The Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association loves and welcomes the revitalization that is occurring along our commercial corridors with new shops and food and beverage establishments. We want to be supportive of both our residential and business neighbors. One of the areas that is proving to be a sensitive area is alcohol (AKA: wet zoning) sales. Since we are designated an “Urban Village” in Tampa’s Comprehensive Plan, the code requires a distance separation of 250 feet from residential and 250 feet from another business selling alcoholic beverages. That is the code. We want to support our businesses and routinely support the waiver of those distance requirements in exchange for the business seeking approval for alcohol wet zoning to agree to 11 pm Sunday through Wednesday and 1 am for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This is a compromise as it would be nearly impossible to find a location that met the 250 foot residential separation. However, we have a policy of not supporting and actively opposing any request for 3 am wet zoning and oppose any distance waivers from residential for businesses seeking 3 am sales. We will ask the city to enforce the distance requirements that are part of the code in such circumstances. We do not make exceptions in the sake of fairness and consistency.
There are two major considerations in this stance. One is the effect that it has on those living within close proximity to the establishment and the other is that when a business is sold, the wet-zoning is transferred to the new owners and there is much uncertainty as to what type of business may “inherit” the zoning.
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