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Board permits Kash n' Karry to post oversized sign on store

The sign will be about three times larger than what is normally allowed under special guidelines for Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

By MELANIE AVE

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 28, 2000


HUNTER'S GREEN -- A sign for Kash n' Karry's new grocery store on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard will be larger than what is typically allowed in New Tampa.

But city and community leaders say the sign -- measuring 446 square feet -- is the exception to the area's stringent design standards, not the rule.

"The building is set so far back from the road, you can barely see anything," said Ana Wallrapp, chairwoman of the city's Variance Review Board.

The sign reading "Kash n' Karry" will be attached to the building at 17605 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. It will measure about three times the 150 square feet allowed under design guidelines that apply to the so-called overlay district of New Tampa.

"It's just a normal sign," said Scott Stigall, an attorney for Kash n' Karry. "I realize it's a residential area, but they just wanted to be seen from the road.

"It's not a huge, gaudy sign that sits on the road."

This month, the variance board voted 5-2 to allow the grocery store chain to install the sign.

It was the first exception granted to New Tampa's design standards, strict guidelines for businesses approved by the city last year that deal with landscaping, signs and curb cuts. The New Tampa overlay district was the second in the city, following another approved for S Howard Avenue.

Wallrapp said the variance board determined the signs would not be unusual, given Home Depot's signs nearby. The businesses are next to one another in the North Palms Village shopping area.

New Tampa residents pushed for the design guidelines to control the unsightly side effects of the area's development boom. Many feared Bruce B. Downs would end up looking like Dale Mabry Highway with an abundance of billboards and expansive parking lots.

To make the area even more uniform, Hillsborough County is drafting development guidelines for its property outside the Tampa city limits in New Tampa at the request of Commissioner Jim Norman. He wants the standards to dovetail with the existing city guidelines for New Tampa.

Even though the Kash n' Karry sign will be large, City Council member Shawn Harrison said he's okay with it because it will be on the store, located several hundred feet off Bruce B. Downs.

"It, by no means, is something that detracts from New Tampa," said Harrison, who lives in Tampa Palms.

Kash n' Karry will hold its grand opening at 8 a.m. Wednesday ug. 2. The 24-hour, 48,119-square-foot store will have a pharmacy, liquor store, deli, salad bar and seafood market.

- Melanie Ave can be reached at (813) 226-3473 or melanie@sptimes.com.

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