Residents should have an easier time turning onto Tampa Bay Boulevard from Webb Avenue when a restaurant owner blocks customers from parking on the city’s right-of-way.
The restaurant also could come under greater scrutiny in meeting requirements for disposing of cooking grease.
Tampa City Council last week gave initial approval to rezone property at 3411 and 3413 W. Tampa Bay Blvd. The site has three single family houses and a restaurant, Amarillys Sandwiches and More.
City code enforcement inspectors last year said the restaurant was not permitted on a residentially zoned parcel. A final vote from the council to allow the restaurant is expected on April 4.
The restaurant’s building dates to the 1940s and has been used as a barbershop, convenience store and meat market. Owner Everto Gonzalez bought the property in 1971, according to county records. Several years ago he opened the sandwich shop.
Two residents spoke at the council’s public hearing last week. Among their concerns were vehicles parked in front of the shop along Tampa Bay Boulevard. Motorists making a left turn off Webb Avenue don’t have a view of oncoming traffic, they said.
“You take your life into your hands trying to get out on Tampa Bay,” said Orchid Palaski. “It’s dangerous. They’ve been told. There is plenty of parking in the back as it is now.”
Marian Kohrs showed council members cellphone photographs of an overflowing grease trap and buckets of oil sitting outside the restaurant.
“You can’t open the windows during the day or you’re going to get a good whiff of cooking grease,” she said.
If the restaurant is approved, Gonzalez has agreed to plant grass on the right-of-way and add curbing to keep customers from parking vehicles in front of the shop. He also will install a fence along the western side of the property.
City officials, who issue a certificate of occupancy, would review the sandwich shop’s operations including having a functioning grease trap. With city oversight, council Chairman Charlie Miranda said, “I think it’s going to be an enhancement to the neighborhood.”