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eNews Issue 2011.3

from Robert B. Hunter, FAICP

                                     Executive Director

Updating the Comprehensive Plans 

Robert B. Hunter, FAICP

As the State designated Local Planning Agency (LPA), the Planning Commission is responsible for preparation of the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR).  The LPA is responsible for the updates of the Comprehensive Plans and makes recommendations to the elected officials of the four jurisdictions in Hillsborough County.  As part of that process, our staff has been conducting scoping meetings with staff of local, regional and state agencies to identify key opportunities to build a more prosperous and sustainable future.


At the March 14th Planning Commission meeting, the Commissioners were asked to participate in a similar exercise.  Each Commissioner selected six issues they felt were most important.  A discussion to priortize these issues identified the following common topic areas:


  • Growth & Infrastructure - including paying for growth and schools & educationleaf


  • Environment -  issues such as potable water, water supply, local food source and protecting our natural assets

  • Regionalism & Economy - including regional and public/private partnerships to elevate our regional and global competitiveness

  • TranspTrafficortation - seeking opportunities for funding for better mobility strategies including improving transit  and bicycle & pedestrian safety



    Data from these scoping meetings will be presented at our PARTNERING FOR THE FUTURE Workshop to be held in May, at which elected and appointed officials from Hillsborough County; the Cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City; and the Planning Commission; as well as Hillsborough County's schools and universities will work together to define the direction for our County as a whole and identify priorities for growth.


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    In This Issue
    Updating the Comprehenisive Plans
    Teaming Up for Bicycle Safety
    Big Improvements Coming to Tampa Bay Marina
    Keystone-Odessa Community Plan
     What's Going On

    3/22 6:00 pm  Balm Community Plan

                          Workshop #2 


    4/2  8:00 am Hillsborough County

                        Neighborhoods Conference


    4/7  2:00 pm   EAR Scoping Meeting

           5:00 pm   EAR Public Meeting


    4/12 6:15 pm  Keystone-Odessa

                          Community Plan Update

                          Advisory Committee


    4/18 2:00 pm  Planning Commission

                         (rescheduled from 4/11)


    4/21 6:15 pm

    Planning Commission 29th Annual Community Design Awards  


    For more information on meetings and events, please visit our website:




    Teaming Up for Bicycle Safety

    Hillsborough County averages more than 85 severe or fatal bicycle crashes each year, consistently among the worst crash rates in the country.  To address this statistic, Planning Commission staff has teamed up with the local governments, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and concerned citizens to develop a Bicycle Safety Action Plan.  The plan identifies projects that will reduce the number of cyclists hit by motorists on our roadways. 


    Draft Bicycle Safety Action PlanEducating cyclists and drivers about the safe behavior and enforcing the traffic laws already on the books are the fastest ways to make a difference.  That's where the team intends to start.  Already underway is a grant application to implement a number of the safety outreach initiatives identified.  The Draft Bicycle Safety Action Plan was presented at three recent public workshops and will be presented to the Planning Commission in coming weeks.


    Big Improvements Coming to Tampa Bay Marina
    Tampa Bay Marina

    On Monday, the Planning Commission found proposed improvements to the Tampa Bay Marina to be consistent with the City of Tampa Comprehensive Plan.  The Tampa Bay Marina in the Westshore Area has seen better days.  Much of the basin is now too shallow for most boats and is largely in a state of disrepair.


    The owners plan to refurbish the existing wet slips, remove two industrial slips, add 13 new recreational slips, build new fueling and sewage pump-out stations, replace the existing seawall and maintenance dredge the area to -8 feet.  The project will not impact natural resources and will provide enhanced recreational amenities to the area.


    Keystone-Odessa Community Plan Update

    Last week, 48 citizens attended the 13th meeting of the Keystone-Odessa Community Plan Update Advisory Committee.   Presenters from Hillsborough County Public Works and Public School provided information and answered questions on Livable Roadways policies; sidewalks (including the School Safety Circulation and Access Program projects for Walker Middle and Hammond Elementary Schools); Bicycle, Motorcycle, Pedestrian and School Safety Programs; and school facilities and sites.  The Advisory Committee will meet again on April 12th to discuss the Greenways Trail and Environmental Lands Acquisition and Preservation Program.


    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.