Bureaucrat Shuts Down Harmless Farmers Market in St. Petersburg; Invents Fake Law.

Pallner II of Planning and Economic Development, Shane Largent. The Faceless St. Petersburg Bureaucrat who shut down a small time farmers market, hurting a struggling businessman, needy consumers and freedom.

“Planner II” of the “Planning and Economic Development” department, Shane Largent. The Faceless St. Petersburg Bureaucrat – the “Person of Designation” (POD) – who shut down a harmless small time farmers market, hurting a struggling businessman, needy consumers and freedom.

UPDATE: Email the Mayor (Mayor@stpete.org) and Email the City Council (Council@stpete.org) to let them know to let the Founders Market stay open on Saturday and Friday.

For nearly a year now, St. Petersburg Residents have been able to purchase local fresh produce, food and crafts at the “Fresh Market at Founders Corner” in Northeast St. Pete on Fridays and Saturday. But no more, thanks to an arbitrary, lawless decision by the St. Petersburg government. A lone bureaucrat of the City of St. Petersburg, Shane Largent, has taken the law into his own hands and shut down the popular Saturday morning version of the market. His only reason: because he can!  That’s right, there is absolutely nothing in the law that allows the government to shut down or even require a permit for the operation of the popular local attraction. Yet the petty dictator has decided that he can make up law out of thin air to apply to this situation.

produce_fresh_market_smallThanks to this unjust decision, local market Operator and several local vendors are going to lose business and their livelihoods.  Local residents are going to lose affordable, high quality goods on which they have come to rely. The market is located at the “Founders Corner” property owned by Dr. David McKalip at 4th St. N and 62nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg. Ironically Founders Corner features monuments to the founding of our country including to “Limited Government”, “Property Rights” and “Free Markets”.  But that has not stopped the power-hungry bureaucrat Shane Largent who dug deep into law to invent a power that doesn’t exist. Citing a vague St. Petersburg ordinance, the man designated a “Planner II” for “Planning and Economic Development” stated that he, as the “Person of Designation” (POD), shall decide whether the market conditions are “reasonable”. The operator of the market, Joe Iziarry, has worked with Dr. McKalip and the surrounding neighborhood to comply with every request of Mr. Largent. Planner II Largent wanted a site plan, He got one.  Planner II Largent wanted a parking plan, he got that too. Planner II Largent wanted letters of support and he received many, including from the head of the local health department! Even with all of this, Mr. Largent decided that he would create new law under the vague code: “16.50.410 Temporary Uses” (see below). Mr. Largent could EASILY Have chosen to leave this small, wholesome and harmless business venture alone after harassing it for months. But, not satisfied to exercise his perceived “authority” as far as he did, he arbitrarily decided to call this regularly occurring market an “Event of Public Interest” under paragraph 5 rather than simply calling it an “Other Temporary use” under paragraph 11. As such he feels – HE FEELS – that is is only “reasonable” to allow the market to operate on Fridays and not on Saturday as well.

The result, no market on Saturdays under threat of financial and other civil government penalties for the small Market operator Joe Iziarry and the land owner Dr. McKalip. Ironically, the famous downtown “Saturday Morning Market” does not have ANY permit whatsoever to operate and Planner II Largent simply says it is operating under an old “Mayoral Proclamation”. In other words, the “King” deigned to allow it, so the law doesn’t matter for “the favored” while other new laws will be invented for “the riff raff”.  It must help that a former St. Petersburg City Employee runs the downtown “Saturday Morning Market”. As clear cut an example of abuse of “Rule of Law” and “Equal Justice” as possible; these are also memorialized at Founder Corner.

fresh_market wide_smallThis is yet another example of the massive City Government of St. Petersburg running amok to trample freedom and businesses. There can be only one motivation: submission to the controlling power of those who deem us as their “subjects”. The City Government doesn’t seem to remember that the Citizens constituted the government to serve them, not to be subjects of the Government. The City has a history of abuse of power and recently lost a Constitutional challenge to limits on the Electronic Message center also present at Founders Corner. After previously abusing its power by denying a Food Truck at the same property, the city recently had to write laws to stop bureaucrats from arbitrarily stopping their operation as well!  The Owner of the property and Editor/Founder of this Sun Beam Times Blog has personally asked Mayor Kriseman to sit down and solve this problem. Let’s see if Mr. Mayor really wants to help the “struggling, vulnerable and voiceless” as he claimed in his inaugural address or will simply continue to work at the pleasure of the bureaucrats who are really in charge of the People’s government.

St. Petersburg, Florida, Code of Ordinances >> PART II – ST. PETERSBURG CITY CODE >> Chapter 16 – LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS >> SECTION 16.50.410. TEMPORARY USES >>



16.50.410.1. Applicability.

16.50.410.2. Generally.

16.50.410.3. Permits.

16.50.410.4. Uses.
16.50.410.1. Applicability.

This section regulates activities and uses that are not specifically allowed in a zoning district, but may be necessary or appropriate on a temporary basis.

(Code 1992, § 16.50.410.1)

16.50.410.2. Generally.

This section provides for the orderly and effective management of temporary land uses not specifically allowed a zoning district. Temporary uses are often found to be necessary and desirable for limited periods of time although they might not be in keeping with the intent and purpose of the zoning district if allowed on a long-term basis. This section provides for thorough administrative review of these special types of land uses. These provisions are designed to allow certain reasonable temporary uses while minimizing adverse impact upon the public health and welfare.

(Code 1992, § 16.50.410.2)

16.50.410.3. Permits.

Application for a temporary use permit shall be made to the POD in accordance with the applications and procedures section.

(Code 1992, § 16.50.410.3)

16.50.410.4. Uses.

In addition to any other conditions that may reasonably be imposed, a temporary use permit issued for the following uses shall be subject to the following conditions:

  1. Concrete batch plant for road construction. Such plant shall be located not less than 1,000 feet from any building used for residential purposes.
  2. Carnival or circus. A parking plan showing sufficient on- and off-street parking must be approved. Such use shall cease before 11:00 p.m. and shall not begin before 8:00 a.m.
  3. Construction staging area. A temporary use permit may be issued for the use of property needed to accommodate the staging area (e.g., construction trailer, materials, and equipment, etc.) for any construction project.
  4. Holiday sales (Christmas trees, pumpkins, and fireworks). In any zoning district allowing commercial activities as a permitted use, a temporary use permit may be issued for the display and sale of Christmas trees, pumpkins, fireworks, and other related items on any open lot, parking lot or other location outside a building.
  5. Event of public interest. A temporary use permit may be issued for an event of public interest, including but not limited to, outdoor concerts, auctions, automobile races, block parties, business district events, and neighborhood events.
  6. Public assembly activities. A temporary use permit may be issued for public assembly activities which may be conducted under tents.
  7. Temporary modular unit for redevelopment of an existing business. A temporary use permit may be issued for a modular unit to house the operations of an existing business that is being redeveloped or reconstructed.
  8. Temporary modular unit or vehicle for redevelopment of an existing residence. A temporary use permit may be issued for a modular unit or vehicle to house occupants during the period in which a residence is being redeveloped or reconstructed.
  9. Promotional activities involving outdoor display of goods and merchandise. In commercial zones, a temporary use permit may be issued for a period of not more than two consecutive weeks in any six-month period for a retail business to display merchandise in the area immediately adjacent to the building that is for sale within the building, subject to the following conditions:

a.No portion of the display shall be on a right-of-way unless the applicant obtains approval for the use at that location from the POD.

b. No required off-street parking spaces or loading area will be utilized for such display storage or dispensing.

c. No food or drink may be displayed outside the building except in accordance with standards and prior written approval of the county health department.

11. Other temporary uses as may be approved by the POD. The POD shall impose reasonable conditions on the use to ensure that any impacts are mitigated to a reasonable degree.

12. Parking lots. A temporary use permit may be issued for unpaved parking lots, without regard to whether parking lots are a permitted use in a zoning district, when events at Tropicana Field are reasonably expected to attract more than 20,000 spectators. Such permits may be issued for not more than 30 event days in a calendar year and shall not be issued for any lot upon which a single-family residential use exists. The City may immediately revoke the permit, and refuse to grant future applications for a permit for a location, if there is a violation of any permit conditions.

(Code 1992, § 16.50.410.4; Ord. No. 900-G, § 2, 9-11-2008)



20 Replies:

    1. Daniel Bushey

      Inacordance with county bylass,a unelevted ie. Appointed government offical, is NOT granted ENFORCEMENT power, only department LEADERSHIP to operate, and under the control City Council through the ELECTED MAYOR.

  1. Pat McCarthy

    What if the mayor decides (in a misguided effort to ingratiate himself with city employees) to show that he “supports the troops,” and says no?
    Besides going hat-in-hand, ie., begging, what actual, concrete action can be taken to rein in this and other outrageous incursions upon the freedom of the people of this city, county, state and country?
    I’m flat-out sick of the principles of our nation being trampled on, with impunity, by not only elected officials, but especially govt. apparachicks like this idiot Largent.
    This has got to STOP!

  2. Pingback: City of St. Pete bureaucrat forces popular 'Founders Market' to close - SaintPetersBlog

  3. Matt

    Will the be shutting down the market on the Southside too? Good for the goose, good for the gander.

  4. Gary West

    There are a few reasoned people on our city council. Perhaps they should be made aware of this situation. We’ve been by and to this market & find it a welcome addition to the area.

      1. Gary West

        Karl Nurse and Wengay Newton have been known to lend a reasoned ear. (Your opinion may differ) and yes, I’ll make them aware of the situation.
        Will you?

        1. Who is they?

          Thank you. Too often you hear the old, tired, “Someone (‘they’) should do something…” which means nothing.

          And for sure, I would take whatever ACTION I could in this or similar situations.

          Unfortunately (or maybe not), I live in Clearwater, not St. Pete.

  5. Jim Donelon

    For once I agree, without reservation ,with the good Doctor. Double standards exist all over the city. A number of years ago I was forced by Codes enforcement to park in my residential street and not adjacent to my driveway on the grass If everyone parked on the street there would be no room for emergency vehicles to pass. Yet as I drive throughout the city there are many, many cars parked on the grass. Codes claim they only respond to “complaints”. In other words, just like the old Soviet system, they encourage neighbors to spy upon neighbors and report “unsafe” activities to the government. This all transpired under 12 years of Republicans in the Mayor’s office. And they claim to be the party of “freedom” LOL

  6. Jen

    Shane Largent decided to shut down the Market at Founders Corners on Saturdays, yet allowed it to stay open on Fridays. He was unable to specify how he decided on the Saturday ban, beyond what “he feels”…what does that mean?? I’m sure we all could come up with a different interpretation. Regardless, it will hurt those who have come to rely upon the Market to sell their goods.

    If there were legitimate concerns regarding the Market at Founders Corners, Mr. Largent would have shut it down completely.

    The arbitrary decision is transparent. So is Mr. Largent’s conflict of interest by “allowing” his friend’s downtown market to stay open on Saturdays.

  7. Annie

    Sounds like a power hungry bonehead to me! Problem is that it has been going strong for a while now therefore the city created a precedent whether this bonehead wanted it or not. People need to wake up and figure out that government intrusion is costing people jobs while creating more planner jobs for friends….I digress. Anyway, once people get elected or appointed into positions where their egos are fed by self-perceived power and the power the bureaucracy breeds into these boneheads, there’s no stopping them from continually trying to get revenge or create an unpleasant situation. Hmmmm. A lawsuit on retaliation may be nice…and by those who lost their vending jobs for that market maybe a lawsuit where the government interfered with a work contract after a year’s worth of allowing business to occur. Get this to the airwaves soon so the entire group of “Lois Lerners” can get their comeuppance!

  8. Norm Roche

    Now, let that be a lesson to you young man. I bet you’ll think twice the next time you decide to oppose the status quo, expose government corruption, and speak the truth about boondoggle government waste like Greenlight Pinellas.

    Just where do think you are…America?

    Stay the course Doc…stay the course.

  9. Gary West

    Tampa Bay Times 6/27/2014 Section B Page 1

    It appears the City of St. Petersburg looked up the word Hypocrite and saw themselves.

    Seems the city discovered that they (the city) “heavily promotes” another farmers market that’s located on private property and is authorized to operate two days a week. That particular market, called “The Deuces” is located on 22 St. So. The market located on Dr. McKalip’s property is being cited for two day a week operation, the same number of days as city-promoted market. Perhaps the rules either change at Central Avenue or the good doctors refusal to be brow-beat by our city’s bureaucratic self-importance is resulting in selective rule enforcement.

    City officials also state there is a parking issue created by this small farmer’s market despite the fact that the local residents not only haven’t had any parking problems, they like the market. Richard Kirby, president of the Edgemoor Neighborhood Association said “It seems to me that when one issue is addressed and solved, another is created to interrupt the vendors who are trying to make a living.”

    Now, mercifully, it appears the mayor will meet with Dr. McKalip to “discuss the issue.” Meanwhile the market will remain closed on Saturday.

    My personal opinion……open the market on Saturday and the bureaucrats be damned.

  10. Margo

    Why not shut down City Hall and make one big farmer’s market. At least then we’d have something useful there.

  11. Gary West

    My wife and I just stopped, again, at the market for some produce.
    PLEASE, City of St. Petersburg, what, in the name of bureaucratic idiocy, is the effin’ problem???? On this corner, obviously offending the sensibilities of our bureaucrats, we saw a 4-table produce stand, a booth selling subscriptions to the St. Petersburg Tribune, a small trailer hawking hoagies and a garage sale vendor under a canopy. Oh, yeah, one car….ours,
    This is what causes gastric emissions in our fair city? This puts our bureaucrats in high dungeon?

  12. C. Burt Linthicum, CPA

    When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. – Ayn Rand

      1. Gary West

        When in high school (1960-1964) a Playboy interview with Ayn Rand introduced me to her books. After reading Atlas Shrugged i though it a terrifying work of fiction. A horrific story that could never happen.
        Now I watch an enormous mass of parasites with voter cards place socialist fools in every conceivable public office solely because they’re offered something for nothing. The National media of all flavors, broadcast, print, cable, blog etc.all actively promote anything anti-Christian, anti-capitalist, or pro-family. Locally our newspaper leads the entitlement parade.
        Will this path lead to the death of our country as described in Rand’s book? Yes, as long as we have lines of ripesucks that feel they’re entitled to the largess of the producers.
        Mistakes made at the ballot box can be corrected at the same location but only if we choose to exercise that right.

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