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Tampa City Council votes unanimously against land-use change for Tampa Heights property

Some believe property is lost African-American burial site
Woodlawn Cemetery
Posted at 5:44 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 08:03:11-05

TAMPA HEIGHTS, Fla. — Thursday night, Tampa City leaders unanimously voted against a land-use change for a Tampa Heights property that neighbors believe contains African American graves.

Council members considered the land-use change for the plot of land next to Woodlawn cemetery.

Neighbors are fighting the change, displaying signs that read "Stop the build!"

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Neighbors fight land-use change for private property some believe is African-American burial site

Previously, a developer wants to build townhomes on the property, which is currently listed as a cemetery. It was sold to private owners in the 70s.

The property owner told us they did two tests and did not find caskets there.

But an archaeologist from USF told us the test methods were not consistent with identifying human burials and, "It is entirely possible that graves exist in the area."

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Neighbors and families with loved ones in the adjacent Woodlawn Cemetery objected to the proposed change. Opponents said given the proximity to the Woodlawn Cemetery and the historical use of the land in that area it would be inappropriate to allow the changes.