QUESTIONS REMAIN ON CREATING ARTS DISTRICT IN YBOR CITY - Mitch Perry

07/22/04

This morning at the Tampa City Council, a proposal made by Mayor Pam Iorio earlier this year to create a so-called "Village of the Arts" in Ybor City was discussed.

The Plan calls for bringing artists backs into Ybor, by renting out 5 different homes and 4 apartments to artists, and developing the area north of Interstate 4 between 12th and 19th Streets.

Thom Snelling is the City of Tampa's Land Development Chief. He explained how different branches of City Government are exploring how to zone this new district....

He said one problem is simply defining Art (roll tape#1 o.q."a bit of an issue")

Snelling referred to the various types of artistic expression which could create more affect on the surrounding neighbors - such as a welder, or some other type of industrial construction. He says he's hoping the proposed District will be inviting for people who are more tolerant of more funky, 'artistic type of behavior ' (roll tape#2 o.q."build off of that")

Snelling says there is a problem with zoning right now... Parts of the proposed District are currently zoned as residential, and other parts of the area are listed as Commercial.

(roll tape#3 o.q."occurances")

Councilmember Mary Alvarez then interrupted Smelling in respect to the Houses that will be used in the proposed area (roll tape#4 o.q."it could be")

Councilmember John Dingfelder then mused aloud if somebody who considers themselves a Performance Artist and moves into the Village might move into another area which the City has had issues with for years (roll tape#5 o.q."performance art")

Councilmember Rose Ferlita said she supports the overall concept, but asked Morris Massey from the City's Legal Department about people being excluded. (roll tape#6 o.q. "we do that either")

And Councilmember Kevin White asked Paul Wilborn, the City's Creative Industries Manager , who defines who IS an artist? (roll tape#7 o.q." sort of review")

OUTRO: Next up for the Village of the Arts Plan is for the City Council to make a field trip to Bradenton, to visit their own arts Area, which has been cited an the inspiration for Paul Wilborn to conceive such a neighborhood in Tampa.

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