Weekly Planner banner

from  Bob Hunter, FAICP, Executive Director 

   eNews Issue 2012.2             

 Building a Sustainable Future    

RBH casualA Smart Growth America poll found that even in the midst of a struggling economy, smart growth strategies remain a high priority among Americans on both sides of the political aisle.  The poll's results illustrate that people understand the benefits of sustainable communities.  They want to see more of them.  In fact, with 79% of Americans support sustainable communities as defined:


An urban, suburban, or rural community that

has more housing and transportation choices,

is closer to jobs, shops or school, is more energy independent and helps protect clean air and water.


As planners, our charge is to protect the public interest, safety, and welfare.  That means we need to consider long term consequences even as we address immediate needs.  Hillsborough County, Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City will continue to grow.  Our population grew 23% from 2000 to 2010.  As we plan for continued growth, it's imperative to uphold the permanent values important our community.  These ideas are clearly articulated in the Planning Commission Vision, and sustainability has been, and continues to be, one of our core values.

Communities which are sustainable,

prosperous, culturally diverse and well-governed,

with planned, effective and efficient infrastructure

that can accommodate orderly growth -

including quality education; affordable housing;

accessible social services and health care -

and communities composed of livable,

well-designed and safe neighborhoods,

surrounded by protected ecosystems.


Smart planning contributes to our economic prosperity as well as our overall quality of life.  While the challenge remains for us to identify and capitalize on our own unique resources, define our own character, and collectively focus on targeted industries to bolster sustainable growth, there are many solid projects improving putting us on a path to a more sustainable future today. 

Enjoy a look (section below) at the broad range of the projects honored at last night's 30th Annual Community Design Awards.  This year, we were privileged to have the insight and wisdom of three judges from outside of Hillsborough County (pictured right to left):

 30th Annual Community Design Awards Judges
  • Carol Stricklin, AICP - Community Development Director for the City of Largo   
  • Shrimatee Ojah-Maharaj, AICP - Manager of the Business Assistance Center Planning & Economic Development for the City of St Petersburg  
  • Deborah Martohue, AICP - an attorney and founder of Martohue Land Use Law Group
We truly appreciate their careful consideration of which of the great planning projects in Hillsborough County were deserving of recognition.  And, a special thank yoBrendan McLaughlinu to our Master of Ceremonies, ABC Action News Anchor Brendan McLaughlin, whose personality really made the evening special.  Thank you to TECO for their continued support of excellence in planning with their sponsorship each year.  Congratulations to all of the winning projects.  Each serves as a model for others to emulate and goes beyond great design and actually improve our quality of life.       


The Planning Commission logo

In This Issue
Building a Sustainable Future
What's Going On
Take A Survey
Watch Our Videos
30th Annual Community Design Awards Winners by Category


Missed An Issue?

View All eNews button

Join our mailing list TPC

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter


What's Going On

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




imaging2035 logo 



Take A Survey


Terrace Park - University Square Vision Plan Survey



Watch Our Videos

Planning Commission Purpose & Vision video

Planning Commission

Purpose & Vision

'Feeling Good' about Hillsborough County

'Feeling Good' about

Hillsborough County 


 30th Annual Community Design Award Winners by Category



* Public ParticipationSpringhill Community Center glass sculpture


Bern's Park * Award of Merit   

A remarkable example of public-private partnership.

Ferlita Macaroni Factory * Award of Merit 

The City of Tampa and Tampa's Italian Club worked with a group of dedicated citizens to change this building's fate.

Springhill Community Center

* Award of Excellence

The judges adored how the glass mobile hanging in the atrium created by neighborhood children working with local glass sculptor gloriously symbolizes this entire community coming together to create a true indoor & outdoor community center of which they can all be proud.


* EnvironmentalThe Preserve at Alafia


The Preserve at Alafia

* Award of Merit

Designed around environmentally sensitive areas, mid-rise units were included in the design for preservation of Grand Oaks and other valuable trees as well as the waterfront community park.  

* Institutional or Public/Quasi-Public


56th Street Pedestrian Enhancement

* Award of Merit

The judges appreciated this Gateway and the retrofitting of a car-centric suburban corridor into a people-centric, multi-modal addition to the economic core of Temple Terrace.

Plant City County Courthouse * Award of MeritPlant City Courthouse detail

An attractive multi-functional public place that evokes a sense of civic pride, while respecting the historic character of Plant City.

St Joseph's Hospital North * Award of Merit

The owner of this suburban, satellite medical facility made being patient-focused and family-friendly in a safe, efficient, healing environment using high-tech solutions and sustainable design the highest priority.

Platt Street Bridge Restoration * Award of ExcellenceSanto Nino Shrine

The judges loved "where the City is going" and how everything was "done right" when executing the renovations of this important transportation and neighborhood connection, as well as the commitment of the City and County to the significant heritage of the River.

Santo Niņo Shrine * Award of Excellence

The judges found the interior and exterior mosaics and sculptures, the variation of spiritual spaces, and the flow from one to another in this outdoor sanctuary truly inspiring.  



Washington Street Park - Channel District

* Award of Excellence

Washington Street Park - Channel District


This park literally glows at night with special lighting features.  The judges loved the way so many functions were packed into this one small park with unexpected design elements like the over-sized sea grass sculptures.  This park literally glows at night and is a gem in one very cool, urban chic community.


* Master Planning & Urban Design


Drew Park Community Redevelopment Area Streetscape & Beautification Master Plan  

* Award of Excellence

This design embraces the existing character of its neighborhood, while placing people first in this walkable, sustainable landscape sure to redefine Drew Park as a progressive, mixed-use community.


Selmon Greenway Feasability Study * Award of Excellence

The Greenway is an unexpected use, turning what could be considered hostile urban space into an urban oasis of mini-parks and cultural amenities, well-connected to other key downtown features created by an impressive inter-agency collaboration in pursuit of a good use of existing resources and a better quality of life for our community.


* Historic Preservation/ Restorationoriginal 1613 N Franklin St


1613 N Franklin Street * Award of Excellence

The judges appreciated this sensitive restoration...

a true marriage of modern amenities with historical accuracy originally captured in Burgert Brothers photo.



* Adaptive Reuse


Life Center at Metro 510Life Center at Metro 510 * Award of Excellence

The restored Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church serves as the 'Life Center' of this Downtown affordable workforce apartment home community.  


Moving in at Moses White Estates 





* Affordable Housing                     


Moses White Estates

* Award of Merit

The judges commended the Tampa Housing Authority for progressive thinking and their design goals - to achieve a spirit of newness, energy and efficiency, with positive connectivity to surrounding amenities; and for its residents to feel secure and a sense of pride, dignity, and ownership in a place they call home.                                 


* ResidentialNew Blue Bungalow


New Blue Bungalow * Award of Excellence

The judges felt this stunning home actually makes the neighborhood a better place and were intrigued by the details that went into the historically sensitive, yet modern and energy-efficient design, setting the standards high for future residential infill on one of Tampa's most famous streets.


Horizon Bay at Hyde ParkHorizon Bay at Hyde Park * Award of Excellence

The design, reminiscent of grand hotels in Hyde Park's heyday, takes up an entire urban block, yet is integrated into the streetscape seamlessly.  This independent and assisted living community promotes actually dynamic interaction within the neighborhood.


 Eco-Oaks curved sidewalk



Eco-Oaks Apartments

* Award of Outstanding Contribution to the Community 

Affordable housing that doesn't look like it, this is a safe place for women transitioning from homelessness to reunite, heal and grow with their children. Florida's first affordable housing Platinum LEED Certification further reinforces its commitment to provide permanent, sustainable living spaces with an important social purpose.



The judges considered how excellence in planning can impact economic development and can actually build a better, more sustainable community and presented Judges' Choice Awards to three iconic, community and regional economic engines.


* Judges ChoiceTeco Streetcar Line Whiting Street Extension 


TECO Line Streetcar Extension

* Award of Merit

More than $1.2 billion in private investment has been made along the original streetcar line that now serves visitors, residents and workers alike with this extension. The judges loved this transit link for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as its proximity to major parking facilities, and applauded HART and the City of Tampa for its perseverance and recognition of the significance of mass transit investments to enhance economic growth and development.





USF Health's Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation 

* Award of Excellence

This state-of-the-art medical education facility is the first of its kind in the United States.  A place where people, technology and learning converge to shape tomorrow's healthcare, CAMLS services a target industry that will help shape tomorrow's economic health for the entire Tampa Bay Region beginning today.  



Tampa Bay Times Forum * Award of Outstanding Contribution to the Community 

Tampa Bay Times ForumBeyond undertaking an extreme makeover making the Forum a world-class facility, the judges gave kudos to Lightning ownership for a truly exemplary attitude with a $42 million dollar private investment in a Hillsborough County-owned facility and placing a premium on community service at every level of the organization.  The transformed Forum serves as a positive community icon, setting the stage for sustainable, economic growth for our City, County, and the entire Tampa Bay Region.



Bob Hunter presented Executive Director's Awards to:

Keystone Open House

  1. Keystone Civic Association for their determination and very successful efforts towards completion of their Community Plan and ongoing pro-active involvement in the values and activities of their community. 
  2. Wanda Sloan for her dedicated service as Chair of the Annual Neighborhoods Conference and to building better communities in Hillsborough County. 
  3. Kathy Beck for her dedication as Tampa's Natural Resources Coordinator to the Community Tree Program, placing value of an urban forest economically and environmentally to improve our quality of life.  

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.