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Tampa City Council approves flag expansion of local business after dispute

A neighbor raised concerns about safety for drivers, transparency, and impact on the North Bon Air neighborhood.

TAMPA, Fla. — After much debate, Tampa City Council members approved a local business' flag expansion proposal after denial from the city's variance review board.

The back-and-forth centered around Dr. Nick's White & Healthy Dentistry off I-275, near the Dale Mabry Exit.

Dr. Nick Kavouklis petitioned the council for review over a request to allow use of a flagpole from 45 feet to 100 feet in height and increase the sign square footage of a flag from 50 square feet to 760 square feet.

The council voted 4-3 to approve the use of two flag poles with both flags of the proposed height and square footage. 

A neighbor raised concerns over safety for drivers on the interstate, impact on the look of the neighborhood if more businesses follow suit, and transparency over its use. 

Flags depicting "Trump" have been spotted in the area years before, but owners raised the use of at least the American flag, both of which are  permitted.

"The request would create an unsafe situation for cars on I-275, open the neighborhood (which is bordered by Lois Avenue, Cypress Street, Dale Mabry Highway, and Kennedy Boulevard) to having 100-foot flagpoles on the surrounding streets," Theodore Floyd of the North Bon Air neighborhood wrote. "Please help bring light to this potential eyesore."

In addition, Floyd expressed concerns over the use of a flag to promote business rather than a sign, which city council stated was in violation.  

However, in a rebuttal to the variance board's denial, Kavouklis' petition states the newly installed and elevated roadway had a "damaging effect" and resulted in loss of visibility. 

Both Dr. Kavouklis and property agent Todd Pressman declined to comment.  

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