Common misconceptions about Save Tampa Heights and the code amendment we support:
1. What are we saving Tampa Heights from? From losing what's left of its unique historic character, and from missed opportunities to shape the ideal community for affordability, walkability, transit-oriented design, mixed-uses, cultural richness, and architectural compatibility.
2. We are not anti-development, anti-townhome, or anti-density. Please read the website and the code amendment. Nowhere does it espouse opposition to multifamily housing. From an urban planning perspective, moderate density belongs in Tampa Heights. It takes advantage of its walkable/bikeable amenities inside the neighborhood (and destinations like Armature Works, Downtown, Ybor City, etc. all being within a mile of our limits). It creates the density necessary for supporting a robust public transportation system.
3. The code amendment does not prohibit modern architecture, or regulate any specific architecture styles or materials. This was a very heavily debated point during the drafting of the amendment. Many longtime Tampa Heights residents have desired architectural standards similar to our Historic District for the area that lies outside of those boundaries. Others have not. We (Save Tampa Heights) believe that traditional architectural styles (Craftsman, Spanish Mission, American Foursquare, Victorian, Prairie, Queen Anne, Southern Vernacular, Art Deco, and similar styles from the 1880s - 1940s period) that Tampa Heights was originally comprised of best suit this neighborhood. At the very least, these styles should inspire and be incorporated into modern designs. We (Save Tampa Heights) do not dislike modern architecture. We just believe it does not belong in this neighborhood, it is better suited to other parts of Tampa. Until 2018, there was no precedent for it in Tampa Heights. Our historic neighborhoods are special, and Tampa Heights should rival the best historic central-city neighborhoods of Atlanta, Dallas, Savannah, Charleston, etc. in terms of architectural integrity. We have discussed this at length with many people and are happy to continue the discussion. There are valid points on both sides.
4. Save Tampa Heights was created to put pressure on developers and the City of Tampa. There was no intent to shame residents or create division; that is a regrettable side effect, and one that we have tried to prevent or make amends for. Some residents were particularly upset that photos or renderings of their homes were/are shown on the website or Facebook. The purpose is not to make anyone feel bad for the style or layout of their home. The purpose is to educate City Council, developers, and the public by illustrating real-world examples of an entirely physical issue - the urban design of real estate. We know that many of the residents had no hand in designing or building these homes - that is why we are targeting the development community. To those who have been offended and feel unwelcome: you are welcome in Tampa Heights. We value diversity in every measure, including diversity of thought. We want you to join the conversation. We know it must sting to believe some of your neighbors do not like the design of your house, but it's far more complex than "not liking" it. At hand is a long-running issue of how redevelopment occurs, which decades of neighborhood leaders and engaged residents have worked on. Whenever anyone moves into a neighborhood, whether it is historic, a deed-restricted subdivision, or an urban high rise, they move into the underlying issues that already exist there. Neighborhood issues are not cleanly delineated into periods, they are a woven continuum, and Tampa Heights' continuum is 140 years and counting. We are always willing to sit down with anyone to discuss our understanding of where TH came from, where it is now, and where it is going.