Hillsborough River News

   A Partners In Planning Publication of

   The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board &

   The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission   


eNews Issue 11  

Summer 2013  


In This Issue

River Facts
River Board endorses InVision Tampa
River Board elections
Summer fertilizer restrictions
Tampa seeks input on July 18
Rogers Golf Course runoff changes
Redeveloping Riverfront Park
Planning & Design Awards CALL FOR ENTRIES
Planning & Design Awards CALL FOR ENTRIES
USGS Charts

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Upcoming Meetings

2013 Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board Meeting Dates:


Monday, August 26

Tuesday, December 10 

Unless otherwise noted, all River Board meetings will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Temple Terrace City Hall
(City Council Conference Room) 11250 North 56th St, Temple Terrace, FL 33617



2013 Hillsborough River Technical Advisory

Council (TAC)

Meeting Dates:


Tuesday, July 16 - CANCELLED 

Tuesday, August 20

Tuesday, September 17

Tuesday, October 15

Tuesday, November 19

Tuesday, December 17 


All TAC meetings will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Tampa Service Center (Laurel Oaks Room)

7601 US Hwy 301, Tampa, FL 33637


For more information on the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board & Technical Advisory Council, please contact staff at 813.272.5940 or visit:






HBR blue white small    


River Facts      

(1944) The City of Tampa completes construction on the current dam, to be used for the purpose of containing drinking water for the city, at the site of the old TECO dam. The old Tampa Waterworks Company is abandoned.
Hillsborough River State Park includes 2,990 acres (12 km2) along the Hillsborough River in northeastern Hillsborough County. It supports many Floridian environments such as swamps and oak hammocks and many endangered species. The park's purpose is to preserve the "real Florida". Visitors to the park can participate in picnicking, camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing and swimming in a constructed pool. There is also a designated place to observe the river's class II rapids. It is one of the only rivers in Florida with rapids. The park opened in 1935 making it one of Florida's oldest state parks.


River Board endorses InVision Tampa     

New Vision
Using federal grant dollars, Tampa created a master plan for its City Center spanning from downtown to Ybor City on the east, Armenia Avenue on the west, and north along historic Nebraska Avenue to Hillsborough Avenue. They focused on downtown and the western bank of the Hillsborough River, as well as the Nebraska Corridor. In November 2012, they released the Center City Plan with its blueprint for transforming the community. The plan includes the principal: "The Hillsborough River and Waterfront will be accessible, comfortable, safe and highly active; extending environmental value into the community through increased connectivity from the neighborhoods and integration with development."

Consistent with its responsibilities to monitor development within the Hillsborough River corridor under the State of Florida's Special Act 86-335, the TAC and River Board examined the plan and its impact on the Hillsborough River corridor. Consistent with the recommendations of the TAC, the River Board endorsed the Center City Plan. In particular, the River Board supported the city's efforts to make the River an accessible centerpiece to the City and its emphasis on improving water quality through improved stormwater facilities and Low Impact Development (LID) techniques.

The River Board transmitted a letter to the Mayor and City Council supporting their efforts and asking the City to continue to emphasize efforts to retrofit existing hardened shorelines with natural shorelines; address aging infrastructure and water supply needs; and continue to improve river water quality and minimum flows for the lower river. The River Board also asked that, consistent with the River Board's authority, per Chapter 86-335 Laws of Florida, City staff and consultants coordinate with the River Board in the future as the plan is implemented and on any changes to the Comprehensive Plan's River Master Plan component that may be considered. For more information, visit InVision Tampa



River Board elects Chair and Vice-Chair     

Chair Alison Fernandez
Alison Fernandez

The River Board held elections at its meeting on May 21, 2013. Congratulations to Temple Terrace City Councilwoman Alison Fernandez who was re-elected for another two year term as Chair of the River Board. 
City Council Member Lisa Montelione
Lisa Montelione

Congratulations also goes out to Tampa City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione on her election to a two year term as Vice-Chair.




Summer fertilizer restrictions in effect for Tampa 

The partners of the Be Floridian fertilizer education campaign remind residents of Manatee and Pinellas counties and the city of Tampa that they can't apply nitrogen or phosphorous to lawn and landscape plants from June 1-September 30. But that doesn't mean your grass will turn brown, shrivel up and die!   


Lawn Fertilizer  

Garden centers throughout these communities offer a variety of summer-safe yard products to help keep your landscape green and growing throughout our long, hot summer. Look for fertilizers with "0" as the first two numbers on the label (as in 0-0-6). These do not contain either nitrogen or phosphorous. Summer rains don't water fertilizer in, they wash it away -- right into our ponds, bays, rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. Too much fertilizer can cause algae blooms and fish kills, spoiling the beautiful waterways that are our major source of recreation. Follow these Florida-friendly lawn care practices to "protect our fun" this summer:   
  • Pump some iron. An application of iron, readily available at most garden centers, will keep your lawn green during the summer.
  • Micro-size It! Apply micronutrients such as zinc and manganese to keep your grass healthy.
  • Get Better Dirt. Mix in composted cow or chicken manure, or your own home compost, to enrich your soil. It's like giving vitamins to your yard.
  • Pick better plants. Buy plants adapted to Florida's hot, humid climate and plant them in the right place according to their sun and water needs. They'll need less water, fertilizer and chemicals year-round, and you'll have more time for bicycling, boating, grilling or just relaxing by the pool sipping a drink with a little umbrella in it.  



umbrella cocktail by the pool  



Tampa planners seek input on growth at July 18 meeting
Laurel Street Bridge in up postion by Kathy Steele
Tribune staff
Published June 5, 2013

TAMPA-City planners and their consultant, AECom, are seeking people's ideas for development along the west bank of the Hillsborough River and surrounding neighborhoods just north of downtown. Two meetings have been scheduled. The first, held at Blake High School, was a workshop where ideas and visions were gathered.

A second community meeting, planned as a follow-up to the workshop, will be at 6 p.m. on July 18, also at Blake. Some area residents in recent months have urged city officials to do more to seek their ideas and suggestions on future growth in the affected neighborhoods. "I would like to see what they come up with, "said Ruth McNair, president of the West Riverfront Neighborhood Crimewatch Association. McNair said she and others plan to attend the workshop and community meeting. More than a year ago Mayor Bob Buckhorn launched a citywide effort to create a blueprint that re-imagines the city's downtown and its connections with surrounding neighborhoods. The project is called InVision Tampa. Studies and community meetings have given city officials ideas about redeveloping downtown and making Nebraska Avenue a mass-transit corridor. Attention now turns to Hillsborough River's western shore, dubbed by
city officials as "the West River area." It is bordered generally by Green Street, Rome Avenue and the river and includes North Boulevard Homes public housing complex and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.



Tampa, SWFWMD change Rogers' Golf Course runoff

Roger's Golf Coarse Aerial
As the City and State try to reduce runoff from Roger's Park Golf Course, they have to contend
with the course's underlying topography, which goes back to when the land was a city park.
It became a gold Course in 1952.

by Kevin Wiatrowski, Tribune staff, Published: May 20, 2013 


TAMPA - City and state officials have taken the first steps toward a renovation of Rogers Park Golf Club that would reduce pollution washing into the Hillsborough River. The Tampa City Council agreed to put $100,000 toward changing the course's drainage layout. The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) will put up $150,000.
"We're just hoping to clean up the water before it discharges," said Stephanie Powers, the project manager for SWFWMD. "Like any golf course, they use a lot of fertilizers." Those fertilizers contain nitrogen, a potential plant food. When nitrogen washes off golf courses, streets, or even falls out of the air, it promotes the growth of algae in the water. That can make the river and the bay too cloudy to sustain sea grass beds, important nurseries for fish and other sea life.
"Nitrogen is the number one pollutant in Tampa Bay," said Nanette O'Hara, public outreach coordinator for the St. Petersburg-based Tampa Bay Estuary Program. At the urging of O'Hara's group, the city of Tampa last year enacted a ban on summer fertilizer use. That ban, which runs June 1 to Sept. 30, bans the sale and residential use of nitrogen-based fertilizer. The ban exempts golf courses, which have their own industry rules regarding fertilizer use they're expected to follow, O'Hara said. Reducing the amount of nitrogen-laden water washing off Rogers Park Golf Course will help put a dent in the amount of nitrogen pollution the river picks up as it flows through the city, by far the most urbanized part of its sprawling watershed. "Any reduction is good," Powers said.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has set limits on the amount of harmful bacteria the Hillsborough River can carry, but so far there are no limits on nitrogen. The river empties into Hillsborough Bay, an arm of Tampa Bay. For the past several summers, nitrogen has spiked at around 200 tons at the peak of each rainy season. Runoff from manmade surfaces makes up about 60 percent of the nitrogen pollution reaching Hillsborough Bay, according to the estuary program. Other divisions of Tampa Bay, such as Old Tampa Bay near Oldsmar and Middle Tampa Bay outside St. Petersburg, have 10 to 30 percent less nitrogen pollution than Hillsborough Bay, according to estuary program figures. As the city and state try to reduce runoff from Rogers Park Golf Course, they have to contend with the course's underlying topography, which goes back to when the land was a city park. It became a golf course in 1952. A network of drainage ditches and water hazards channels runoff to two points where it flows into the Hillsborough River. Slowing that water down will help soak up the polluted water and give plants a chance to absorb the nitrogen, Powers said.

The exact plan will be in place by late 2014, Powers said. SWFWMD and the city hope to hire a company to do the work by October of this year. Renovations could begin in 2015. Powers said one goal of the renovation will be to replace exotic plants, Brazilian pepper chief among them, with native vegetation that will use less irrigation water.  




Tampa takes first step toward redeveloping Riverfront Park 

Riverfront Park by Richard Danielson, Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA - City Hall is taking the first step on what is expected to be a three-year, $10.5 million makeover of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.
"We're going to make some changes," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said of the 23-acre park, just south of Interstate 275, across the Hillsborough River from the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. "It's long overdue. It's dated. It's showing its age," the mayor said. "It's not really functional, and it really doesn't showcase the river like it should." The city this month issued an invitation to architectural or engineering firms interested in developing a master plan for the park. That will include making sure the public is involved during the planning and coordinating changes with the city's new InVision Tampa plan. The deadline for proposals was April 4.
People who live near or use the park will have a say about its future, Buckhorn said. "Before we do anything at Riverfront or any of the other parks, we're going to have an ongoing dialogue with the people who are affected by it," he said. In Riverfront's case, he said, that includes the University of Tampa, Tampa Preparatory School and the West Riverfront neighborhood. "As close as we are to the park and as much as we love the park - we named our association after the park - we really want to be a part of anything that's going on," said Ruth McNair, who for 20 years has served as president of the West Riverfront Neighborhood Crime Watch Association.
City Council member Frank Reddick, whose district includes the area, said residents most worry about losing public access to the park. Buckhorn is not talking about that, but Reddick said residents "just keep hearing snippets every now and then about what he might like to see or what he wants to see," and that creates uncertainty. Buckhorn said the city is working to engage residents in a discussion about what's next and what's best for the park. "We're doing exactly what we told council that we were going to do, which is go out and get a design professional, start the community discussion and get community input," he said. Buckhorn said he does not have a plan for the park, but wants to make it more active, accessible and appealing.The city's recently completed InVision Tampa plan says Riverfront Park "should be re-imagined and re-purposed to create a more active companion" to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. "The park should be program-driven, with active uses relevant to the community and a growing downtown population," the plan continues. "The park should be made relevant to as many people on as many days of the year as possible by incorporating different types of active and passive activities."
Those activities, according to the plan, should include water access and boating, community recreation like pick-up soccer or football games, food and other vendors and a "feature playground with splash pad. "In the meantime, Buckhorn does say there are a few things he wants to change. For starters, there's Laurel Street, which currently cuts the park into two big pieces. Buckhorn would like to reroute Laurel so that it skirts the northern edge of the park, next to I-275. He figures the realignment could effectively increase the park's usable space by 5 to 7 acres. Also likely to be changed are the park's large earthen mounds, grassy swales and humps, which Buckhorn has called "alien space mounds" and "a bunch of bumps." But other elements, like the Boys & Girls Club and the Stewards Foundation, which conducts community rowing programs, aren't going anywhere. "They are good anchors for that park," Buckhorn said, and "important anchors" in the lives of children. And last week the mayor repeated that he does not plan to try to bring a waterfront restaurant to the park. Last year, he floated that idea, but he said he no longer thinks it's a good fit. Reddick, who has criticized the mayor for saying too much before neighbors have been consulted, remains wary of the sheer scope of the project. "They can do a lot with $10 million," he said. "That's what scares me."


Riverwalk planned and built by six Tampa Mayors   

Riverwalk planned by six Tampa Mayors  
From left to right, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman, former Florida Gov. and former Tampa Mayor Bob Martinez and former Tampa Mayor Bill Poe listen to Federal Highways Administrator Victor Mendez. Mayors Buckhorn, Poe, Freedman, Martinez, Greco, and Iorio, as well as Federal Highways Administrator Victor Mendez held a sign unveiling ceremony to signify the start of construction on the Kennedy Boulevard Plaza Segment of the Tampa Riverwalk in June. This segment will span 1,460 feet of water on the Hillsborough River eastern border, running underneath Kennedy Blvd. Bridge. Once complete, the segment will link MacDill Park to Curtis Hixon, with the entire Riverwalk spanning a contiguous 1.8 miles. It is an 18 month project which is scheduled to open to the public in November 2014. photo credit: SKIP O'ROURKE | Times

Planning & Design Awards CALL FOR ENTRIES 

Planning Commission 2013 Planning & Design Awards  
The Planning Commission is proud to announce our 31st annual celebration of great planning in Hillsborough County. After going strong as the Community Design Awards for 30 years, we've updated the name of our program to:

This awards program is a well-respected tradition honoring the very best in planning and design
in Hillsborough County. Winning projects contribute to a better quality of life and serve as
models to learn from and emulate in planning and design.

Plan to join us!

October 17, 2013 | Winners Announced
Maestro's | at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Cash Bar Reception | 6:15 p.m.
Dinner & Presentations | 7:00 p.m.
Tickets | $50 on sale beginning in September
Host | Brendan McLaughlin, ABC Action News Anchor


August 20, 2013 | Submissions Deadline
Complete submission package with entry fees
must be delivered by 5:00 p.m. to:

The Planning Commission, 18th floor
601 E Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33602

The $160 entry fee must be made payable to:
Board of County Commissioners

The $160 entry fee may be waived for student designed projects or
for projects designed and executed entirely with volunteer resources.
All entries become property ofthe Planning Commission. Photos and drawings
submittedmay be used by the Planning Commission inmaterialsincluding
websites, publications, presentations, and educational programs.
No entry materials will be returned.


Submission Criteria & Information

Summer 2013 Precipitation
Summer 2013 Discharge
Gage Height Summer2013

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.