Friday, March 16, 2007

Cappy's to go To City Council

The basic underlying question in all of this: Is City Government retarding Business Growth in Seminole Heights? First Viva and then Cappy's.

An email:

"Cappy's on N. Florida is going before City Council on Thursday, March 22nd in the evening. If they do not get their rezoning they will have to close. Any and everyone who can attend the meeting on March 22nd is encouraged to do so. They need all the support they can get.
This restaurant is one of very few in Seminole Heights and we do not want to lose it. If you have not been there yet, you need to stop in. They serve Pizzas, Calzones and salads and serve Beer and wine along with non-alcoholic beverages."

Here is an article in the St. Pete Times

"Its latest battle comes Thursday at 6 p.m. The Gabels, their staff and a faithful clan of regulars will attend a hearing at the Tampa City Council meeting. They're hoping the council will waive code requirements the pizzeria has not met."

"The problems have become overwhelming. It's been one thing after another, the Gabels say. "If we'd known, we would not be here. There's no way," Scooter Gabel said this week.

and

""Codes for development have changed to reflect suburban standards instead of urban standards," said Steve Michelini, a land-use consultant representing the Gabels.

Michelini said the urban design of older neighborhoods like Seminole Heights makes it "difficult if not impossible" to meet these codes, generally because there just isn't enough land.

"So all of these great, wonderful businesses are considered to be nonconforming and there's no way you can meet the current codes without going through the rezoning process," Michelini said."

The biggest issue has been parking."

39 comments:

AngelSil said...

We will be there in support. Cappy's pizza is tasty and the business is a benefit to the neighborhood. The city needs to understand that Seminole Heights is not Carrollwood and that we have to work with our existing structures.

Anonymous said...

The only way in which Cappy's is similar to Viva la Frida's, in this case, is attempting to open without the needed permits. Angelica served food and accepted cash even before she had her permits to do so. She stubbornly fought the city without ever asking for neighborhood help and then condemned the neighborhood for it later. Cappy's asked for help early on and has received a great deal of it. That you can go there this week and eat is in large part due to Randy Baron's efforts with the city.

That said...

Cappy's has use of the lot to their North for parking. It is sufficient for their parking needs, except it is not paved and thus the city will not count it. The strip of gravel along the North side of the building can park several cars but legally only counts as one space. The spaces in front of the building (4?) don't count. Cappy's has use of a parking lot across Florida, but because Florida is an FDOT "highway", that cannot count either. So, with all of that, technically, Cappy's has one parking space.

Now if you look at this and apply the lessons to all of Seminole Heights, you end up with the same exact problem for every single parcel on Florida, Hillsborough, and Nebraska North of Hillsborough. This isn't going to work for any of us.

Supporting Cappy's will just send a message that the neighborhood does care and is eager to help; it won't create any solutions. We dont' want to stay the same junky used car lot area we are and we don't want the traffic problems of South Howard. So let's get the ball rolling and encourage the city to work with us and get a solution. And the first thing we need to do is send them the message that this is important to us.

Show up Thursday night in support of Cappy's and send that message.

Seminole said...

I'm in. Can we set up some kind of a car pool? Since I don't know where I'm going I'd like to ride with someone.

dreaming said...

that the city is giving a hard time to one of the only new decent businesses on a strip of road that is among tampa's most ugly says only what fools are running the city. astonishing to have a hassle about 'parking' on a street known for its prostitutes and polluting used car lots. is there no sanity at city hall?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Randy and the Neighborhood would be as supportive if a different type of business (not a restaurant but a legal one) were to "ask for help" from them? Would that matter or is the assistance only for a select type? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Maybe not. If by "legal" you mean "ugly used car lot that causes traffic tie-ups when tow trucks park on the street next to it", then we don't need any more of them.

IFly said...

Anonymous 1:57 This is just my opinion, but I'd imagine the neighborhood would show support for any business that is compatible and desired by those that live here. Restaurants are something noticably lacking and are very compatible with the neighborhood. Business that provide other lacking services I'm fairly certain would receive similar support. Business that generate excess traffic(test drives down neighborhood streets anyone?), pollution(Paint and body shop fumes are a fact of life here), noise or other nuisances are already here in abundance and most likely wouldn't receive the same sort of outpouring. What I wonder however, is, since the support we are talking about is the time and energy of individuals, who are you to question where those individuals decide to focus that time and energy? You have the freedom to support any business you choose.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:57... yes ... and no. It really depends on the business, doesn't it?

Any business that needs help can certainly ask for it and the neighborhood will provide a reasonable amount of help. Any legal and ethical business should expect that. So "yes".

However, if that business is of a type our neighborhood is desiring and lacking, like Cappy's, then they can probably expect more people to feel energized and thus more resources, more volunteers, and effectively more help. That is the nature of all-volunteer organizations. So would they be "as supportive" if Joe Redner wanted to put Mons Venus II there? "no".

Remember that these are residents who are interested in improving the commercial corridors. They see "improvement" as a more balanced mix of businesses that include resident-serving businesses like retail, restaraunts, etc. Right now, the two largest consumers of our commercial space appear to be used car lots and rehab. They'd like the businesses to maintain their property and make a moderate effort at keeping it's street-front appearance nice.

Anonymous said...

1:57, rather than question the motivations of others in trying to encourage change in the commercial profile of the area, why not ask yourself what you would back?
Would you put your time and effort into supporting a "legal" business that continues to hold the area down? Would you personally take time out of your busy day to go downtown in support of a car lot? a body shop? a crappy Honduran restaurant? Didn't think so.

Next question: what are YOU doing to bring sexy back?

Anonymous said...

"who are you to question where those individuals decide to focus that time and energy? You have the freedom to support any business you choose"....
.... Well ifly, I do agree but the support generated by those individuals has a larger impact if being recommended by Randy and those who surround him. That is what I meant and there is where the difference (or select type) might lie.
That's all.

Previously Anon 1:57

IFly said...

As OSHNA president, I concur that Randy's support implies more than just his personal position, but he is still just a regular guy who holds an elected position(no offense Randy.) As any representative, he can only speak, by proxy, for those who has elected him to his position. Since OSHNA, or any of the other NA's membership is voluntary no one downtown truly thinks it is the full sum of neighborhood sentiment. Attendance at the Council meeting by Randy or Sherry or Gary alone carries very little impact compared to when even a handful of citizens show up in support. All that being said, I by no means intended to minimize the efforts of our Neighborhood Associations. As far as I know participation in any of them is not only welcomed, but strongly encouraged.

Anonymous said...

i see no problem with picking and choosing the businesses we decide to support. i will show up for cappy's but i would never support abc auto...hell, i would support any efforts to get them the f outta here. being selective is a part of neighborhood building...we are putting together a brand and we shouldn't produce crappy worthless products that tarnish the label of SH

sesh2 said...

i think cappy's is technically considered South Sem Hts so the argument about Randy is kinda moot. when you say "Neighborhood" do you mean OSH or all three Heights...b/c this is an issue that affects all which is why i'm assuming there is such great interest. i would think the surrounding neighbors' opinions would be the most important to seek out.

Anonymous said...

I can't attend, however, in years past, the Council accepted emails and would enter them for consideration. Is this still true, if so, can an email/address be sent out so we can submit even more.

Seminole said...

Can someone come up with a copy and past post that we could e-mail to Linda Saul-Sena (Building, Zoning & Preservation, Chair, linda.saul-sena@tampagov.net) and Shawn Harrison (building, Zoning & Preservation, Vice Chair, shawn.harrison@tampagov.net) stating that we want the rezoning to keep Cappy's open?

Anonymous said...

I would say email, as a last resort...if you can't make it in person.

I would think it VERY IMPORTANT to go in person. Remember the impact of many in attendance and what it did for Starbucks? This is a much more important cause!!

Can someone give address and directions to the city council chambers? Where to park, etc?

Rick F. said...

Council is at 315 E. Kennedy on the 3rd floor. (corner of Kennedy & Florida)

There is meter parking on Kennedy, Twiggs, Florida and Jackson

Anonymous said...

My late 2 cents on the subject.......I'm just back in town from having been in Atlanta - Midtown for several days and I just kept saying the whole time - if Peachtree can be 4 lanes and have this much heavy traffic and still be ped friendly then why can't Florida/Nebraska become this???

It was night and day.

Anonymous said...

You guys need to slow down. Joe says GROWTH MUST PAY FOR ITSELF. If Cappy's can't meet the regulations, then they're screwed. Sorry. Too bad Joe wasn't in office when Starbucks came up. He would have sent those developers packing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 2:03, you don't have a clue. Joe was for development when he was building strip clubs and work out joints. Now that he's finished developing, he's against it. He sued the city when they went after illegal activity in his clubs, now he wants them to police the clubs. He thinks limiting the movements of pedaphiles is unconstitutional, but he'll vote for it now.

In short, he's a pile of scum that is only out to serve his own interest. He doesn't believe any of the crap he spouts. That's all pandering for the socialist sheep that follow him. He'll promise you anything as long as you take him seriously....INCLUDING A FREE LAP DANCE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey hysterical jackass:
For the last time.
Real slow.
You get free entrance to Mons.
NOT A FREE LAP DANCE!

Anonymous said...

Starbucks only went ot city council because they were requesting changes to the zonig which required a PD (planned development) request - that has nothing to do with development not paying its way.

Anon - when you were in grade school you probably poked little kids on the playground also didn't you??

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the guy who posts as Kombatrock against the Starbucks going in? He sure was hyping all the vandalism to the Starbucks. He was also Joe Redner's campaign manager.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if some of the uneducated voters would stop and listen instead of running their ignorant mouths, they would heard what Joe means by "development must pay for itself."

What he has said is, as the development are built and more students are added to existing schools, the developers should pay to either add on to the schools or pay to build new ones. If we are a capacity and are at the perfect class sizes, etc, yet new development will create problems, the developers SHOULD pay and figure out how to pass the fees on to the consumer, or deal with it themselves. This should be a no brainer.

In addition, Developers should also be required to incorporate XX percent green space within each development.

Joe may not be a "likable" guy, but he does have great ideas that should have been considered long ago.

ranbar said...

Actually, right now growth DOES pay for itself. It is called concurrency and, with one exception, it is mandatory. The exception relates to transportation (i.e. road capacity) in the city south of Fletcher. Several years ago the city created a transportation concurrency exclusion area (TCEA) in order to help encourage development in the city. At the time the city was losing a lot of development projects to Pasco. However, the TCEA has had a negative impact on areas such as south of Gandy. Indeed, one of my goals when elected was to support redefining the boundaries of the TCEA to include only certain areas, like downtown, that truly need it.

However, at the Riverbend candidate forum, Joe seemed to indicate that he thought that concurrency is voluntary, which would be consistent with his catchy, but irrelevant (except for transportation), campaign slogan about growth. He also incorrectly stated that the TCEA was not binding on City Council, and actually argued the point with me. Luckily, there was a transportation engineer in the room who confirmed the mandatory nature of the TCEA.

While I agree that Joe has a passion for certain big picture issues (especially growth and the environment), my experience on the campaign trail leads me to believe that, like the overwhelming majority of the electorate, he lacks knowledge of the details about how the city deals with growth. That is not to say that he can't learn the details. But if he (and the voters) actually understood how concurrency worked, they would realize that his "great ideas" referred to by anon 4:56 have not only been considered, but already implemented.

KombatRock! said...

Regarding Scott's original question, There is no doubt that the city is retarding business growth in not only Seminole Heights, but other older neglected areas of Tampa (Tampa Heights, Old West Tampa) as well. The short term solution would be flexibility in zoning requirements for new businesses in older urban neighborhoods and eventually creating new zoning standards for these areas. For the time being, it makes sense to look at each business individually and handle them on a case by case basis. Why the city council wouldn't make it as easy as possible for a bellweather business like Cappy's to stay where they are is beyond me.
To me, it illustrates the total disconnection the Tampa City Council has to the "Big Picture", the idea of creating density in urban areas to ensure viable, working neighborhoods.
I know that Pam thinks about these kinds of things as her light rail proposal indicates, and Linda Saul Sena is a champion of "smart growth"-when it became a big issue (at least with me it did) during the last election, but it's a shame there hasn't been an active resolution supporting it and that the city hasn't encourged it more vigorously.

In regards to me "hyping" vandalism at Starbucks (the pre-opening wheatpaste not the brick throwing): I think it encouraged a healthy and robust neighborhood debate on the "corporate" subject and I stand by everything I said about it. I personally don't care for the company and what they've come to represent, however the importance of it, simply in creating a meeting place for socializing and a destination in the community is of obvious great value. I just wish it wasn't such a branded and commodified experience and that it wasn't so tied up in status and property values. I simply prefer to support mom and pops but I don't want to open all that up again as I understand why Starbucks sits there now and why the neighborhood overwhelmingly supports it.

Anonymous said...

Boy what a change in tune. Weren't you the one that was asking the vandals to do over the spray painting? You wouldn't know who did that, would you? You were calling people in this neighborhood all kinds of derogatory names because they wanted that Starbucks. You've exhibited nothing but disgust for the general public in SH and now you're talking about "healthy debate", this coming from a guy who never showed his face at any of the neighborhood meetings, arc meetings, or city council meetings. You haven't a shred of credibility.

IFly said...

Anonymous@12:56
I beg to differ, that Kelly is now expressing that a portion of his initial stance was wrong on the Starbucks issue early on and has learned the value it has now, I think he has gained quite a bit of credibility. I wholeheartedly agree with him that I'd prefer Mom and Pop type businesses, but Starbucks has filled a need for the community when mom and pops were nowhere the horizon. Back to the original point, I'd think you might try using something other than anonymous and be accountable for your own words before you questions someone else's credibility.

Anonymous said...

To get back on topic...

As somone that lives near a large retailer on Nebraska that often overflows the parked cars into neighboring YARDS, I can say without hesitation that parking requirements should be met by every retailer, including Cappy's.

I support Cappy's, but I don't think this city council meeting to decide their PD application is important because we'd only lose a pizza joint if it fails. After all, it's a profitable business that demonstrates a demand for eat-in and take-out pizza in the area. Someone else is likely to get permits and open one with enough parking if Cappy's closes.

That said, I still URGE everyone to attend. Why? Because this is a great opportunity to tell City Council that this _isn't_ about just Cappy's but about a huge traffic and parking problem retarding growth in the largest neighborhood in Tampa.

We don't need a South Howard solution. We don't WANT one like that. If you lived a few blocks off SoHo you'd never be able to get into your own driveway because of the parking problem.

What we need is for the city to come in and use eminent domain or other means to acquire a used car lot here or there and open it up to public parking--even metered parking to help pay for lot maintenance is fine. We need WIDER sidewalks and we need new construction to front the sidewalk with parking in the rear. If people walk or bike to stores they need less parking.

Anonymous said...

ifly, take a look around. anonymous is everywhere, why complain now? Take up the issue and own it. You guys were against the Starbucks regardless of how many people were for it. You supported the vandalism IN LIEU OF HEALTHY DEBATE. Vandalism is how you debate, anonymously and with intent to do harm.

And now that you guys are trying to minimize that, when that was all you were about just a few months ago, shows what cowards you are. rest assured that when Joe loses, I expect the spray painting to come back.

IFly said...

I commented in favor of requiring registration for comments when it was proposed and implemented. Anonymity, while achieving the objective of generating additional comment, and the associated controversy and traffic, also fosters contempt and empowers thoughtless verbal violence. What I have failed to understand is why, if your words have any worth at all, why you feel the need to distance yourself from them? I understand some level of anonymity, as retribution is a valid concern, but, at least use a pseudonym that can allow a viable thread of discussion. *Cue the poophead, as I'm sure he/she is bound to make an appearance*
Anon@11:37. I have never condoned vandalism and commented quite heartily in opposition to the wheatpasting and associated discussion supporting it. I also welcomed Starbucks, while fully supporting the Coffee Bean during it's brief life. Lumping me with Kelly for your debate is a mistake. However, I do think it takes a big person to admit that their minds have changed when their initial position was found to be mistaken. That lends itself to credibility, not diminishes it. Neither side is ever completely correct in these sorts of discourse, the best we can hope for is to reach understanding and work for a compromise and learn along the way.

Greg said...

Ifly,

Well said

Anonymous said...

Ranbar; Joe will and can learn while sitting on the job just as others before him have done if they don't have a total grasp in detail on every issue. Regardless if he didn't appear to you to be very knowledgeable on that subject, he is still the better candidate than Gwen. I get the feeling that Joe would get down to the details where as Gwen just floats along with no substance and we sure don't need anymore of that.

Regardless of what you think of Joe not understanding how the city deals with growth, the fact is that so far the city hasn't dealt with it very well and that leaves Gwen right in the middle of it. You may have done a fantastic job yourself with the growth issues had you been elected but you weren't and Joe has a chance to make some impact that is so lacking on this subject for to long. The voter's (the small percentage that did show up) are letting their voices be known that it is time for change and if that means on-the-job-training, that's possible too.

Anonymous said...

On-the-job training didn't teach Gwen to *do* something. I think it is unreasonable to expect on-the-job training to teach Redner to be less like Larry Flynt and more like a real city leader.

But hey, we're still trying to fix some of Grecco's blunders and unethical behavior. We're still saddled the the issues created by Rhonda Storms. I'm sure Redner will have his own legacy to amuse us into the distant future.

Anonymous said...

Well, here we go again with the Adult business thing (less Larry Flynt)
Get over it Prudence.
The man does have a brain and can make informed decisions (like a real city leader) regardless if you don't personally approve of his choice of legal income.

Anonymous said...

Informed decisions? Like offering free entry to his strip club if you vote? Does that sound like someone who can be expected to think critically?

Give me a break. Anyone who has ever paid attention to Joe Redner in the debates will realize that he is not that smart, he's just learned to repeat certain phrases.

The only reason to elect Joe is to "shake up" city council. And frankly, the way Joe will shake it up council could be accomplished more directly by bringing in a great dane and letting him crap on the floor before every session.

Anonymous said...

again with the muck, is that the best you can do? in the smarts department, we ain't got the two sharpest horses from the primary, but in a battle of wits my money'd be on joe over gwen any day. as for your great dane comment, more directly it might be, but it'd probably only work once before they caught on to your seeing-eye dog trick, joe would be there every session so i'm sure hed be more effective over the long haul

Anonymous said...

"Something" isn't better than "nothing" if that "something" is destructive.

Gwen may do "nothing" but at least that gives us 4 more years of "do no harm".

And yes, Reder is very much like Larry Flynt. Made his fortune legally selling sex. Got abused a bit by elected prudes trying to shut him down. Resorted to the legal system to fight it. Then tried to run for office to stir the pot.

Mr. Doo-Doo Head said...

Thanks for giving me a shout out playa!
Light up a fart for me!
Smoke one for the boys.