Update: Council to Reconvene in November on Salem's Sub Shop

Residents in Old Seminole Heights are opposed to the business heading to their neck of the woods.

Last week, we reported on a Salem's Gyro's & Subs that plans to move into Old Seminole Heights.

Residents concerned about noise and an increase in crime rates circulated a petition that garnered 120 signatures and attended a Tampa City Council meeting on Thursday where the sub shop's owner hoped to receive clearance to build a drive-through at the business on Nebraska Avenue.

Lori Kay, who attended the council meeting and lives in Old Seminole Heights, said the owner has yet to receive permission to build the drive-through from city officials.

Even so, Kay said the owner agreed to two of the residents conditions - a six-foot wall to muffle noise and a raised directional curb to direct traffic away from the neighborhood - but hasn't budged on altering his early morning closing hours.

"We want him to agree to all of the things we're asking for," said Kay. "They're not unreasonable."

The next council meeting will be on Nov. 15, where a final decision is expected to be made on the sub shop's closing hours.

What do you think about the issue? Tell us in the comments.

jj October 15, 2012 at 06:17 PM
No this is another ghetto store right up there with family dollar... and now general dollar is coming next to the front porch grill... wake up semonoles heights we are.headed in the wrong direction... along with too many bars ie red star rock bar....
Jeff Fuller October 15, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I was at city council meeting. The existing building was built 16' from a mature, healthy grand oak that stands behind the building, while code calls for minimum of 20'. City council expressed due concern for the fate and well being of that protected tree. Salems site plan shows that the drive-thru traffic will drive over the roots of the tree as cars (and large pick-ups with lawn trailers and heavy equipment) approach pick-up window. Salems plans showed an elevation to drive over tree's roots but council seemed sceptical, as am I. I supported restricted drive-thru hours. I assisted Lori talking to neighbors and getting letters signed. I learned that most of my neighbors oppose having a Salem's in neighborhood. I've now changed my position to total opposition of a drive-thru. With no drive-thru there would probably be no Salems. I will be passing a petition among my neighbors asking that we save the grand oak tree and stop Salems drive-thru.
Camille C. Spencer October 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM
@jjj: Thanks for your comment. Jeff: Thanks for the information. Let me know how things go with your petition. Feel free to email me at camille.spencer@patch.com.
Lori November 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I have received the revised site plan from the developer of this project, he has agreed to the wall, the directional curb on North st. but as to the hours we asked for he will not agree to closing the entire restaurant at the hours we requested but said he'll close the drive thru at those hours. We were never asking for shorter drive thru hours he's thrown that in to muddy the waters. If the restaurant is allowed to operate until 4am it will attract the after hour party crowd that will congregrate in the parking lot at the back of the restaurant, directly adjacent to our homes. We need to let city council know that our approval of the drive thru is conditional upon closing the ENTIRE restaurant at 11pm Sunday thru Wednesday and 1am Thursday thru Saturday. If you can't attend the hearing please email city council at tampacitycouncil@tampagov.net and let them know how you feel about a restaurant chain with a documented history of attracting criminal behavior being allowed to operate until 4am in our family friendly, quiet neighborhood. "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"
Camille C. Spencer November 05, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Thanks for the update, Lori. Keep us posted!
Robin Milcowitz November 05, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I agree with the hours of operation that Lori states. I believe there should be restrictions on late hours of operation when residential properties are immediately adjacent to any business. And I will send an email telling City Council that very thing. But, I'm not sure how Salem's, which is a small, locally run business doesn't deserve to have a location in a better neighborhood than where their restaurants are now. Are we saying that Salem's, because it is located in areas with high crime rates, automatically generates crime no matter what it's location is? McDonald's has locations in high crime areas, does that mean a McDonald's here would generate crime? If Salem's were to open a location in Westshore Mall, would crime suddenly come to Westshore mall? I think the bigger picture could be that we are welcoming a small, locally run business to our area. Which is ultimately what Seminole Heights supports. I think it is unfair to label any business as being a crime maker. Unless, of course you're talking about the BP gas station on Sligh and Nebraska - then you could certainly make that argument.
David November 05, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Really? your worried about a fast food joint improving their business and providing jobs, yet you let in sleazy used car dealers and used furniture stores in buildings that should be condemned?
Shawn Hicks November 05, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Robin, the problem with the hours restrictions you recommend is that it would require a new law or a zoning change to the entire area. There are no hours restrictions for general business hours that I am aware of. Starbucks and the Taco Bus are open 24 hours, for example. When a Planned Development (PD) zoning type is requested (this is a customized zoning type) you can add in these sorts of restrictions. Historically, Seminole Heights has requested the 11/1 hours for liquor licenses only. (also outdoor music must be turned off at 10pm) If we limit this one property owner to 11/1, it places them at a severe disadvantage to competing businesses that we didn't and cannot limit given current code. If Salem's chose to forgo the drive-thru, they could be open 24/7 without any variance request from the city and no opportunity for the neighborhood to weigh in on the issue. Note that gas stations are adjacent to residences in Seminole Heights. Would we support shutting down the other convenience stores like 7-11 on Hanna? 3 Coins Diner? CVS/Walgreens? One of the cures for some of the crime we experience on Nebraska and other streets is to have more legitimate nighttime activity that makes the area unacceptable to street crime like prostitution and drugs. I support a balanced redevelopment plan for the greater Seminole Heights area. 12 years ago, when I located here, I would have loved to have these sorts of problems! Businesses fighting to get in. Wow.


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