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Developer seeks approval for signs at road's edge

In a neighborhood that is leery of store signs, a business wants to build more than a dozen that don't fit city codes.

The developer of a Home De pot-anchored shopping center has asked the Tampa City Council to make an exception on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. Plans submitted to the city ask for approval for as many as 17 signs along Bruce B. Downs north of Interstate 75.

The developer wants to put the signs two feet from the road. Usually, the city requires that signs be 15 feet back.

The plans show signs with a brick base 13 feet wide and 9 feet high. City staff have not yet studied the signs. The council is scheduled to hear the issue June 11.

New Tampa residents have killed signs before that loomed too large. One group quashed McDonald's plans to put 35-footgolden arches at its store in the New Tampa Shopping Center. After lobbying, McDonald's agreed to construct a much shorter sign.

The New Tampa Community Council also drafted proposed regulations for signs and has tried to create a government district in New Tampa that would govern landscaping and signs.

Hunter's Green resident Paul Higby, a former planner, said this new request "would be a travesty of justice and an insult to the people who live out here."

Road sightings

Speaking of signs, there was an odd one attached to a pole on Cross Creek Boulevard last week. The hand-written, unsigned poster read: "Anything Just To See You Smile."

_ If you have a story about New Tampa, call 226-3376 or 226-3464.