Monday, April 23, 2018
News Roundup

Residents turn out to oppose Brandon plaza owner's request for more liquor sales

BRANDON — The fate of a new restaurant and liquor store planned for Oak Park Plaza appear to be in doubt after a county hearing dominated by nearby residents' concerns about noise, alcohol sales and lack of parking.

Winbran Corp. is seeking variances that would allow alcohol sales for a six-table Jamaican family restaurant and a small liquor store in the plaza at Lumsden Road and Kings Avenue in Brandon.

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.

"This is an undesirable element we don't need," said Oscar Lastinger, president of the Oak Park Townhomes Homeowners Association, a 75-home development near the plaza. "We vehemently oppose this."

Lastinger was joined by 30 residents and supporters at a zoning master hearing Monday in Tampa.

The plaza's owners were aware of the residents' concerns and dramatically reduced the scope of the application, said Todd Pressman, a lobbyist for Winbran. The original "wet zoning" request was for five separate areas in the plaza, he added.

Still, residents are concerned that the variances will only 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, said Gwen Plyler, secretary of the Oak Park homeowners group.

Nancy Gerille, secretary of the homeowners group, said plaza patrons are already parking in her neighborhood when O'Brien'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 an 80-signature petition opposing the variances.

Jamie Scarola, who chaired the zoning hearing, asked if there was any dialogue with residents before the variance applications were submitted.

"It's a little late to be talking to residents now," Scarola said.

Scarola urged more talks between residents and the plaza owners to resolve the issue, which he said goes beyond the applications for a liquor store and restaurant.

O'Brien's co-owner Sean Rice, who has been known to work with local community groups, said he was shocked at the complaints about noise and lack of parking.

"We will be talking to the residents and the community. I love this community and enjoy working in it," he said.

As for Esther Etienne, the owner of the proposed Jamaican restaurant that will employ five or six people, she's not sure she can proceed without the variance to sell alcohol.

"I will have to reconsider things. I have already put a lot of money into this," she said.

Nicole Farantatos, vice president of Winbran, is promising more dialogue with residents.

"I want to talk to residents and resolve the problems and make sure these things don't happen again," said Farantatos.

Oak Park homeowners are confident the variances for the restaurant and liquor store will be rejected if the zoning master visits the plaza, as he typically does before rendering a decision.

"He will agree with us if he goes out there and doesn't believe the lies he was told tonight," Plyler said. "But we will appeal if we lose and we will keep appealing."

The zoning master is expected to announce a decision by May 7.

Kevin Brady can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 23

Monday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 10, Citrus Park Christian 0Northeast 12, Countryside 5
Updated: 3 hours ago
Man faces first-degree murder charge in 2017 death of woman

Man faces first-degree murder charge in 2017 death of woman

TAMPA — A 68-year-old man was arrested Monday on a first-degree murder charge, according to Tampa police.Officers took James Leon Jackson into custody at 2712 W Nassau St. in west Tampa at about 1 p.m. A warrant for his arrest had been issued Friday....
Updated: 3 hours ago
A new museum will honor America’s lynching victims, including those killed in Tampa Bay

A new museum will honor America’s lynching victims, including those killed in Tampa Bay

In May 1914, a Hernando County grand jury decided not to indict John Davis, a black man accused of attempting to assault a white woman in a hotel. But days after he was released from the Citrus County jail, Davis’s body was found beaten with a ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., April 23, midday:40 874 5140e_SRit69262Mon., April 23, evening:76 974 2849e_SRit78236Fantasy 5Mon., April...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Waffle House slaying suspect arrested; veteran receives world’s most extensive penis transplant; more in U.S. news

Waffle House slaying suspect arrested; veteran receives world’s most extensive penis transplant; more in U.S. news

TennesseeWaffle House slaying suspect arrestedThe mentally unstable white gunman suspected of killing four people and wounding more at a diverse Nashville Waffle House was arrested near his apartment Monday, authorities said. Police and federal agent...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Armenia’s leader quits amid protests; van driver kills 10 in Toronto; more in world news

Armenia’s leader quits amid protests; van driver kills 10 in Toronto; more in world news

ArmeniaLeader quits: ‘I was wrong’Ten days of demonstrations forced the resignation Monday of the man who has led post-Soviet Armenia since 2008. The unexpected resignation prompted the jubilation of tens of thousands in capital Yerevan’s Republic Sq...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Deputies find parents who fled with newborn; 1-month-old is safe

Deputies find parents who fled with newborn; 1-month-old is safe

TAMPA — The 1-month-old infant reported missing Monday was found hours later about 300 miles north in Quincy, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Sage Cooper was reported to be unharmed, officials said, and Gadsden County sheriff’s ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Saudi-led airstrike at Yemen wedding killed at least 20

SANAA, Yemen — An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, killing at least 20 people including the bride, health officials said Monday, as harrowing images emerged on social media of the deadly bombing, the third t...
Updated: 5 hours ago