Tampa sidewalk rule fleeces residents

Published Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Re: "Sidewalk ordinance fairness is challenged" (article, May 15)

Rule fleeces city residents

I'm so glad someone has paid attention to the legal fleecing of Tampa citizens when trying to build in this city. Our collective problem is that we are ordinary citizens, not "developers" who seem to get just about any concession. Our story on the subject is:

In December we moved into a home we built on Napoleon Avenue, a half mile from MacDill Air Force Base. This part of the street has no sidewalks, but we were told we'd have to put one in. We said okay. As the project progressed, we were then told we couldn't put in a sidewalk because of a magnolia tree and a city drainage ditch and not sufficient space to have 6-foot clearance on each side of the walk.

Even though it was their ditch (which the homeowners must maintain mowing etc.); there are no other sidewalks; their space requirements; and I was willing to have one constructed. We still had to pay $2,795! I asked what I'd get for the money. Short answer — nothing.

Where does the money go? To less fortunate areas of the city.

Nice. Do less, don't manage personal resources and you'll be bailed out.

Thanks again for a great article. Keep digging into the politics of Florida in general and Tampa in particular, and you'll have a lifetime career and never run out of material.

Don Conrad, Ballast Point


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