Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Pinellas homeowners say they weren’t told of plans for a Topgolf in their midst

Residents of the Carillon Office Park say the city of St. Petersburg didn’t properly notice them.
Topgolf has sports entertainment complexes in Brandon and more than 50 other locations worldwide.
Topgolf has sports entertainment complexes in Brandon and more than 50 other locations worldwide.
Published Nov. 7, 2019

Is there only a “minor” difference between an office building and a Topgolf facility with a restaurant, bar, driving range and event spaces?

A group of residents of the Carillon Office Park is suing the city of St. Petersburg, saying officials failed to notify them before approving a change in plans to permit a 67,521-square-foot Topgolf sports entertainment complex close to their homes. The site on Carillon Parkway originally had been proposed for an office tower.

In the suit recently filed in Pinellas County circuit court, Concerned Citizens of Carillon say city officials approved the change on a site plan application earlier this year "without notice, public participation or public hearings'' as required by city code.

The application did not "request a mere minor modification but rather a substantial change to the use of the space and basic intent of the original site plan,'' the suit says. "The construction of a Topgolf facility will greatly impact the status quo of residents located within the near vicinity of the development.''

The suit seeks to have the approval voided and the city blocked from issuing a development order that would allow the Topgolf project to proceed. City officials said they do not comment on pending litigation. Texas-based Topgolf, which has a complex in Brandon and dozens of other locations worldwide, did not return calls.

RELATED: Topgolf says St. Petersburg spot will open in 2020

Carillon, located in a triangle formed by Interstate 275, Ulmerton Road and Roosevelt Boulevard, is generally considered an office park with tenants that include Raymond James, Spectrum and BayCare Health. But it also is a live-in community with a Publix and hundreds of residents in apartments and townhomes.

In 2001, the city approved a site plan for construction of a 250,000-square-foot building for Aegon, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Nothing was built, and in 2012 a seemingly identical site plan was filed for the "express purpose'' of preventing the expiration of the original site plan, the suit says.

In February, the city received an application to modify the 2012 plan to construct "an outdoor commercial recreation destination with an adjoining restaurant.'' On May 29, the application was administratively approved after officials determined there had been only a "minor'' modification of the plan.

"None of the neighboring residents and property owners ... were asked to participate in the process, nor were they given notice and opportunity to attend public hearings to resolve concerns that construction of the Topgolf facility would cause for the residential neighborhoods,'' the suit said.

The homeowners also allege that the city failed to produce some documents they requested and delayed turning over others. The suit identifies only one homeowner, Jason Liu, a lawyer who lives in Carillon’s Saxony Place townhomes. The names of 13 other plaintiffs were blacked out.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Premium Outlets, 2300 Grand Cypress Drive. The area’s newest outlet is touting the shop tax free weekend and extra savings on top of already reduced prices.
    Deputies are searching for a suspect. There is no public safety threat.
  2. Mike Bishop joins Pasco EDC staff. [Pasco EDC]
    News and notes on Pasco businesses
  3. Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
    News and notes on Hernando businesses
  4. A beer is pictured in the outdoor games area of Park & Rec on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Towers of Channelside condo association has filed a lawsuit against the bar, as residents complain about noise.
  5. Yacht StarShip, a dining and water taxi company, has added the Lost Pearl pirate ship to its fleet just in time for Gasparilla. [Yacht StarShip]
    After years entertaining tourists in Virginia Beach, the Lost Pearl is settling into its new Tampa Bay home.
  6. Bank OZK CEO and chairman George Gleason, left, and managing director Greg Newman are photographed at the OZK Wynwood branch in Miami on November 13, 2019. [CARL JUSTE | Miami Herald] [Carlt Juste | Miami Herald]
    In fact, Bank OZK has emerged as a powerhouse in commercial lending generally.
  7. Flooding from an October king tide in Miami Shores fills streets, sidewalks and driveways at its peak. [Miami Herald]
    And it could lose up to 35 percent of its value by 2050, according to a new report.
  8. Delta Air Lines said Friday it will launch five new round-trip routes a day between Tampa and Miami starting May 4. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) [MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP]
    Delta says the daily nonstop Miami service will create new connections for Tampa travelers to fly to Latin America and other international destinations.
  9. The Undercroft — the new home to a branch office of TheIncLab, an artificial intelligence firm — provides work space for several cybersecurity companies in one of Ybor City’s most historic structures, the El Pasaje building on E Ninth Avenue. RICHARD DANIELSON | Times [Richard Danielson]
    The Washington, D.C.-area company expects hiring 15 developers and engineers in the next twelve months and partnering with bay area universities to augment its staff with student interns.
  10. FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2019, file photo Amazon packages move along a conveyor prior to Amazon robots transporting packages from workers to chutes that are organized by zip code, at an Amazon warehouse facility in Goodyear, Ariz. Cashless shopping is convenient, but it can be a budget-buster. This year, make it more difficult to spend money online. This could help cut out some of your impulse purchases. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File) [ROSS D. FRANKLIN  |  AP]
    Here are some tips to avoid wasting money when you shop.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement