Leaders hope to organize 1,840

What might be their demand? Maybe a new traffic light at Fair Oaks Avenue and West Shore Boulevard.

SHERRI DAY

Published January 13, 2006

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Amid South Tampa's current development boom, residents without a viable neighborhood association often complain they are unable to get basic information about new construction from builders or city officials.

Expecting an increase in population and traffic when the Georgetown Apartments and Cove apartments are redeveloped, a group of Guernsey Estates residents have begun to organize.

The group, led by Jerry Frankhouser and his wife, Anne O'Hara, will hold the inaugural meeting of the Gandy-West Shore Neighborhood Association from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Jan K. Platt Library at 3910 S Manhattan Ave. City representatives and neighborhood leaders will arrive at 6 p.m. to answer questions.

"This is not going to be a homeowners association that (restricts the) color you paint your house or how many this or that you can have in your yard," Frankhouser said.

"We don't have a community swimming pool to take dues for. We just want information to be able to find out what's going on. We're not looking for problems."

The new association seeks to represent about 1,840 residents who live in the area just north of Gandy Boulevard. Its boundaries would stretch from Bay Villa Avenue on the north, Gandy Boulevard on the south, Manhattan Avenue on the east and Old Tampa Bay on the west.

City officials praised the organizers' efforts.

"This is the first time they're really being active, getting involved and communicating back and forth with us in the city," said Shannon Edge, director of the city's Neighborhood and Community Relations office. "We're most pleased that they're organizing and forming."

Representatives from Edge's office met with residents interested in forming an association last fall, she said. The meetings are part of a larger citywide effort to beef up struggling neighborhood associations and to help form new ones where none exists.

At its first meeting, the Gandy-West Shore group will elect its officers, review bylaws and discuss community concerns. Edge and members of the Tampa Police Department will attend to gather opinions.

Ellen Nimon, president of the homeowners association at Regency Cove mobile home park, said she backs the effort.

"We're in with it," she said. "If you want to get anything through downtown, you have to have an outfit like that behind you."

The new group plans to address several issues, including a new traffic light at Fair Oaks Avenue and West Shore Boulevard, Frankhouser said.

He also wants to monitor single-family home development to ensure that large houses are not crowded onto small lots.

- Sherri Day can be reached at sday@sptimes.com or 813 226-3405.

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/13/news_pf/Citytimes/Leaders_hope_to_organ.shtml

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