Make us your home page

Brandon's Oak Park Plaza to appeal rejection of new alcohol permits

A lobbyist for Oak Park Plaza's developer says owners plan to appeal after the county on Monday turned down two applications for alcohol sales there.

"The county is persecuting two new businesses in the plaza because of the activity of another tenant," said Todd Pressman, a lobbyist for Winbran Corp., which operates the plaza at the corner of Lumsden Road and Kings Avenue.

"The decision is wrong, wrong, wrong, and we absolutely intend to go back to the county and look at modifications and changes we can make."

Residents of Oak Park Townhomes, a 75-home development near the plaza, packed a hearing before the county's zoning master last month. They cited concerns over noise, alcohol sales and lack of parking, issues they said already see due to parties from a business currently in the plaza.

Winbran was seeking variances that would allow alcohol sales at a six-table Jamaican family restaurant and a small liquor store in the plaza.

The plaza is home to O'Brien's Irish Pub and the Shrimp Warehouse, which sell alcohol. Two free-standing buildings under construction in the plaza — a sushi restaurant due to open in August and a Mexican restaurant opening in June — will also sell alcohol.

The hearing master concluded that the plaza failed to prove the variances wouldn't have an adverse effect on surrounding land uses and that the request was inconsistent with the future land use plan.

The decision is a victory for local homeowners, said Gwen Plyler, treasurer of the Oak Park Homeowners Association.

"I am ecstatic," she said. "We don't want any more alcohol establishments around here when we already have problems with the ones we have. It doesn't make any sense to have more."

Residents were concerned variances for the two businesses would open the door to more applications for stores that can sell alcohol.

"We are not Ybor City and this is depreciating our home values further," Plyler said last month.

Nancy Gerille, secretary of the home owners group, had said plaza patrons were already parking in her neighborhood when O'Brien Irish Pub's hosts St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo parties.

"We have to hire an off-duty sheriff's deputy to keep people out," said Gerille, who presented at the zoning hearing an 80-signature petition opposing variances for the plaza.

"This is an undesirable element we don't need," said Oscar Lastinger, president of the homeowners association. "We vehemently oppose this."

Plyler and her neighbors are still wary over Winbran's plans to appeal.

"It's a victory for now," she said. "If they appeal, we are going to be there."

Kevin Brady can be reached at

Brandon's Oak Park Plaza to appeal rejection of new alcohol permits 05/07/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 5:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  5. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.