Tuesday, November 20, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa’s trees return to the spotlight at the City Council meeting this morning

TAMPA — For more than 18 months, the city code protecting Tampa’s trees has been the subject of fierce battles between advocates eager to protect the canopy and builders frustrated by bureaucratic hurdles they say stifle redevelopment in the urban core.

In August, an advocacy group, Tree Something, Say Something and the Tampa Bay Builders Association struck a truce allowing some flexibility for property owners by adjusting where a home could be sited on a lot to protect existing trees. That peace was applauded by council members exhausted by the bickering since the issue debuted in April 2017.

That amendment will be under consideration by council members at this morning’s meeting. The Hillsborough City-County Planning Commission signed off on the changes last month.

Meanwhile, a city staff rewrite of other parts of the nearly half-century-old ordinance confused and upset tree advocates at last week’s meeting when they learned that an appeal board —- the variance review board — and rules notifying neighbors might be axed from the new ordinance. Those changes have not been vetted yet in a council workshop or examined by the planning commission.

The two separate issues may collide today as all sides seek some clarity on what the ordinance’s final version may contain, something council member Harry Cohen said was necessary last week.

Cohen, a mayoral candidate, represents leafy South Tampa, the epicenter of the tree battle.

Council members have said repeatedly they want to find some solution before a majority of the seven-member council leaves due to term limits on May 1.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the 3rd floor council chambers at City Hall, 306 E. Jackson St. The meetings are televised at Channel 640 on Charter Spectrum and Channel 15 on Frontier. You can also watch online at tampagov.net.

Contact Charlie Frago at [email protected] or (727)893-8459. [email protected]

Comments
Rays DFA C.J. Cron in adding 5 prospects to roster

Rays DFA C.J. Cron in adding 5 prospects to roster

The Rays designated for assignment leading home run hitter C.J. Cron on Tuesday among their moves to open space on the 40-man roster to add five prospects.Cron, 28, has seemed to be on the way out despite hitting 30 homers while posting a .253 averag...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Florida Gators’ New Year’s Six bowl chances look better in latest College Football Playoff rankings

Florida Gators’ New Year’s Six bowl chances look better in latest College Football Playoff rankings

UF cracks the top 12, and UCF has the highest ranking ever by a Group of Five team.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs place tight end O.J. Howard on injured reserve with foot, ankle injuries

Bucs place tight end O.J. Howard on injured reserve with foot, ankle injuries

O.J. Howard sustained separate injuries on the same play during the Bucs' 38-35 loss to the Giants Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs offensive linemen continue a Thanksgiving tradition

Bucs offensive linemen continue a Thanksgiving tradition

TAMPA – An event that began back in 2007 with the Buccaneers offensive linemen giving Thanksgiving dinners away to a few hundred Tampa Bay area families in need has not only more than tripled in the number of families it's able to feed every ho...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey leaves Cubs for “personal reasons”

Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey leaves Cubs for “personal reasons”

Hickey had spent 11 years with Rays before leaving following 2017 season.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

Bucs-49ers is a matchup of turnover-margin futility

It might be fitting that the game between the NFL's two most giving teams will be played on Thanksgiving weekend.
Updated: 2 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Start at precincts to restore trust in our voting system

Here are Wednesday’s letters to the editor
Updated: 3 hours ago

Hernando school board: Longtime educator Duval takes over as chairperson

Susan Duval, who spent many years as a principal in Hernando County, was recently reelected to the board.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Democrat-controlled Hillsborough commission sets sights on transportation and stopping sprawl

Democrat-controlled Hillsborough commission sets sights on transportation and stopping sprawl

Democrats take a 4-3 majority as a new Hillsborough County Commission board is seated.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Most Americans have common ground on immigration. Congress should listen to them.

Most Americans have common ground on immigration. Congress should listen to them.

The majority in the middle must have a say, if the United States is to remain both a nation of immigrants and a truly representative democracy.
Updated: 4 hours ago