Recommended changes to Tampa comp plan promote affordable housing

Recommended changes to the City of Tampa’s comprehensive plan include a series of policy moves to promote the development of affordable and attainable housing.

Those recommendations include changing the plan’s future land use section, the blueprint for future growth in the city, to add language that allows for accessory dwelling units in all mixed-use and residential areas, provided other requirements are met. The recommendations would also remove a requirement for the primary residence on the property to the owner-occupied in order for an ADU to be on site. 

“Housing affordability is really one of the major challenges our community is facing,” says Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission Strategic Planning and Policy Manager Melissa Dickens. “That was actually the top priority from the community as far as what they want the recommendations to prioritize. We’re using a bunch of different approaches to have more options for housing and create more housing choices.”

The public has two upcoming opportunities to learn about and provide feedback on these and other proposed changes to the future land use section of the Tampa comprehensive plan. An in-person meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 23rd at the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library, 2607 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Because of Idalia, the online public meeting originally scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30th has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13th. 

The recommended changes to the future land use section are part of an ongoing update of Tampa’s entire comprehensive plan. A consultant has prepared the recommendations with input from the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission, City of Tampa staff, stakeholders and community members. Following the upcoming meetings and additional public input, the formal process of changing the future land use element of the comp plan is expected to start next February and extend into the summer. 

Recommended changes to facilitate the development of affordable and attainable housing also include allowing townhomes, duplexes and triplexes in all areas of the city’s Residential-10 future land use category, provided design criteria are met. Also, density bonuses, which allow more residential units, and intensity bonuses, which allow for more building floor area in relation to the size of the entire property, are recommended for developments that meet certain affordable housing thresholds, developments along transit corridors and developments that use certified sustainable building techniques. Those incentives will not apply to developments in coastal high-hazard areas, with the exception of the Westshore area, downtown and the city’s community redevelopment areas. 

For more information and to register for an upcoming public meeting, go to Live Grow Thrive 2045.
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Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.