South Tampa lot-splitting unpopular with neighbors

- A development trend in South Tampa would mean more concrete, more cars, and more people squeezed in. 

Homeowners are fighting back against lot-splitting they say is hurting the area.

People who live in Virginia Park are fed up. They say down-zoning is chipping away at the neighborhood lot by lot.

“You see it everywhere, there are entire blocks of nothing but 50-foot frontage lots with houses on them, big houses, and cars, and lots of cars, and kids, and lots of kids," said Howard Tuuri.

He says streets are getting crowded, schools are filling up, and the houses are being packed in.           

Developers are cutting 100-foot-wide lots in half and constructing two houses where there used to be one.           

"We don’t want the traffic issues that happen in other subdivisions,” David Cohen said. “We don’t want the school issues that are already happening at Mabry Elementary School where kids are sharing desks."

Turns out the lot-splitting is all by the books. It’s a rezoning process that takes into account the burden on infrastructure and if the plan fits in with the surrounding area.

"They’re larger lots that are being rezoned into smaller lots to accommodate additional houses," Tampa Planning and Development Director, Thomas Snelling said.

Now some neighbors are fighting back.

Virginia Park residents came out in force to Thursday night's Tampa City Council Meeting. They turned in petitions with about 350 signatures and gave leaders an earful.

"What I am not for and what I don’t want is green space in my neighborhood replaced with concrete,” one woman said.

The homeowners aren't against new builds, but they believe dividing the lots will bring down property values.

"These one-offs are totaling up to our neighborhood is changing," said Cohen.

Neighbors say they're going to continue to fight and work with the recently re-organized Virginia Park Homeowners Association to figure out how to get their voices heard.

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