Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cruise parking on Harbour Island will cease

TAMPA — Stroll into the lobby of the Plaza Harbour Island and ask to use the restroom.

Chances are the doorman will apologize. Residents at the luxury condominium tower say they've had more than their share of sharing.

Several times a week for more than a year, visitors trekked from a dirt lot across the street where they left their cars while they went on cruises from Tampa's port. A website directed them to the exact address of the Plaza and touted: "Why pay $15 at the port when you can pay $7.99 with Capital Parking?"

Once there, they want to use the restroom, or get a drink or wait in an air conditioned lobby.

Many of the 189 residents at the Plaza wrote letters and piled onto a bus to protest the parking lot next door last week at a city hearing to address the owner's request to allow it.

The request was denied. Officials from the Development Review Committee found it inconsistent with the land development code. A stream of unwelcome guests at the Plaza will end April 3.

"We felt very gratified," said Lou Bernucca, a condominium owner.

Before the hearing, he and two dozen of his neighbors had met to plan their protest. They rattled off 15 points of contention with their parking lot neighbor, including early arrivals and late departures, increased traffic and, of course, the restroom issue. Dr. Ismail Kazem, who was among the group's organizers, focused in on pivotal issues, things that couldn't be simply altered by the land owner, and a dozen neighbors presented them at the hearing.

• • •

Their message: The parking lot doesn't belong here.

The property is 0.84 acres surrounded by a 6-foot-tall wood fence, with an entrance on Harbour Post Drive, across from the Plaza entrance. There is no restroom or refuge from the sun.

Cruise passengers who parked their cars there were shuttled by van a little more than a mile to the port. Capital Parking's website also offers auto detailing so guests could "come back to a clean vehicle."

The owner's rezoning request would have allowed for 91 parking spaces.

According to the property appraiser's website, the land is valued at $628,000 and is owned by Knights Harbour LLC, with an address for the company in Avila. Knights Harbour bought the property in 2011 for $935,000.

A call to the property owner was not returned.

The property is zoned for residential, hotel, retail, office, conference, athletic center and marina.

The property owner had requested the addition of long-term cruise ship and special event parking.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at or (813) 226-3431.

Cruise parking on Harbour Island will cease 03/21/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. JFK's last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht


    It has been 100 years since John F. Kennedy's birth on May 29, 1917, at his parents' home in Brookline, Mass., just outside Boston. Over the course of his life, Kennedy enjoyed lavish birthday celebrations, the most famous being a Democratic fundraising bash at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, when a sequined …

    President John F. Kennedy aboard the Sequoia in 1963 opening birthday presents. [Robert Knudsen | John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum]
  2. 1 in 4 Florida adults aren't registered to vote, according to non-partisan group


    TALLAHASSEE — Five million people in Florida who are eligible to vote aren't registered, according to a nationwide non-partisan group that helps improve the accuracy of state voter rolls.

    Voters line up in front of the Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg on Nov. 8. A non-partisan group estimates that more than a quarter of Florida's adult-age population isn't registered to vote. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win


    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.
  4. Navy parachutist dies during demonstration over Hudson River


    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, a Navy Seal team member fell to his death Sunday after his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River.

    Officials surround a U.S. Navy Seal's parachute that landed in a parking lot after the parachutist fell into the Hudson River when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the river in Jersey City, N.J. The Navy said the parachutist was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. [Joe Shine | Jersey Journal via AP]
  5. As White House defends Jared Kushner, experts question his alleged back-channel move


    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner's reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian …

    President-elect Donald Trump embraces son in law Jared Kushner, as his daughter Ivanka Trump stands nearby, after his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. [Mark Wilson | Getty Images]