Channel 10 report questions why city of Tampa is allowing Church of Scientology to purchase Ybor Square building

Although initially it appeared to be a done deal, there are more people questioning the city of Tampa's Zoning Dept. allowing the Church of Scientology to purchase the Ybor Square building in Ybor City.

Cl broke the story earlier this month that the controversial church was is in negotiations to purchase the historic building in Ybor, which as of last October, became this paper's new home.

Why a snag now though? Well as WTSP Channel 10's Mike Deeson reported last night, places of religious assembly are prohibited in this section of Ybor City.

But the biggest question is how the Scientologists got approval from the city and zoning administrator Catherine Coyle, because places of religious assembly are prohibited in that part of Ybor City.

Coyle told us it was approved, because the Church said it was basically for office space. However, we reminded Coyle the Scientologists told the city they would conduct Sunday morning services and would use the office space to conduct their religious services.

At that point, Coyle changed her stance and said even though there was some religious activity that would be held there, it was considered an accessory use. When we reminded Coyle that an accessory use as a religious place of assembly is also prohibited, she then changed her stance again and said it was a place of assembly.

Opponents have until June 5 to appeal the ruling, and we hear that there's a good chance that somebody will appeal.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.