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Parking rules set for neighborhoods

Cars and small pickup trucks with commercial signs can be parked in residential neighborhoods, despite the opposition of a Tampa association of neighborhoods. The Tampa City Council approved a new set of definitions Thursday specifying what kinds of commercial vehicles are prohibited from parking in residential neighborhoods.

The definitions, which simply put into writing what the city has been enforcing, prohibit all commercial vehicles and trucks from parking in residential neighborhoods. The only exceptions are cars, one-ton pickup trucks and vans used for transportation to and from work.

School buses are exempt from the rules and will continue to be allowed in residential neighborhoods as long as they are parked safely.

Though city officials say the rules will not adversely affect neighborhoods, THAN (Tampa Homeowners, An Association of Neighborhoods) opposed them.

Margaret Vizzi, the association's president, said cars, pickup trucks and vans with commercial signs on them litter neighborhoods with unsightly advertisements for businesses.

"That's exactly what we object to _ the rolling billboards," Mrs. Vizzi said.

But council member Larry Smith accused Mrs. Vizzi of misrepresenting the views of the neighborhood association. He questioned her statement that the association had voted to take a stand against the rules.

Smith said he had spoken with THAN members who said they favored the new definitions.

Mrs. Vizzi denied that was the case.

"He is trying to make us look like a group that is taking votes that the people don't know what they're voting on, and that is not the case," she said.

Later Thursday, Sally Flynn, secretary of THAN, said the group voted unanimously to oppose the new definitions. She said 15 neighborhoods were represented at the meeting when the group voted.