Car elevator loophole fixed to make way for new downtown St. Pete tower, Bliss

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St. Pete City Council has given the go ahead for a high-rise condo just off Beach Drive. During a meeting Thursday, council members voted 7-1 to let the 18-story tower go up in the 100 block of Fourth Avenue Northeast.

The vote hinged on whether or not the building could include a car elevator that may have not been permitted under current city ordinance.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the developer, Brian Taub, planned to use the vehicle elevator for residents in the 30-unit building but other nearby condo-dwellers were concerned the new Bliss residents would block the alley way waiting to park.

Supporters of the project argued those naysayers were more worried about their views of Tampa Bay being inhibited.

The Times reports Taub has sold 21 of the 30 units in Bliss already, but those sales were in jeopardy if the project had been further delayed. The contracts with buyers expire next month.

The approval came via two votes – one for the change to the parking garage rules and the other approving the project in general.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.