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Neighborhood notebook

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 20, 2002

Restaurant near school awaits alcohol ruling

CITRUS PARK -- Louis Pappas Market Cafe wants to sell beer and wine at its new restaurant off Gunn Highway. The owners also want people to trust the place won't become a source of drunken drivers across from Sickles High School.

But opponents won't be sold on the Pappas family's good reputation. At a special hearing on Friday, they asked Land Use Hearing Officer James Scarola to reject the cafe's request for a special use permit to sell alcohol within 500 feet of the school.

"There are constant uses day and night with that high school," said Janet Hiltz, a representative of the Citrus Park Civic Association. "I would be glad to frequent this place without the alcohol."

Scarola has 15 business days to render a decision.

The issue for opponents is the increasing availability of alcohol in Citrus Park, where the Publix across from Sickles and a proposed Smokey Bones BBQ & Sports Bar near the Upper Tampa Bay Trail recently received waivers from the rule prohibiting the sale of alcohol within 500 feet of community buildings, such as schools.

An Eckerd drugstore just south of the cafe also is requesting a special permit. Its request will come before a land use hearing officer next month.

Pappas' attorney John Grandoff said the cafe was buffered from Sickles by Gunn Highway and fit in with the surrounding commercial development. The Pappases also want to sell their private label wines for off-premises consumption, he said.

"They are very strict in the operation of their restaurant," he said. "I think their reputation precedes them."

Supporters downplayed the danger.

"We have anxiously been awaiting the opening of all restaurants in the area," Karen Dill said. "I have no problem with the restaurant being across the highway."

City plans public forum on golf community plan

NEW TAMPA -- The Tampa City Council plans to hold a public hearing on Nov. 7 about the revised development agreement for Grand Hampton in New Tampa. Under the terms of a lawsuit recently settled by the Sierra Club and Grand Hampton's developer, LandMar Group, the community will no longer have a golf course. Instead, wider buffer zones will surround waterways, and more land will be devoted to conversation areas. The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the council's chambers, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd.

New Tampa Votes is canceling a debate between Hillsborough County Commission candidates scheduled for Thursday. The debate, which was to include candidates from Districts 2, 5 and 7, conflicted with another political forum in Carrollwood that evening. It will not be rescheduled.

Chamberlain High hosts marching band contest

NORTH TAMPA -- Chamberlain High School will be alive with the sound of music on Saturday, when its marching band will host a statewide competition. High school bands from across Florida will be judged in music performance, marching, auxiliary and percussion.

The competition will run from 5 to 9 p.m. at the school. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children ages 3 to 9. Parking and a program is $3. Chamberlain High School is at the corner of Busch Boulevard and North Boulevard.

Call 975-7677.

License plates, mugs with civic group logo on sale

NORTHDALE -- People in Northdale have a new way to show their community pride.

The Northdale Civic Association, which now distributes gift bags to new residents, has commissioned custom license plates and coffee mugs bearing the Northdale logo. Those items, already included in the gift bags, also are for sale to current residents for $5 each.

Call 961-5649.

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