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Neighbors want review of Alagon

Traffic and noise complaints arise.

By Emily Nipps Times Staff Writer
Published October 19, 2007


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It's too late to take back the months and months of construction traffic and noise. No one can do a thing to stop the 23-story Alagon condominium tower, which welcomed its first homeowners last year.

But the outrage and complaints from those living near the condos live on, and some have prompted city officials to take another look at Alagon.

The development, which fronts Bayshore Boulevard, is completed, but work at the site continues as builders tweak and customize homesfor new owners.

Construction plans and zoning permits have long been approved and carried out, but one neighbor recently sent a letter to all of the City Council members, asking them to go back and review the project.

"By the nature of the beast, there's been a lot of traffic and parking problems and other issues caused by this kind of building," said Paul Clark, who lives on Waverly Avenue, across from the Alagon.

Clark and several other neighbors are particularly frustrated that the Alagon, with units ranging from $1-million to $4-million, only has one entrance and exit on Waverly, which borders the development's south side.

It's a relatively narrow street that is now often clogged with illegally parked cars and service trucks visiting Alagon, Clark said.

Generator noise, bright lighting and trash bin debris have also plagued the affluent neighborhood. Clark noted that the builder, Irwin Contracting, was generally very cooperative and responsive to neighbor complaints, but problems still remain.

Dan Irwin of Irwin Contracting declined to comment for this article, referring calls to Craig McLaughlin of Southeast Communities, the development company. McLauglin did not return calls by press time.

The only City Council member to contact him about his letter is Linda Saul-Sena, who told him she would look into it, he said.

Council member Mary Mulhern's aide, Christina Voehl, said Mulhern received the letter and a meeting is being planned with the growth management and development services department to discuss the issues.

It's not the first time the City Council has heard from neighbors fed up with Alagon.

Families living along Waverly Court, a small street off Waverly Avenue that allows Alagon residents to cut through to Bayshore, hired an attorney and tried to get the city to allow them to dead end their street last year. The city denied that request.

Jim Weeks, whose home faces Alagon's trash bin on Waverly Avenue, said that problems with Alagon's construction and parking have caused misunderstanding between Alagon residents and the rest of Bayshore Beautiful.

"The residents have adopted this sense that it's us against them, and that's simply not the case," he said.

"There are some great people there and no one has any problem with them living there. What we have a problem with is the length of time this project has taken and the city that allowed for this to happen."

Emily Nipps can be reached at (813) 226-3431 or nipps@sptimes.com

[Last modified October 18, 2007, 06:43:42]


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