painting ‘Trump’ on your roof

It’s probably someone’s version of the American Dream.

A charming house on a quiet street in a safe area where neighbors know each other’s names. Shady canopy made of oak, white picket fence, gigantic “Trump 2020” painted directly on the roof.

It is no surprise that two weeks before a presidential election in St. Petersburg we reached the highest density of candidate marks.

But a house in the Euclid St. Paul neighborhood took it even further with support for President Donald Trump depicted in bright white letters 20 feet wide.

The neighborhood is in a borough that voted mostly for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and is currently dominated by billboards for Democratic candidate Joe Biden. A neighbor across the street shows a sign with a row of black rainbow-colored power fists. Another wrote in his window, “In this house we believe black lives matter, women’s rights are human rights, and science is real.”

But the Trump sign, lonely as it is, is by far the biggest on the block, and maybe in town.

“Oh really, I hadn’t noticed,” joked neighbor Maggie Hamilton sarcastically when a reporter told her that the neighbors had the president’s name written right on their clapboard.

Her husband, Kirk Hamilton, said he took a picture when the sign was being painted. At the time it only said “Hull”, but the photo still caused a sensation among his friends on Facebook.

The Hamiltons have no political signs in their garden, but they feel strongly about their support for Biden. Still, none of the neighbors seemed terribly concerned about the roof sign.

Across the street, Al Knighton, a registered Republican who had lived on the block since 1979, was on his front patio dipping a paintbrush into a can of white paint.

“It wasn’t me,” he said, holding up his hands innocently. “Too straight a line.” He also said, “I don’t like Trump.”

Has a house in St. Petersburg's Euclid St. Pauls neighborhood On Thursday, October 22, 2020, “Trump 2020” was painted on the roof of a house in St. Petersburg’s Euclid St. Paul district. [ CHRISTOPHER SPATA | Tampa Bay Times ]

He shrugged his shoulders. The sign is certainly a thorn in the side, he said, and he’s a little apprehensive about what it will look like for potential buyers when he brings his home to market soon, but whatever.

The Hamiltons also shrugged. They don’t understand Trump supporters, but they don’t mind the sign. They said they were also not bothered when another neighbor used Christmas lights to spell “truck frump” on their roof.

“It’s like who cares?” Said Maggie Hamilton. “Why make enemies? We never had arguments or bad blood. We all get along. “

And in a neighborhood like hers, hyperlocal concerns sometimes forge alliances that go beyond national politics.

Not so long ago, there was a neighbor who called City Compliance at almost every house on the block to report minor violations. The Hamiltons and others on the street believe she was trying to add value to their own home before selling it.

The Hamiltons have been reported for violating the placement of some plants in their garden. The neighbors who painted “Trump” on their roof were reported for something related to the color of their door.

Defiantly, said Kirk Hamilton, his neighbor in the Trump house went out and bought a case of beer and six different colors of light color. He spent the day painting every wall and piece of the house a different shade.

“I went there and helped him paint,” said Kirk Hamilton. “When it was over, he gave me what was left of the six cans of paint.”

Hamilton used it to create a Jackson Pollack style painting in the same colors as the house and presented it to his neighbor as a gift.

The house in Euclid St. Paul earlier in 2020, before The house in Euclid St. Paul in early 2020 before “Trump” was painted on the roof. [ Google Maps ]

Nobody opened the door of the house with the Trump roof, but a life-size standee of the President peered out a window. Neighbors say it’s been there for at least a year. You are used to it.

James A. Corbett, director of code compliance support for St. Petersburg, said the Trump 2020 rooftop display could depict a violation of the city’s character code as long as it is visible from the street. (He didn’t mention whether visibility was an issue for planes passing by.)

Residences can have up to five private property signs, but cannot be larger than 4 square feet or taller than 6 feet. Corbett stressed that the city’s code is neutral in content, so it doesn’t matter whether a sign is political or not.

“I train my staff, don’t even read the sign,” said Corbett. “It’s not relevant.”

Corbett found that after being notified of a violation, a homeowner has 20 days to correct it before being fined up to $ 500 per day. There are only 11 days left until the presidential election.

“It’s painted on,” said Corbett. “I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.”

However, it may not be as permanent as it looks. Records show that the home’s owners recently granted permission to install a new roof.

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