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Neighbors complain about parking overflow from JCC

Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 18:06:55-04

"I think they were good neighbors up to a point,” said Armory Gardens homeowner Sandy Sanchez.

They want a park.

"We want to preserve the greenspace in our neighborhood,” said Sanchez.

They don’t want a parking lot.

"More times than not, there's over a hundred parking cars parked in just the center of the park,” said Sanchez.

Vila Brothers Park, off North Armenia, is supposed to be a place for neighbors to relax.

"It has been used morning, noon and night,” explained Sanchez.

Photos show it packed with cars some complain are tearing-up the grass and causing congestion on narrow side streets.

The hundreds of cars are parking overflow from large events now hosted by the newly renovated Bryan Glazer Jewish Community Center.

"We had talked early on about occasionally allowing them to use some of the park for overflow parking and that some has been too often,” said Tampa’s Economic Opportunity Director Bob McDonaugh.

McDonaugh says the JCC also built a large tent but did not pull the proper fire, water, sewer permits for the structure.

"They did not and our planning department and construction services right now are working with them to get the appropriate permits,” he said.

The JCC’s COO Heidi Shimberg tells me they work hard to be good neighbors.

In fact, the JCC offered discounted memberships to 900 households in the neighborhood.

They regularly meet with neighbors.

She says they're also working on solving the overflow parking problem with a valet company.

A valet company the JCC is hoping will preserve their good neighbor status in the eyes of folks like Sanchez who are not only neighbors, they're JCC members.

"We've all been waiting for it and we have embraced it,” she said.
 

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