Hillsborough River News

   A Partners In Planning Publication of

   The Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board &

   The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission   


eNews Issue 12  

Fall 2013  


In This Issue

Riverboard Coordinates with Tampa Bay Water
New SWFWMD Executive Director
Reservoir Construction
Historic Riverfront Neighborhood
DEP Completes Rulemaking
Twice Weekly Watering
USGS Charts

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Upcoming Meetings

2013 Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board Meeting Dates:



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, 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:






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River Facts      

(1528) PŠnfilo de NarvŠez, a Spanish explorer, lands near Tampa Bay. He and the four hundred men with him find the Tocobaga culture established
in the area.
 River Board Coordinates with Tampa Bay Water
Aerial View of the Bill W. Young Regional Reservoir

With the Bill W. Young Regional Reservoir down for repairs, other sources of water must be relied upon. At their June regular meeting, the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board's Technical Advisory Council received an update of these repairs by Mr. Jon Kennedy of Tampa Bay Water. Mr. Kennedy reported that no Water Use Permits had been exceeded due to the regional reservoir being off-line. This past year the Tampa Bay Area has been blessed with ample rainfall. This has allowed the area to utilize surface waters as a major source of water supply without impacting the health of the rivers. Both the Hillsborough and the Alafia River are utilized as a source of water supply. This has also allowed for the continued "resting" of historically overly-relied upon ground waters. While the Regional reservoir is being repaired, Tampa Bay Water also relies upon their regional desalination facility. At their August 26th regular meeting, the River Board took action to send a letter to Tampa Bay Water thanking them for their coordination efforts, and requesting additional coordination during the next year's dry season, to ensure the River Board is adequately informed of water withdrawals and how these withdrawals may affect the Hillsborough River. This timely coordination will ensure the River Board can appropriately monitor and have meaningful input on this issue.



SWFWMD Governing Board Selects  

Beltran as New Executive Director

Robert Beltran, Executive Director SWFWMD
Robert Beltran
The Southwest Florida Water Management District's Governing Board appointed Robert Beltran to serve as the District's executive director. Beltran replaces Blake Guillory who was recently hired as the executive director for the
South Florida Water Management District.


"The Board is confident in Robert's abilities to lead this organization as we continue to focus on our core mission of managing water and related natural resources throughout our 16-County region," said Governing Board Chairman Carlos Beruff.


Beltran, a resident of Lakeland, Fla., most recently served as the assistant executive director for the District since March 2012. Overseeing the District's Regulation, Resource Management, and Operations, Maintenance & Construction divisions, Beltran also leads the Solutions Team for the Central Florida Water Initiative, a multi-jurisdictional effort to ensure an adequate water supply in a five-county region.


Beltran is a professional engineer with nearly two decades of experience helping clients design and permit solutions for their water and wastewater needs. He has worked throughout Florida helping municipalities and private companies on water-related initiatives including stormwater, wastewater, reclaimed water, drinking water and alternative water supply projects.


Prior to joining the District, many of his projects required working with the District, the Department of Environmental Protection and other water management districts on various water and permitting issues.


Beltran holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and master's degree in environmental engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans. He is a diplomat of environmental engineering. Beltran is a member of various professional associations and is a past president of the Florida Engineering Society Ridge Chapter.


Reservoir Provides Water During Construction

Published on Friday, August 23, 2013

Source: Tampa Bay Water

leaf & water

The renovation of the 15-billion gallon regional reservoir is being done in a way that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. One aspect of that environmental commitment is to use all water that is collected on site during construction. No water is discharged from the site.

With this summer's above-normal rainfall, hundreds of millions of gallons of water have been collected. In fact, every inch of rain that falls inside the reservoir equals approximately 30 million gallons of water. Water collected inside the reservoir is either used for drinking or construction. Since late June, approximately 5 million gallons per day of water from the reservoir has been treated and used for drinking. In fact, between June 26 and August 8, the reservoir has supplied more than 200 million gallons of drinking water.

Water collected onsite is also used for construction. Kiewit constructed a "pond" in the reservoir's southern end, where the water can easily supply the soil cement batch plant or used for dust control.

The amount of collected water used for drinking will taper off as the summer rains diminish.

Developers envision The Heights as historic riverfront neighborhood 

Reprinted from the Tampa Tribune By Richard Mullins | Tribune Staff Published: July 26, 2013

  Tampa's Historic Water Works Building

Several years ago, developers envisioned a dozen massive new buildings at a site called River Heights, just north of downtown along the river. Then the downturn came, and those dreams evaporated. The site sat dormant. Now, a new pair of Tampa-based developers with SoHo CapitalSoHo Capital have quietly acquired the 37-acre site and are moving forward with a new vision to build a historic-style, mixed-use neighborhood called The Heights,anchored by adapting the huge Armature Works brick warehouse, and surrounding it with revival-theme offices, a boutique hotel, a significant grocery store, 1,000-plus homes and a broad park on the waterfront. When fully realized, investments in the project could top $300 million to $350 million among several builders.

"We see this as the heart and soul of the community," said Adam Harden, principal at SoHo Capital, which is spearheading the project. "This is a great piece of Tampa history, and we think the Armature Works building at the center will inform the design and scale and feel of a much more urban place that you'd normally see in bigger cities."

Though the developers have been especially private with their plans, and say they want to move methodically, "we have one shot to make a first impression," said Chas Bruck, founder of SoHo Capital. That means they won't build one structure a year before moving to the next. They need to create critical mass on site almost all at once, with independent-themed projects, rather than cookie-cutter brand names that appear anywhere else in town. That means indi stores rather than Walmarts and quirky
retailers rather than The Gap. Contractors have already started some simple repairs to the Armature Works building, and they plan to fully break ground around year end, which pleases Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who is anxious for the group tostart work on what he considers the most important plot of undeveloped land in the region. Thus Harden and Bruck step into a plot of land where scores of hopes and dreams have circled unsuccessfully.

Historic Photo of Tampa Heights Mansion
The wider neighborhood thrived during the early 1900s. The Tampa Electric Street and Railway Company built a streetcar maintenance barn in 1911 at 1910 N. Ola Ave. and overall streetcar ridership reached 22.5 million in 1944. But automobiles were taking over, and streetcars ceased operations in 1946. The building ultimately became workspace for the Tampa Armature Works. Del Acosta, who was Tampa's longtime historic preservation chief, notes that the city's more prominent and wealthy African-American families once built grand mansions along Palm Avenue, which cuts right through The Heights site.

The Tampa Police Department had a major facility near there until moving its headquarters downtown. Suburban flight drained many residents, and after the police department moved, various development plans led to a leveling of almost every structure, leaving the site derelict for years. Unlike the tall, glass towers once envisioned for the site years ago, this plan goes in a different direction. Housing will be split among several smaller, mid-rise buildings, with potentially 1,100 units, including condos, apartments and an affordable housing section. Retail will be spread out among 100,000 square feet of space, roughly the size of a Super Walmart in total, but Bruck said there's zero chance of a typical "big box" store. Rather, he wants quirky retailers, and shops that have looked at places like International Plaza, but wouldn't feel at home there. The 160,000 potential square feet of office space will be spread among several four and five story buildings, rather than one huge office block. The 160,000 potential square feet of office space will be spread among several four and five story buildings, rather than one huge office block.


A boutique hotel should be part of the mix, Harden said, most likely with a four-star, yet "select service" hotel that would use the Armature Works building for its event space. Through connections with local
builders, Bruck is negotiating with several potential tenants that could take up the bulk of the office space. Plans call for 100 boat slips along the river for residents and visitors. Bruck envisions each weekend will have a Farmer's Market, and streets are designed to be easily closed off as a festival site.


Perhaps the most pivotal element for neighbors will be this: A grocery store. Bruck and Harden are adamant that the area north of downtown needs a significant grocery store to fill a void, particularly for fresh produce. The neighborhood, they said, suffers because there's no major grocery store, stretching from the Bayshore Boulevard Publix and Kennedy Boulevard Walmart to a Sweetbay several miles north on Nebraska Avenue. In theory, the new neighborhood could reach a population of 4,300, rivaling the population of the fast-growing Channel District.

In designing this vision, the developers took cues from several other historic-themed projects nationwide, including the White Provisions mixed use neighborhood in Atlanta, and the National Harbor neighborhood in Washington that have hotels, offices shopping, residences and a waterfront space. One issue facing the developers is how the neighbors around their project will react. On one hand, residents further south in Tampa are starting to block new projects out of concern about density and traffic, especially along

White Provisions Development, Atlanta Georgia
White Provisions Mixed Use Neighborhood in Atlanta

South Howard Avenue. On the other hand, the River site has been derelict for years, and
always looked on as perhaps the largest and most important undeveloped parcel along a waterfront. City leaders are trying to re-embrace such areas with the Riverwalk and support for new restaurants - helping make river projects a symbol of Tampa's resurgence. Bruck said he deeply hopes the city will embrace the project as a far better kind of development than past plans, something far more authentic
than cookie-cutter strip malls and generic housing tracts. They could build the Riverwalk through their property, then donate the land to the City. They'll re-arrange streets on site to tilt so they have a direct view of downtown Tampa, and they'll use bricks they pull up from the old streets to pave the new ones. Street lamps, bike racks and benches will be wrought iron styling and they plan to relocate trees on site to the Riverwalk and along new boulevards. Bike lanes will follow most of the new streets.


Decades ago, the site had a tall water tower, and the developers have found one elsewhere in Tampa that they could move onto the site for scenic value. To do all this, SoHo hired architects who specialize in adaptive re-use of old buildings. One lead architect is SmithDalia of Atlanta, which designed White Provisions and the renovation of a warehouse building on Kennedy Boulevard into the Oxford Exchange.

At the Armature Works building, for instance, they'll use the brick superstructure, yet open up the central area with a glass-ceilinged atrium and second-story balcony.

The developers do have several factors working in their favor. The site has long been set for redevelopment. Rather than build and flip the property, they aim to operate it long term. Also, the site is within an Enterprise Zone, so companies that bring jobs there can apply for government incentives. There is also a tax structure to boost funding for new utilities underground, though the developers aren't asking the City for any of their own incentives or financial perks. Zoning for the site was set with the previous developer's plans for a more dense neighborhood, and this pair of new developers don't plan to approach those limits. The City of Tampa is also helping the project in one regard, by steering more than $3 million in funding to rehab an existing park on the south side with a natural spring and walking trails. The developers themselves are a mix of youth and experience. Bruck is 30 years old, though he's led development of several million dollars in housing and commercial projects in the area. Harden, 50, is a long-time developer in the area, having held high positions at US Home Inc. and managed developments of more than 16,000 homes. Some of their resources come through investments in technology companies by members of the Bruck family, helping fuel both new projects and the Bruck Family Foundation that contributes to several local charities. Through Harden and other connections, the pair have done deals with some of the area's important real estate moguls, including RV magnate Don Wallace, who once held a stake in the Armature Works building. The well-known developer Bill Bishop once planned a major neighborhood project on the site, but the downturn dashed those plans. SoHo Capital took control of the parcel on the river by acquiring the debt that hung over the property from past developers for an undisclosed sum. Hillsborough County records show a land transaction deal for parts of the area that topped $2 million last October. City documents show they plan a bond sale in the next couple years for further funding, and Bruck said they are in the final stages of picking a bank to handle financing.

"I think it's a spectacular project. The site has wonderful views of the sunset," said Del Acosta. "With this, it's a matter of having realistic expectations, and they acquired control of the site at a discount. Still, I could easily see some kind of biotech company locating there, or a new medical school. It's the kind of project you might normally see in places like Atlanta or San Francisco." Some preliminary paperwork is already flowing through the city offices, with the support of Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Just a few weeks ago, Buckhorn celebrated the ground-breaking of the Ulele restaurant that owners of the Columbia Restaurant are building in a former Waterworks brick building next door. During the Ulele ceremony, Buckhorn pointed over to The Heights project and said he hoped they would be "turning dirt" soon, making the site an anchor of the Riverwalk and of a broader revival of historic neighborhoods on both sides of the river. One big reason: Buckhorn plans huge redevelopment directly across the river, and The Heights project would only add momentum to that work. "I think that is one of the best undeveloped pieces of land in the Southeast," Buckhorn said, adding that SoHo Capital's past actions to acquire the land suggest they could have the resources to pull it off, particularly if they act as quarterback for other developers coming into the site for specific buildings. Buckhorn added that he wants the group to have a smooth path through zoning and permitting. "I'm eager for them to get going. I want to see concrete pouring and steel going up."


DEP Completes Statewide Rulemaking to

Protect Surface Waters, Wetlands

One statewide rule for the Environmental Resource Permit program will improve consistency without lowering or changing environmental standards

Volunteers clean trash form hillsborough River
Volunteers clear trash from Hillsborough River

A more than yearlong rulemaking process to provide more consistency for environmental resource permitting, which affects surface waters and wetlands, have gone into effect October 1.


The Florida Department of Environmental ProtectionThe Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida's five water management districts previously used at least five different versions of the rules, which regulate permits designed to regulate activities that affect Florida's wetlands and surface waters. An ERP is required before beginning any construction activity or operation that would affect wetlands and other surface waters or contribute to water pollution. The permit process exists to protect Florida's lakes and streams, wetlands and other surface waters from stormwater pollution, flooding and any other environmental risk factors.


"Environmental protection is everyone's responsibility and should be everyone's goal. Having a permitting process that Florida's residents can understand will help accomplish that goal," saidDEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard. Jr. "Creating a statewide ERP rule allowed us to make long-overdue improvements to a confusing process while maintaining our stringent environmental standards."


The Department began the rulemaking process in June 2012, following legislation signed being in April by Governor Rick Scott granting the Department authority to create one statewide rule for the environmental resource permit program.


The new rule standardizes processing procedures, definitions, and forms that need to be submitted.  The permit fee categories have also been standardized and the permit processing fees are now based upon the area of work activities instead of the fee being based upon the entire site or parcel of land


The Department worked with the water management districts, local governments, citizens and businesses throughout the development of the statewide rule, hosting more than 10 workshops, most via webinar and exceeding 150 participants at each webinar. For the first time, stakeholders were able to communicate, discuss, comment and make suggestions in an online open discussion forum and participate in workshops via webinar. This allowed allow interested individuals to comment on the rule drafts and offer suggestions on rule revisions. All interested parties were able to see the comments and responses during the rulemaking process.


To assist with implementation and understanding of the new statewide rule, the Department also hosted a webinar to assist the regulated community. Over 700 landowners, environmental consultants and engineers participated. Additional training opportunities are being provided this week by the Water Management Districts and the Department's local offices.


The Department is also rolling out an electronic application site where applicants will be able to apply for ERP permits by submitting the application and associated materials online instead of having to submit paper copies to the Department. This new service was developed alongside the statewide ERP rulemaking process. This will save time and money for applicants and the Department.


To acess information on the rule or access e-Permitting visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/swerp/. 


Twice-weekly watering now allowed in Hillsborough

Lawn Sprinklers Not that you need any more water on your lawn, but water managers have loosened irrigation restrictions.

Tampa and Hillsborough County residents can now legally water two days a week instead of just once. The change, which takes effect Thursday, comes after the Southwest Florida Water Management District'sSouthwest Florida Water Management District's decision on Tuesday to declare an end to all water shortage orders. Water managers said the restrictions were lifted after heavier-than-normal rainfall in recent weeks. In June, Tampa International Airport recorded 11.30 inches of rain, 4.62 inches above normal, according to News Channel 8 meteorologist Leigh Spann. July rainfall recorded at the airport is about 9.9 inches, slightly more than 3 inches above normal.

In Hillsborough County and Tampa, the watering days are dictated by addresses. The new watering schedule is as follows:

Addresses ending in 0, 1, 2 or 3 - Mondays and Thursdays

Addresses ending in 4, 5 or 6 - Tuesdays and Fridays

Addresses ending in 7, 8 or 9 - Wednesdays and Saturdays

Common areas with no address and locations with mixed addresses such as office complexes - Wednesdays and Saturdays

Watering still is restricted to the hours after 6 p.m. and after 8 a.m. and applies to all residents, even those on private wells. The only exception is those who use reclaimed water.

Hand-watering and low-volume irrigation is allowed at any time and there are no restrictions on washing cars or using a pressure-washer.

For more information, visit www.HillsboroughCounty.org/WaterHillsboroughCounty.org/Water or call the Water Conservation Team at 813-272-5977, ext. 43991, during regular business hours.


Issue12 Precipitation
Issue12 Discharge
Issue12 Gage

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