issue 3 
  October 2012      
Farewell & Thank You to the "Father" of the Planning Commission Sam Gibbons (2009)
Sam Gibbons - a Tampa legend, admired statesman, and unwavering supporter of education - died on October 10th at the age of 92. A WWII veteran who fought at Normandy, he served for more than five decades in the State Legislature and United States Congress. Best known for drafting the legislation that gave birth to the University of South Florida, he also founded the USF Foundation and served as its first president.

Sam Gibbons is also the "Father" of the Planning Commission. Inspired by seeing other world cities during World War II, he had vision for how he wanted his hometown to grow. So, the then Florida State Senator sponsored legislation that led to the creation of the state's only mandated land planning agency - the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. At its first meeting on November 23, 1959, the Planning Commission was charged by Gibbons to "be known as the people who did advance planning in Hillsborough County."

Gibbons wanted to better meet the needs of the people by thinking about those needs in advance. Saving community space for recreation and ecology were important to him. At the Planning Commission's 2009 Community Design Awards Program celebrating 50 years of planning excellence, Gibbons said, "I am very proud to have created the Planning Commission, because there needed to be an agency separate from the politics of growth to be the visionaries of our community. The Planning Commission is doing exactly that."  

A champion of good planning, a blessing for our community, and a true American hero, Sam Gibbons dedicated his life to tireless public service.  Because of his commitment to education as a foundation for our community and vision for a better planned Hillsborough County, his legacy will live on for generations to come. Sam Gibbons said, "Because the Planning Commission exists, we have a better community to live in." We say, because of Sam Gibbons' existence, we are a much better place to live in. Thank you.

Buona Fortuna & Grazie, Chair Chillura! Planning Commission Chair Frank Chillura on board the Port of Tampa boat tour.
For four years, Frank Chillura has represented the City of Temple Terrace on the Planning Commission, including one year as Vice Chair and as Chair for the past year. Born in Sicily, Frank immigrated with his family to Ybor City at the age of two. "My father always wanted to come to America," he recalls. "I came from a family who believed that anything was possible in a land that offered so many opportunities." This attitude resonated as a young man who started mowing lawns at the age of nine, growing his landscaping business enough to purchase his first rental property at the age of 15.
Frank Chillura speaking at workshop of county leaders

"If you want to
make a difference, you have to
get involved."
- Frank Chillura

Frank Chillura has been a Temple Terrace resident since 1977 and dedicated to public service since 1999. First appointed to the Temple Terrace Code Enforcement Board, then elected and re-elected to City Council in 2000 and 2004 respectively, Frank has served on many boards, including:
  • HART (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority)
  • Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board 
  • Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization for Transportation
  • Public Transportation Commission
  • Temple Terrace River Watch Task Force
Frank & Angela Chillura
Angela & Frank Chillura

Married with five children, Chair Chillura will end his term with Planning Commission in November. He takes pride in saying less, listening more, and treating people fairly. In his last year as Chair, Frank has been an even keeled leader, charting a positive course out of some choppy waters. He hopes his term as Chair will be remembered for his commitment to and support of the unity, stability and integrity of the Planning Commission.


What's next for this focused man who believes the harder you work, the luckier you get? Frank Chillura is running for Mayor of Temple Terrace. We wish him well in all of his future pursuits.


Buona Fortuna & Grazie!


Shimberg Gardens Dedicated            
Shimberg Gardens Ribbon Cutting Dedication
From left: Rob Gamester, Fran Gamester, Commissioner Sandy Murman,Hinks Shimberg & Congresswoman Kathy Castor

Shimberg Gardens was dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 10th in Town 'N Country. Named after the Shimberg family, brothers James H. Shimberg Sr. and Mandell "Hinks" Shimberg, the developers of Town 'N Country beginning in 1959, these gardens are part of the Town 'N Country Community Plan developed from 2000 to 2003. Rob Gamester, chairman of community projects for Town 'N Country Garden Circle, said "We had more than 400 people participate in the creation of our community plan."
Commissioner Sandy Murman speaking at Shimberg Gardens dedication
"It really takes public, private and community partnerships to keep the wheels rolling and to get projects like this done -Thanks to all of our community partners, and to all of the individuals that helped make it happen." 
- Commissioner Sandy Murman 
Shimberg Gardens Dedication Ceremony 

Ray Chiaramonte, AICP, Executive Director of the Planning Commission, explained, "These gardens embody the priority of this community to have a place for all of its residents to enjoy the beauty of nature within their neighborhood. Having this as part of the vision in their community plan and, then implementing it, is what this process is all about." 

Fundraising launched in 2005 has helped provide trees, shrubs, low-volume irrigation and more for the gardens and bordering county complex at 7606 Paula Drive, which houses a library, senior center and Head Start center. The trees, provided and installed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department, boost the total value of donations to the gardens and adjacent building to more than $103,000. "We want this to be a place where people bring their kids," said Gamester whose 70-member garden club raises money to support park amenities.

National Community Planning Month APA National Community Planning Month logo

Planning plays a vital role in the day-to-day happenings of citizens in every community. How do they get to work or school? Where do they live? Where do they shop?


October has been designated as National Community Planning Month by the American Planning Association (APA) as a way to highlight the role of planners and planning in each community. Planning is the process of envisioning, mapping or otherwise conceiving how a community will look, grow, and define itself - its characteristics, attributes, and identity.


As our communities continue to change and grow, planners play an important role in ensuring new developments are designed and built in harmony with existing surroundings. Planners must carefully balance the needs and desires of residents against the challenges presented by growth and change not just in the physical realm, but also economically and socially. Planning also strives to give residents choices from the type of home an individual lives in, such as a condominium, apartment, town home or single family, to how an individual gets around, whether taking mass transit, walking, bicycling or driving. To learn more about National Community Planning Month, visit


Community Corner looking towards a bright future

Next Meeting:
Tuesday, October 16, 6:00 p.m., at the Balm Civic Center

This is anticipated to be the final workshop. Open House results and other agency comments received will be reviewed in preparation for final adoption. The Plan amendment to adopt this community plan has been filed as part of 1st cycle 2013. It is the first community plan to use the new Staff Community Planning Guide. The process will begin with a Planning Commission Workshop at its December 10, 2012 meeting followed by a Public Hearing on January 14, 2013.

Balm Open House

University Area Community Plan

An Open House was held in September to review the draft University Area Community Plan Update. On the 9th of October, a follow up meeting with community stakeholders was held to discuss incorporation of the additional comments received.

University Area Community Plan Open House - September 2012

The University Area Community Plan Update is moving forward in the 1st Cycle of 2013 Plan Amendments. The process will begin with a Planning Commission Workshop at its December 10, 2012 meeting followed by a Public Hearing on January 14, 2013.

Next Meeting:
Thursday, October 18, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Yuengling Brewery Community Room
11111 N 30th St, Tampa Yuengling

Enjoy free parking and join us for an interactive workshop as we begin to frame the Terrace Park - University Square Vision.

** Meeting of special interest to the USF Area and stakeholders in the University Area Community Plan & Terrace Park - University Square Vision Plan**            
complete street - livable roadway visualization from AARP
Lisa Montelione, Tampa City Councilwoman, MPO Board Member & Livable Roadways Committee Chair, cordially invites you to a special meeting of the MPO Livable Roadways Committee in your neighborhood!

Date:   Wednesday, October 24  

Time:   6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Place:  Shaw Elementary School

            11311 N 15th St, Tampa

Would you like to see the University Community Area be more pedestrian, bicycle and transit friendly?

Have ideas on how to make roadways in this area more safe and usable for walkers, bicyclists, and motorized vehicles alike?

Then, this Livable Roadways Committee Neighborhood Meeting's the perfect place for you!

Better Development Services Port of Tampa workers
Processing construction plans in Hillsborough County is now going even more high-tech with a streamlined and improved electronic submittal and review system for building plans.  The new system will simplify the process, making it easier for customers and staff during the submission and review of construction projects.

ProjectDox is a web-based electronic plan and document workflow system that creates a virtual workspace for customers and County staff to initiate, communicate, review and approve construction plans. For more information and to access the electronic plan submittal service, visit the County's website at: or call The Center for Development Services at 813.272.5600.



Last spring, the City of Tampa created a new development services center as a one-stop shop for all your construction permit and inspection needs. "We've streamlined the processes and implemented a new automated system. The faster we get you in and out, the faster you can get back to business," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Construction Services, a division of the Planning and Development Department, reviews construction plans, issues permits, and performs inspections to ensure building projects are built safely and in compliance with state and local codes and regulations helping to create a vibrant, livable, and safe-built community.   For more information, visit:   


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In this Issue
Sam Gibbons
Chair Chillura
Town N Country
Community Planning Month
Community Corner
Better Development Services
Upcoming Events
Take a Survey
Video Central
Upcoming Events
OCT 16, 6-8p
Balm Community Plan Workshop

OCT 18, 6-8p
Terrace Park - University Square Vision Plan Workshop

OCT 24, 6:30-8p
Livable Roadways Committee University Area Neighborhood Meeting

OCT 25, 9:15-11:15a
Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board

Election Day -
please vote!

NOV 12
Veteran's Day
Offices Closed
Thank you to our veterans!

NOV 19, 2p
Planning Commission Meeting

NOV 22 & 23
Thanksgiving Holiday
Offices Closed
Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information:
Take a Survey
Your opinion counts. Participate!
Video Central
Feeling Good about Tampa Bay - music by Michael Buble
Feeling Good about Tampa Bay - music by Michael Buble


Shimberg Gardens Dedication 2012