Tampa City Council approves changing historic mansion on Bayshore Blvd. into social club

Posted at 4:17 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 18:07:30-04

TAMPA, Fla. — An early morning decision by the Tampa City Council will move developers closer to their goal. Blake Casper, the property owner, wants to make the Stovall House, built in 1909, a social club for members. 

Some neighbors that live houses down from the mansion aren’t thrilled about that.

"What all will be involved with this club? How many members are we talking? How loud is the noise?” said Hilary Morgan. She lives three houses away.

During the Tampa City Council meeting Thursday, Morgan feels the folks behind the project didn’t address those types of concerns with realistic solutions. 

"Rather than learning more of the substance of the issues it was kind of a parade of character witnesses to Mr. Casper,” said Morgan. She says no one is doubting Casper’s character but they do want more details about the project.

The developers say the site plan calls for outdoor alcohol sales to end by 10 p.m. weekdays and midnight Friday and Saturday. They also can’t play any outdoor music except during four special events during the year.

Morgan is worried big trucks will flood her narrow brick street and violate existing code. She says certain trucks are not allowed to divert off designated truck routes except for limited business needs. 

“Any time that a truck diverges off that truck route they have to take the shortest route possible to get back on that truck route as soon as possible,” she said.

She believes that will force trucks to take local roads if they’re coming from South MacDill Avenue.

The homeowner's attorney Truett Gardner says the only trucks that will use local streets will be UPS and Fed Ex which already use those roads. They sent a statement that reads in part:

“All Stovall House deliveries go to an off-site storage facility, and will then be delivered to Stovall House by a box truck or van.” They added, "Over the last several months, Blake and Tate listened closely to the ideas and concerns of The Stovall House neighbors. The site plan approved by City Council last night includes more than a dozen conditions that were developed jointly by the Caspers and neighborhood leaders to protect the neighborhood. Blake and Tate, and the entire Stovall team, are humbled by the strong support shown last night by the neighborhood, community leaders, and City Council.”