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Neighborhood Notebook

By DAVID KARP and RON MATUS
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 1, 2002


Tampa Heights' plan for the future goes public

For three years, Tampa Heights residents have been drawing up a plan for what they want their neighborhood to look like.

If they could redesign streets and rehabilitate the buildings, a core group of residents would want Tampa Heights to be anchored by a tree-lined boulevard with historic homes, a gateway to downtown.

Do most of the people who live in Tampa Heights share that view?

The neighborhood will find out Nov. 12.

That's when residents get a chance to vote on the Tampa Heights Neighborhood Plan at a 6:30 p.m. meeting at Sacred Heart Academy, 3515 N Florida Ave.

To get approval, 75 percent of voters must sign off.

The plan is a vision for the community but would carry no legal weight in zoning decisions, nor would it alter the county's comprehensive plan for development.

If voters approve of the concept, the Planning Commission and then the City Council will vote on it, too.

To view the plan, go to the Web site, www.theplanningcommission.org, and click on the "Tampa" button. There will a meeting 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 at Sacred Heart Academy to discuss the plan.

Pizza Man's trial delayed until December

Pizza Man's fate remains in the air.

Circuit Court Judge James Dominguez on Tuesday postponed a trial for Asres "Oscar" Gesses at the request of Gesses' attorney, Steve Royal.

A new hearing is set for Dec. 5.

Gesses, who sells pizza from a window in Ybor City's Italian Club, was arrested by Tampa police on two successive weekends in August for selling pizza past 3 a.m.

Because the Italian Club is zoned for liquor, nothing can be sold from its premises after 3 a.m. The city says the law applies to Gesses, even though he rents space from the club and does not sell liquor.

The club is now in the process of amending its wet zoning so that Gesses' 200-square-foot pizza kitchen can be exempted.

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