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© St. Petersburg Times
published January 3, 2003

Meeting to focus on wetlands plan

PORT TAMPA -- Plans to alter habitat on a soggy nature preserve bordering Old Tampa Bay will be the topic of a meeting Thursday in the Port Tampa Community Center.

The city parks department and the Southwest Florida Water Management District want to improve the 31-acre "Tappan site" by removing invasive plants and restoring wetlands.

They also plan to build a meandering tidal creek that will help filter polluted stormwater before it reaches the bay.

The $200,000 project is set to begin by the end of the month and should be finished by May.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Hilton hotel request deferred until February

TAMPA -- A request to turn the 1301 SoHo apartments into a Hilton hotel has been postponed until next month to give developers more time to work on their proposal.

The City Council was scheduled to hear the issue next week, but developers asked for a delay until Feb. 13.

An Atlanta developer seeks to convert the apartment complex on S Howard Avenue into an 80-unit Homestead Suites. First, it needs city approval to change the use of the land.

Neighbors have opposed the change, saying a hotel would disrupt the neighborhood's residential character. Supporters of the plan argue the hotel would generate less traffic than the apartment complex and enhance the area.

The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission recommended the council deny the request.

Mayoral candidates to debate Wednesday

DAVIS ISLANDS -- Tampa mayoral candidates will take part in a debate from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Pipo's Latin Cafe, 238 E Davis Blvd.

The debate, sponsored by the Davis Islands Chamber of Commerce, is open to the public.

Mike Deeson from WTSP-Ch. 10 will moderate.

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