| Planning Commissioners share their vision|
On April 26, the Planning Commissioners gathered at the Saint Leo University Tampa Education Center in Channelside. A very full agenda included a quick group photo and a review of the Hillsborough County, Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City Comprehensive Plans.
Other highlights of the retreat included insights from our planning partners. Eric Johnson, Director of Strategic Planning and Enterprise Resource Planning, presented the County's Strategic Plan. Christine Burdick, President of the Tampa Downtown Partnership, gave a walking tour of the exciting development going on in Channelside.
A big part of the day was a hands-on planning activity. The Planning Commissioners got to weigh in on various scenarios for Hillsborough County using the Imagine 2040 Working Group Workshop #2 exercises. The Commissioners exchanged ideas and are looking forward to hearing what the general public will have to say about the various future alternatives later this summer into the fall.
"This retreat was a great opportunity for our Commissioners to work closely with each other, our staff, and our planning partners," said Ray Chiaramonte, Executive Director. "It says a lot about the commitment of our Commissioners to take extra personal time to come together and really dive head-first into planning for a thriving future for our region."
| Are you ready for hurricane season?
Hurricane season starts on June 1st. Following last season's Hurricane Sandy and the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, we're reminded how important it is to prepare for potential natural disasters. Though our region has been spared in recent years, hurricanes do strike Florida more than any other state. Hurricanes develop in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. While the east coast of Florida is at greater risk and normally acts as a barrier for our region, a hurricane scenario that travels through the Caribbean and strikes Tampa Bay from the west could have devastating effects on our community. The Bay itself could even act as a funnel, channeling wind and wave action up into Tampa and Hillsborough County, amplifying destructive storm surge.
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) coordinates a regularly updated study that maps the coastal areas vulnerable to hurricanes. The results of this study are used to determine evacuation areas and the areas most vulnerable to storm surge, even in a Category One hurricane - the weakest hurricane. The TBRPC also produces an annual Hurricane Guide to easily identify evacuation zones and shelter locations. Learn more about the TBRPC emergency management plans at: tampabayprepares.org
Our local governments have many tools to protect life and property and minimize the impact of hurricanes and are committed to maintain adequate shelter space and evacuation route capacity in their respective comprehensive plan. New development and redevelopment must demonstrate available shelter space and evacuation clearance times or fully alleviate any impact on these standards. Local governments also plan for the evacuation of residents at risk and ensure adequate shelters prepared to meet the needs of this population.
In Hillsborough County, Special Needs (Medical) Shelters provide temporary emergency facilities capable of providing care to residents whose medical conditions exceed the capabilities of a Red Cross Shelter, but not severe enough to require hospitalization. To make sure there are enough facilities to accommodate residents who need evacuation assistance to a special needs shelter, it is very important to register each year, preferably prior to the June 1st onset of hurricane season. Also, during a hurricane evacuation, HART buses run special evacuation routes for people without alternative transportation to get to shelters on higher ground.
Do your part!
Together, we can plan ahead and be prepared. Want to learn more about hurricanes first hand? On Saturday, June 1, visit the FREE Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at MOSI. Subscribe to emergency alerts and keep up with storm information at the County's Active Storm Information Page.
| Leaders work together to tackle key issues
"I'm all in," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at the May 22 Workshop on Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Transportation. This Leadership Policy Group, including the Mayors from Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and the HART Chair, was invited by the the Board of County Commissioners to work together toward common economic and transportation solutions for all of Hillsborough County.
The group agreed upon guiding principles and discussed their expectations. A deliberate process to build consensus on moving all of the jurisdictions in Hillsborough County towards a brighter future with transportation choices and connections to support a stronger economy was outlined.
The Planning Commission and Metropolitan Planning Organization for Transportation are part of the planning partnership supporting this Leadership Policy Group. Late this summer and into the fall, the businesses and residents of Hillsborough County will be invited to participate in developing a clear vision for our region. A dynamic internet tool will allow thousands of people to participate from the comfort of their own homes and offices or at kiosks that will be rotated at various locations throughout the County. The results garnered from the public will provide important data needed for the leaders to build consensus for our region.
Read more about the May 22 meeting in the Times
FRI : MAY 31
1:30p - 4:30p
Joint MPO Boards Workshop
Transportation Improvement Program Public Hearing followed by
MPO Board Meeting
Planning Commission Meeting
Public Hearing on
Amendments to the
County's Comp Plan
THU : JUNE 27
MPO Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board (TDCB)
THU : JULY 4
Happy Independence Day!
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