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Wesley Chapel Residents Concerned About Begging at Major Intersections

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Residents in Wesley Chapel have voiced growing concerns about individuals begging for money at several major intersections, including State Road 54 and I-75, State Road 54 and Wiregrass Ranch Boulevard near Walmart, around the Wawa, and near the Grove Shopping Center off Oakley Boulevard.

The presence of individuals soliciting money has prompted questions regarding the legality of such activities on roadways. According to Pasco County Code, there are specific regulations in place to address these concerns.

The relevant ordinance, Sec. 82-1, known as the Dangerous Use of Public Rights-of-Way, outlines several key points:

  1. Prohibited Activities: It is unlawful for any person to occupy a median or engage in physical interactions between pedestrians and occupants of motor vehicles on designated roadways, except when lawfully crossing the road. This includes the transfer of any product or material while the vehicle is not legally parked.

  2. Designated Roadways: The ordinance applies to interstate systems, arterial and collector roadways, and the first 440 feet of local roadways intersecting these designated roadways.

  3. Penalties: Violators of this ordinance may be issued a citation punishable by a fine of up to $500. Each violation is considered a separate offense, and the issuance of a citation does not preclude other legal actions or remedies available to Pasco County.

Do you give to/support those asking for money on the roadside?

  • Yes

  • No

Drivers can be cited as well. In response to the increasing concerns, Pasco County has implemented a new ordinance aimed at further curbing panhandling by fining drivers who give money to individuals begging on the roadways. This measure seeks to reduce interactions that pose safety risks and disrupt traffic flow, ultimately enhancing public safety.

Despite these regulations, residents report that calls to the Pasco Sheriff's Office regarding this issue often result in long wait times for a response. The Pasco Sheriff's Office, which is understaffed and overburdened, struggles to address these quality-of-life issues promptly. This delay speaks to a broader issue: the need for better funding for the Pasco Sheriff's Office and public safety in general as the county continues to grow. Adequate funding for public safety is crucial to ensure that all residents feel safe and that laws are enforced effectively.

As Wesley Chapel continues to expand, addressing these concerns becomes increasingly important. For residents, understanding the balance between compassion for those in need and the need for public safety is key. While seeking help is not inherently illegal, doing so in a manner that disrupts traffic and poses safety risks is prohibited under current county regulations.

For more information and updates on local news, visit the Wesley Chapel Community Website at Stay connected with us on social media for real-time updates: follow us on FacebookX, and Instagram. For comprehensive coverage and the latest Wesley Chapel news, these platforms are your go-to sources.


3 days ago

I appreciate the clarity and detail in your writing. Excellent post. Solar


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