Clearwater FL Scott Bitman is learning the hard way that fighting city hall is an expensive and losing proposition. Bitman bought an old vacant gas station in 2008 with the intention of opening a motorcycle shop, but instead of help from the city, he’s been slapped with a $250 per day fine for failure to bring the building up to code.
According to a city ordinance, if a building is vacant longer than 6 months then it must be brought up to the current building code. Bitman says he didn’t know this and wasn’t told when he bought it and the improvement the city wants will cost him over $100,000. Money he says he just doesn’t have.
The city isn’t very sympathetic and says Bitman should have done his “due diligence” when purchasing the property and known about the improvements he would have to make, n protest, Bitman began displaying a hearse outside his shop in January to signify the impending death of his business.