Legal battle brewing over Harbour Island tower

The Plaza residents don't like new condo plans

Opposition to a 21-story condo tower called The Manor on Harbour Island could lead to a legal battle.
"It's not a 'don't build the building' position. My clients are not anti-development,” said lawyer John Grandoff of the law firm Hill, Ward and Henderson. "At peak hours, you're going to have all these garages converging at the same time, in or out, and it's going to affect my clients’ property rights as to how they can get in and out of their property.”
Not enough parking and too much traffic —that’s what homeowners living next door in The Plaza dread if the new tower is built, adding as many as 300 new residents who’ll use an existing parking garage.
"They worked out a deal with the people that own them and the idea was to access [it] with a sky bridge,” said City of Tampa Economic Development Director Bob McDonaugh.
Developers don’t need the City Council’s approval to build The Manor or a second tower in the works for the other side of The Plaza.
The council approved the sky bridge but will take a second look in its Thursday meeting.
"The parking garage has an exit that goes directly to the main Harbour Island bridge, so when people are exiting the parking garage, they don't have to circulate in the surrounding neighborhoods ,” said Tampa City Council Member Harry Cohen.
Habour Island’s master plan has included more residential space in this area for decades.
"They could build more units and they're not,” said McDonaugh.
Still Grandoff said The Plaza homeowners want the right kind of neighbor and are gearing up for a fight.
"We're going to challenge the project at some point. It's not been approved by the city yet, and if it gets approved, we're going to challenge it,” said Grandoff.
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