Land Development


Land Development



Helen is walking along the back alley (almost all homes have access to the garage from the rear alley in the older sections of Tampa.)  I am taking the picture from Massachusetts Avenue.  the two lots are to the right of the alley. 2306 Massachusetts Av. ( our lot ) runs parallel the alley and Traci's lot, 2308 Massachusetts AV. is on the corner of Massachusetts Av. and W. Frances Street. This picture was taken at the time we purchased the lots.

This next picture was taken the same day.  I am standing in the street at the property line between Traci's and our lots.  The city has just mowed the weeds and what little grass is there.  Most of the trees in the rear portion of the lot will be removed as you will see.
The next picture is looking along the property line.  We're on the left Traci's on the right. You can see a sign on the lot which is notifying the neighbors that were had requested a front yard setback variance and the hearing date before the zoning board of appeals.  Zoning required a 25 foot setback from the property line.  There is a 17 Foot right of way owned by the city from the curb to our property line.  That would mean our house would be 42 feet back from the curb.  Most of the houses are 10 to 15 feet from the curb and we wanted to be in line with the rest of the neighborhood. We won that variance for both lots.  I need to give thanks to Mr. Fred Myers from the City of Tampa Community Development department for speaking in favor of the variance or I don't think it would have passed. 
After the variance approval the builder was finally able to file for permits.  This process took a little more than a month.  Once permits were approved things finally began to happen.  In the next picture you can see a barrier has been placed around several trees the City required us to leave standing.  This picture was taken on December 6, 2000.
At this point I began driving by the lots every day to see what had been completed.  Nothing much seemed to be happening.  As I found out later the City still had some issues with the plans and design.  Then one day, January 11, 2001 to be exact,  I drove by at lunch time and found a machine clearing the lots and a steady stream of trucks delivering dirt. Lots of Dirt, 39 Truck loads to be exact.  Current code requires the base of the house be 18 inches above the highest crown in the road along the lot frontage.  The next pictures show the prep work to get the lots cleared and raised to that level.
These final two pictures were taken by Helen's brother, John, with a panoramic lens. This is the final stage before the Trench was dug for the footings.
The only other work that went on prior to the footings was one telephone pole that was about to fall down was replaced by Tampa Electric Company and the City decided to provide new water service connections to the property as the old services were inadequate.


The street pavement is constructed of red brick cobblestone as are most of the neighborhood streets. You can see the pile of bricks in the street in the picture to the right.  The water Dept removed the bricks, exposed the water main and burrowed under the street to run the water service pipe to a meter box on our side of the street then split that pipe into 2 meters.  The dirt has been compacted again and the bricks went back in the day after I took this picture.


Outside water meters are no no  to you Yankees, but it is a typical installation in the south.

You can see the two meters, and the water line are only about a foot below grade.

Also most backflow prevention devices are outside and above grade.  The temperature only goes below freezing for a few hours on about 3 to 5 nights a year.

The box is finished off with a cast iron cover with a small trap door in it.  The meter reader comes along with a hook, lifts the small cover and reads both meters.