson is one of dozens of North Port residents caught in the city's crackdown on code
violations.(1)Officials promised to ease up last year, following complaints that the get-tough approach was too heavy-handed in a community slammed by the recession.
For more, see North Port code net snags another.
(1) A November, 2009 Sarasota Hearld Tribune story reports on another incident where the City of North Port attempts to force the sale of a house to pay $45,500 in city fines that began accruing years ago after a homeowner put up a canopy tent without a $30 permit. The homeowner reportedly also had code violations on a second property that stem from roofing work and enclosing a lanai without permits. Combined, North Port said the homeowner owed $123,000 in fines. For this story, see Code violation fight may cost woman her home.
The City of Northport offered to settle the $123,000 in fines for about $25,000.