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Neighborhood notebook

By RON MATUS and SUSAN THURSTON
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 18, 2002


Neighbors in stormwater fight prepare for legal battle

SUNSET PARK -- A South Tampa group fighting the city over stormwater runoff has hired lawyers and is raising money for a legal battle.

Earlier this month, the board of directors for Neighbors Against Stormwater Pollution hired the Tampa-based firm of Bricklemyer Smolker & Bolves. The group meets Oct. 28 to introduce members to the firm's representatives and begin fundraising.

Residents in Beach Park, Sunset Park and adjacent neighborhoods blame sediment washed in by runoff for clogging canals and blocking boats. They want the city to remove sediment and control runoff.

The city says tidal action is the main culprit.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 4311 San Miguel St.

For more information, call 837-6325.

Zoning hearing on townhouses is delayed until Dec. 12

PORT TAMPA -- A zoning change request to accommodate a proposed townhome development on Prescott Street has been postponed until Dec. 12.

The City Council delayed a decision Oct. 10 after hearing from residents concerned about tree removal and stormwater control.

Developers want to build 36 townhomes on 1.8 acres just west of West Shore Boulevard.

Walk-a-thon will raise money for civic association

NORTH HYDE PARK -- At least five other South Tampa neighborhoods will participate in North Hyde Park's first walk-a-thon.

Representatives from Courier City, Carver City, Oscawana, West Tampa and MacFarlane Park will be on hand for the Oct. 26 event, said Robert Allen, president of the North Hyde Park Civic Association.

The goal is to raise money for the civic association and neighborhood programs.

The walk begins on Fremont Avenue at 7:30 a.m., followed by a carnival from 10 a.m. to noon at West Pines Park, at the corner of Armenia Avenue and Carmen Street. There's a lunch at noon and a candidate forum from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Organizers are still looking for a corporate sponsor. Interested parties can call Allen at 254-6844.

Halloween party lets kids dress up store windows

DAVIS ISLANDS -- Kids will be painting and decorating windows in Davis Islands Village for Halloween.

The window dressing takes place Oct. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is sponsored by Young Islanders. The group, founded last summer, recently received a $1,420 grant from the Hillsborough County Neighborhood Relations Office.

To participate, e-mail youngislanders@yahoo.com or sign up at Java and Cream. The sign-up deadline is Oct. 19.

Paint will be provided.

Howard Avenue hotel plan quashed by planning board

HYDE PARK -- A government planning board this week rejected plans for a hotel on Howard Avenue, based on concerns from area homeowners who argued it doesn't fit with the residential neighborhood.

"We have children here we are trying to raise, and we don't want a 24-hour operation next door to us," said Julie Samartin, who lives near the proposed site.

The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission on Monday unanimously opposed Russ Versaggi's request to convert the 1301 Soho apartments into a hotel for nightly and long-term stays. To proceed, he must change the city's long-term plan and rezone the land.

Versaggi said Tuesday he wants to meet with residents before taking the issue to the City Council, which has the final say. Several area merchants have told him they like the idea, he said.

The council meeting was scheduled for Nov. 14 but likely will be postponed.

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