Any person who maintains a permanent or temporary business location or branch office within the city to manage a profession, business or occupation shall first obtain a city Business Tax Receipt for each location and pay the appropriate fee as prescribed in Appendix A of the city’s Code of Ordinances. The Business Tax Receipt shall be signed by the director of the department and shall have the city seal affixed.
Any person who does not maintain a permanent business location or branch office within the city but who desires to transact a business or within the city shall register with the city manager the Business Tax Receipt of that municipality or other governmental subdivision in which they maintain a permanent business location, or if no Business Tax Receipt is require by the other municipality, a registration of the business shall be required, unless otherwise provided by this article. Such registration shall be accomplished prior to the commencement of the business, shall be subject to a registration fee as prescribed in Appendix A of the city’s Code of Ordinances and shall be valid from the date of issuance to the next succeeding September 30.
The burden of securing a business tax receipt rests with the principal of a business, but in the event of noncompliance by the principal, his agent or employee shall be subject to the same enforcement policies. For properties with multiple businesses, a Business Tax Receipt shall be required for each business.
Each business shall display the Business Tax Receipt in a prominent location within the individual business location. Each registered business shall have the Business Tax Receipt or a copy of the Business Tax Receipt in/on possession of the business representative(s) while conducting business within the city.
A Business Tax Receipt shall be required for all residential rentals set forth in CDC Section 3-2301. This division shall be applicable to the rental of all attached dwellings, detached dwellings, dwelling units and accessory dwellings within the city of Clearwater, but shall not apply to hotels, motels, resort condominiums, transient apartments, rooming houses, resort dwellings or bed and breakfast inns.
Local representation for business tax receipt applications for residential rentals Business Tax Receipt applications for residential rentals shall include a local contact or representative. Such contact or representative shall maintain a current working local telephone number and current local address, not a public or private post office box, and provide notification of any changes to the city within 30 days for a physical location and telephone number within one of the following counties in Florida: Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee or Sarasota.
Note: Rental of commercial property also requires a Business Tax Receipt.
While Clearwater benefits, encourages and celebrates tourism, the city’s Code Compliance Division reminds residential property owners that the city enforces its short-term rental ordinance. In residential districts, the city doesn’t allow a property owner to lease or rent their property for short-term periods, which is anything less than 31 days or a calendar month. Residential property owners who wish to rent their property can advertise for monthly rentals; they cannot advertise for daily or weekly rentals.
A residential use located on a residentially zoned property shall not include rentals for less than 31 days or one calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place rented for periods of less than 31 days or one calendar month, whichever is less. A residential use located on residentially zoned property shall not include an interval ownership, a fractional ownership or a timesharing unit.
One temporary grand opening sign shall be permitted for 30 days after the issuance of an occupational license for any new business, new owner of an existing business or business name change. Such sign shall not exceed 24 square feet in total sign face area or such sign may be a temporary covering, such as a toaster cover, sign boot or sign sock, which covers an existing permitted attached or freestanding sign.
Garage Sale Signs – Section 3-1806.H
- One temporary garage yard sale sign of no more than six square feet of total sign face area located on the parcel of land where the garage or yard sale is to be conducted and only on the date or dates on which the garage or yard sale is conducted is permissible. In addition, no more than two directional signs are allowed of no more than six square feet of total sign face area per sign face related to a garage or yard sale which are located on privately owned parcels of land other than the parcel of land where the garage or yard sale is to be conducted and only on the date or dates on which the garage or yard sale is conducted.
Election Signs – Section 3-1806.C
- For each parcel, one election sign for each candidate and each issue may be displayed. An election sign may be displayed as an attached sign or as a freestanding sign. On parcels that are in residential use, the election sign shall not exceed six square feet of total sign face area. If the election sign is displayed as a freestanding sign on the parcel, the election sign shall not exceed four feet in height. On parcels that are in nonresidential use, the election sign shall not exceed 16 square feet of total sign face area; and, if the election sign is displayed as a freestanding sign on the parcel, the election sign shall not exceed six feet in height. An election sign shall be removed within seven calendar days following the election to which it pertains
Window Signs – Section 3-1806.O
- Window signs may be located on any window area provided such sign or combination of signs do not exceed 25 percent of the total window area on any façade. All signs located inside an enclosed area for purposes of advertising shall be construed to be window signs. In no case shall the cumulative area of all window signs on any façade exceed 50 square feet.
Prohibited Signs – Section 1804
- Many types of signs and advertising are prohibited by city code, which include but are not limited to the following: balloons, cold air inflatables, signs carried or waved, streamers, pennants, bench signs, billboards, portable signs, roof and above-roof signs, vehicle and portable trailer signs.
Signs in the Right of Way Are Prohibited – Section 3-1804.M
Signs cannot be placed on publicly owned land or easements or within street rights-of-way. This includes signs on utility poles, sidewalks, bridges, medians, etc. Signs placed in these locations are in violation of federal law, state law and local ordinances. Penalties may range from monetary fines to criminal arrest. Such signs may be removed, disposed or destroyed by any city employee without prior notice to the violator.
Note: This includes election and garage sale signs if placed in violation of the city’s ordinance.
Proper Sign Placement – Section 3-1805.A
- Setback: No allowable signage shall be located within five feet of a property line for an existing property or a parcel proposed for development.
Sign Maintenance – Section 3-1502.I (Property maintenance)
- All signs shall be maintained in good condition in the form in which the signs were originally approved, free of mildew, rust, loose material, including peeling, fading paint or materials. Any loose, broken, peeling or faded parts of the sign shall be promptly repaired, painted or replaced.
Sign Permit – Section 4-1002 (Art. 4, Development Review
- No sign shall be located, placed, erected, constructed, altered or extended without first obtaining a sign permit from the city, except for signs listed in Section 3-1806.
Note: Applications for sign permits can be obtained through the Planning and Development Department or at myclearwater.com.