TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The V.M. Ybor neighborhood is a great location with plenty of history, but despite the benefits, people who live there say their property values are not increasing like they are in other areas of the city.
“I can tell you that our neighborhood has not seen the growth in home prices that other areas in the urban core have received,” said Kelly Grimsdale who lives in the neighborhood.
She said the problem is a high concentration of sex offenders who live in the area.
According to Grimsdale, there are 91 registered sex offenders living within in a half-mile radius in the neighborhood.
“From what I can find, we have the highest concentration in all of Hillsborough County and I don’t understand why,” said Grimsdale.
She said 58 registered sex offenders live in just three rooming houses on Nebraska Avenue.
“It is a problem because you are putting all of these at risk people in one neighborhood. I don’t believe they are really receiving any rehabilitation or anything,” said Grimsdale.
Tampa’s City Council has discussed the issue before, but an assistant city attorney told council members he did not believe any ordinances were being broken by the owners of the rooming houses.
“There are no code violations that I am aware of at this moment,” said Assistant City Attorney Mike Schmidt at an Oct. 19 city council meeting.
Council members agreed to come back on Nov. 30 to hold a workshop on the issue.
Council member Lynn Hurtak said at the October meeting she thinks it’s a problem to have that many sex offenders in a limited space.
“What concerns me is that the Department of Corrections has three spots within the city of Tampa, from my understanding, with which they can drop people off at and it concerns me that some of the addresses are just two streets,” said Hurtak.
Grimsdale said she hopes council members can find solutions at their next meeting.
“Well, I’m hoping that city council will put pressure on code enforcement and zoning to actually enforce the code,” she said.
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