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eNews Issue 2011.1

from Robert B. Hunter, FAICP

                                     Executive Director

RBH formal

Welcome to the first issue of The Weekly Planner, our new eNews briefs designed to highlight important planning issues and current Planning Commission activities.  Today, there is heightened awareness of the critical issues and choices that need to be made as we work together to build a more prosperous and sustainable future for Hillsborough County.  Jobs, energy, sustainability and quality of life opportunities are the focus of choices we are making today for a better tomorrow.


The Planning Commission is a consolidated agency responsible for long range planning for unincorporated Hillsborough County and the Cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City. Our services include land use planning; transportation; population analysis; environmental planning; community planning; river planning; innovative land development regulations; bicycle/pedestrian planning and safety; and citizen counseling. The Planning Commission shares many resources to facilitate more efficient service to our residents.


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In This Issue
from Robert B. Hunter, FAICP
Updating the Comprehensive Plans
Balm Community Plan
Lutz Community Plan
Keystone-Odessa Community Plan

Updating the Comprehensive Plans 

EAR Update Scoping Meeting to identify major issues

Identifying major issues & opportunities for Hillsborough County


The Planning Commission is already in the process of updating the Comprehensive Plans of the four jurisdictions in Hillsborough County.  State law requires every Comprehensive Plan be evaluated and subsequently updated every seven years.  As the Local Planning Agency for Hillsborough County and the three cities, the Planning Commission is responsible for preparation of the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR).  The process of identifying major issues began in September 2010.  Input is being gathered and analyzed from:

  • Questions relating to the EAR added to the annual Quality of Life Survey
  • Meetings with the staffs of Hillsborough County, the Cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City, State and Regional agencies and adjacent jurisdictions
  • Online and direct survey of agencies who are users of the Comprehensive Plans
  • Focus groups and meetings with the development community
  • Online survey for public input
  • Planning Commission Workshops
  • Board of County Commissioners Workshop 
  • Town Call Meeting
  • Meeting of all elected officials

As you can see, the Planning Commission will be engaging the entire community on our way to development of a list of major issues to be sent to the State by June 2011.


Balm Community Plan Update
Balm Community Plan Open House

On January 27th, the Planning Commission hosted the first of a series of public meetings and workshops at the Balm Civic Center to begin the development of a Community Plan for the Balm area.  This rural area of southeastern Hillsborough is one of several community plans being prepared for unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County.  All of the property owners in the area were notified of the Open House kickoff meeting, looking at maps, charts, graphs and examples of other community plans.  Many attendees completed surveys and signed up to be on the plan Advisory Committee.


On February 23rd, the Balm community participated in the first community plan development workshop, which included a presentation of planning basics and an overview of the plan development.  After a preliminary demographic summary, citizen comments and concerns from the January 27th Open House and web survey, community study area boundary, and Advisory Committee roles and responsibilities were discussed. The next workshop is scheduled for March 22nd from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Balm Civic Center located at 14701 Balm Wimauma Road.


Lutz Community Plan Update  

Lutz Community PlanOn February 10th, the Lutz community was invited to an Open House to weigh in on the Update of the Lutz Community Plan.  Over the past year, two Open Houses and eight Citizen Advisory Committee meetings were held for residents to provide input on what has and has not worked in the existing Lutz Community Plan that was originally adopted into the County's Comprehensive Plan in January 2001.  The update will be submitted as part of the 2nd Cycle of 2011 Plan Amendments scheduled to begin in March.


Keystone-Odessa Community Plan Update
Keystone-Odessa Community Plan

Safety and connectivity of roadways are two important issues being discussed for the update of the Keystone-Odessa Community Plan.  Advisory Committee members met on February 8th to consider current roadway conditions, traffic counts, and future roadway conditions. Staff presented an analysis of Patterson Road, Tarpon Springs Road, Gunn Highway and Lutz Lake Fern Road users.  Modeling samples were also presented that illustrated traffic flows based on alternative highway widening scenarios.  On March 8th, the Advisory Committee will hear from other departments and agencies on roadway safety, pedestrian/bicycle/sidewalk connectivity, signage, and roadway treatment alternatives.


In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other nondiscrimination laws, public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.