Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

San Antonio officials, Saint Leo University near legal fight over use of city street

SAN ANTONIO — No one's sure if it will work, but city officials plan to try to stop Saint Leo University's proposed warehouse from going up along a residential street.

In a special meeting July 3, city commissioners proposed new weight restrictions on Pompanic Street, which the university wants to use to access a 16,000-square foot plant operations facility.

Since plans were introduced in February, city officials and the university have gone back and forth in meetings about whether the facility's truck traffic will make Pompanic unsafe. Touting an April traffic study, university engineers maintain the couple dozen deliveries a day are too few to pose a risk. City officials still don't buy it.

So next week the commission may vote on changes to an ordinance that would introduce new weight restrictions, prohibiting some of the facility's trucks from using Pompanic.

But how, if at all, would that affect plans for the facility's construction?

"I don't know," Mayor Tim Newlon said. Final say falls to the neighboring town of St. Leo, not San Antonio.

Pompanic Street serves as midline between St. Leo and the city, and the facility would stand in St. Leo limits. Its commission balked on the plan last month, citing the need for experts' input on the university's plan.

Even if San Antonio's commission restricts Pompanic, St. Leo could approve the facility, and its trucks would be left to contend with the San Antonio's code enforcement.

Newlon isn't sure who would fine them, maybe the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Still, he said, restricting traffic on Pompanic might pressure the university to change course.

"Hopefully that gives the university motivation to use existing roads to their plant operations facility," he said.

That's not going to happen, according to Joel Tew, a land use attorney representing the university. At last month's St. Leo commission meeting, Tew and university engineers said they don't want to build service roads through the 12-acre field overlooking Lake Jovita on which the facility would stand. The university bought the land for planned expansions, they said, and service roads would be an unwelcome complication.

As for using State Road 52, which borders the field's southern edge, Tew said that also isn't happening.

Rather, he made it clear in a letter to Newlon before the July 3 meeting that San Antonio's attempts to restrict Pompanic will only worsen the impasse and would be unlawful, unconstitutional and a general act of ill will. He went on to say that if the city restricts Pompanic, the university might pursue legal action.

"This caution is not intended to inflame the situation, but simply to put the City on fair notice that there are consequences for such intentional, discriminatory, bad faith conduct by public officials ..." he said.

Contact Gage Bentley at or (727) 869-6250. Follow @gagebentley.

San Antonio officials, Saint Leo University near legal fight over use of city street 07/09/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 1:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting case


    NEW YORK — Former Rep. Anthony Weiner was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl in a case that rocked Hillary Clinton's campaign for the White House in the closing days of the race and may have cost her the presidency.

    Former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) arrives at federal court for his sentencing hearing in a sexting scandal, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in New York. [Associated Press]
  2. Kiran and Pallavi Patel commit $200 million for Clearwater medical school

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Tampa Bay philanthropists Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel are spending $200 million to create and promote a Tampa Bay regional campus for the private Nova Southeastern University.

    Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, prolific Tampa Bay philanthropists, are putting up $200 million to create and run a new medical school under Nova Southeastern University. Here is a rendering of the proposed campus [Courtesy of Southestern Noval University}
  3. Lightning to retire Vinny Lecavalier's No. 4 in February


    When Marty St. Louis became the first Lightning player to have his jersey retired back in January, it was hard not to think that former captain Vinny Lecavalier would be the next one.

    Vinny Lecavalier takes the ice before a 2010 game against the Florida Panthers.
  4. 2018 Tampa Bay Blues Festival lineup: Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Delbert McClinton, more


    Another Tampa Bay Blues Festival, another visit from the great Buddy Guy.

  5. Throwdown by the Bay: Jake Owen leads country festival lineup at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    After a couple of successful years where they brought headliners like Brantley Gilbert, Jake Owen