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Occupy Tampa to Get Scrutiny from City

Steve Newborn

It's called Freedom Park, and for the past several months the West Tampa square has been the home of Occupy Tampa. But a group of local business people aren't happy with that, and today Tampa City Council members agreed to take a look at whether they're running afoul of city codes.

A handful of tents now occupy the space along Main Street that is owned by Joe Redner, the strip club magnate. But that hasn't gone over too well with some West Tampa business owners and residents. They signed a petition asking the city to relocate Occupy Tampa.

City Councilman Frank Reddick agrees with some of their concerns.

"I'm going to ask the city - law enforcement, code enforcement and I'm also going to ask Hillsborough County Health Department to take a second look at his facility," he said.

His motion was approved by the council. City staffers will see if the Occupy encampment meets codes for
police, health and land use zoning. City code enforcement officials say even though they received hundreds of complaints, they found few violations - and those were immediately fixed.

Council member Yolie Capin disagreed with the motion, saying" When you tell me there's 200 calls to that area, and then 400 calls - I have a hard time believing it was from these people."

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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