Make us your home page
Instagram

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 eparker@tampabay.com 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

Loading...
  1. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.
  2. Deputies searching for woman who went missing after leaving hospital

    Public Safety

    Hillsborough County deputies are seeking the public's help in locating a woman who went missing after being discharged from a hospital last month.

    Hillsborough County deputies are seeking the public's help in locating Melissa Bennett, 47, who went missing after being discharged from Florida Hospital in Tampa on Aug. 8. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Withlacoochee River reaches crest, begins to fall

    Weather

    After reaching its fifth-highest crest ever, the Withlacoochee River has begun to recede.

    An aerial view shows flooding in the Talisman Estates area along the Withlacoochee River in Hernando County.
  4. Hulk Hogan talks Tampa Bay, depression and politics on Fox News' 'Objectified'

    Blogs

    For better or worse, Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea is our guy.

    Hulk Hogan shows Harvey Levin his wrestling boots on Fox News' "Objectified."
  5. Pumpkin pileup: Fiery crash causes mess, closes portion of I-75 in Pasco

    Accidents

    Drivers on Interstate 75 in Pasco County should expect significant delays on Friday as road crews work to clean up a mess of debris — and pumpkins — left behind after a fiery semitrailer truck crash in the early morning hours.

    Road crews clean up a mess of crash debris - and pumpkins - left behind after a fiery semitrailer truck crash on Interstate 75 in Pasco County on Sept. 22, 2017. [Florida Highway Patrol]