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Ybor street sign compromise spurs controversy

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:08 PM
YBOR CITY -

The sign's top line would read "E 1800 7th Ave." The bottom line would read "La Sétima/La Séptima."

With Tampa City Council approval, 29 characters — not including "Ybor City" — would be included on the sign along Ybor's main thoroughfare.

The debate about what to do with street signs lining Seventh Avenue continues before the council today. It began when a contingent of Ybor residents argued that a nod to the historic neighborhood's Spanish roots, "La Sétima," on Seventh Avenue signs is a misspelling and would invite ridicule from thousands of Spanish speakers coming here for the Republican National Convention in August.

Those residents lobbied city leaders to change the signs to what they say is the correct translation of "Seventh," "Séptima."

Other residents say the existing signs reflect neighborhood history and should stay the same. Some say Sétima and Séptima are both correct spellings.

Earlier this month council members were poised to change the spelling to "La Séptima." But Councilwoman Yvonne Capin floated the idea of including both spellings on the signs.

Not everyone is happy about the potential of having "Séptima" and "Sétima" on signs. Ybor resident Fran Costantino, one of the original proponents of a name change, called it "beyond stupid – spelled s-t-o-o-p-i-d."

And this week, the Ybor City Development Corporation's board voted unanimously to recommend signs not include Sétima or Séptima. The street signs, they said, should only say Seventh Avenue.


jpoltilove@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7691

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