Unincorporated Hillsborough County Future Land Use Update

Overview of the Update

Unincorporated Hillsborough County is experiencing new growth in both population and employment. The County expects to add approximately 350,000 more people and 107,000 more jobs by 2045*. While the success of the County brings many benefits to our communities, its growth pressure also creates a series of challenges for current and future residents, businesses, and visitors. With a common goal of advancing the community’s vision for the future, this section will help direct investments that balance future growth with neighborhood values and ensure the character and location of land uses optimize the combined potential for economic benefit and the enjoyment and protection of natural resources.

The Future Land Use (FLU) Section of the Comprehensive Plan is being updated to serve as a long-range guide for future land development in unincorporated Hillsborough County and will result in updated policy recommendations. There will be various opportunities for the public to weigh in throughout the process at virtual and in-person community meetings, and Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meetings.

*Source: Planning Commission 2045 projections as of March 2023.

The Future Land Use (FLU) is a specific section within the Unincorporated Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan that focuses on long range planning and describes the future land use map that outlines allowable density or intensity for a particular area. In other words, the Future Land Use Section is a community’s blueprint for growth which outlines how the land can be used to facilitate the community’s vision. It classifies all land within a jurisdiction into general types of land use categories, and is color coded with each color assigned to a specific land use category. Future Land Use categories are supported and governed by the Goals, Objectives, and Policies of the Comprehensive Plan. The Plan describes each Future Land Use category’s intended purpose and character. In short, the Future Land Use is a legally binding prescription for future growth, as well as a regulating document to determine if development proposals are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

The purpose of this Future Land Use Section Update is to ensure that the character and location of land uses optimizes the combined potentials for economic benefit and the enjoyment and the protection of natural resources while minimizing the threat to health, safety, and welfare posed by hazards, nuisances, incompatible land uses, and environmental degradation.

Join us for an in-person or virtual public meeting (meetings will be posted on this page).

Sign up to be a member of the Project Advisory Team. Email [email protected] and [email protected] to sign up.

Contact us. Have questions or comments? Send us an email or give us a call: 813-665-1331, [email protected].

The Project Advisory Team (PAT) is composed of local citizens who have expressed an interest in this update and have an active role in the community. These members will be invited and selected by Plan Hillsborough staff, and will provide feedback to guide and inform the update. In addition, they will help spread the word to stakeholders and the public about opportunities for public engagement.

February 8, 2023 presentation to the BOCC

What are our goals?

The Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Section touches nearly every facet of our lives — where we live and work, what transportation options we have, opportunities for recreation, how and where communities will grow, and how to protect neighborhood character and vital resources. The Future Land Use Section update is proposing the following goals:

Growth Management

  • Goal 1: Maintain a land use pattern that concentrates growth in the Urban Service Area and is supported by existing or planned public facilities and services.
  • Goal 2: Ensure that the character, compatibility and location of land uses optimize the combined potential for economic benefit, fiscal sustainability, protection of natural resources and maintaining viable agriculture. Ensure density and intensities are maintained through the Future Land Use Map.

Community Context

  • Goal 3: Ensure that land use decisions consider local context, impacts on disadvantaged/underserved communities promote cohesion between new development and existing communities, reinforce community identity and promote an overall more livable community.


  • Goal 4: Create safe, livable, and sustainable communities serving the needs of all residents which provide opportunities for housing, jobs and services in close proximity with a variety of mobility choices.

Expanding choices for living and getting around.

Centers & Connections (C&C) is an incentive-based policy approach to implement one of the proposed Future Land Use goals. C&C will encourage growth in areas where communities desire it by allowing density and intensity bonuses in specific centers and corridors, in line with adopted Community Plans within the Urban Service Area (USA). The intent is to expand housing opportunities that improve walkability and a sense of place and may have transit as an option. The draft Centers & Connections map is available here, and the proposed policy language will be added to this page for public review and comment as soon as it is available.

You can weigh in on the proposed Centers & Connections map by taking our survey.

  • Goal 5: Provide for a variety of agricultural and rural residential land uses to meet the needs of a diverse population and support sustainable, thriving and quality rural communities.

Built Environment

  • Goal 6: Provide for a built environment with the goal of fostering a prosperous community, increase business activity and improving public health, safety and welfare.

Balance with Natural Resources

  • Goal 7: Seek a balance between the preservation of natural systems and the built environment, while simultaneously being prepared for adverse natural events. Provide an environment where people naturally interact with each other and their community, including streets, parks and other public facilities.

Economic Development

  • Goal 8: Seek land use and development patterns which will promote employment and economic growth.


Phase 1

  • Public Engagement
  • Spring/Summer 2023
  • Ongoing

Phase 2

  • Policy Recommendations
  • Summer/Fall 2023
  • Upcoming

Phase 3

  • Public Hearing
  • Winter 2023/Early 2024
  • Upcoming

Public Engagement

Upcoming meetings

Meetings will be posted here as they are scheduled.

Watch a recording of the first virtual public engagement meeting (April 25, 2023)

Upcoming Events

Public Comment

Public comment

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email updates, agendas and news.

Project Advisory Team Meetings

RSVP for the Project Advisory Team (PAT)

PAT members will provide feedback that will guide and inform the FLU Update at critical steps in the process and identify areas in the plan where we may need to make changes. Members will also help spread the word to stakeholders and the public about opportunities for public engagement.

PAT Meetings:  Meetings will be in-person at 5 pm

June and August Meetings will be held on the 26th floor of the County Center Building. 601 E Kennedy Blvd, 26th floor, Tampa, FL, 33602

  • Tuesday, 5/2/2023: Study kick-off and overview of the project – Meeting #1 Presentation
  • Tuesday, 6/13/2023: Interactive discussion of the potential updates
  • Tuesday, 8/8/2023: Interactive discussion of the recommended updates

Frequently Asked Questions

A: A Comprehensive Plan establishes a community’s policies and priorities regarding future development while aiming to preserve the area’s environmental features and community character. The purpose of a Comprehensive Plan is to outline a long-term community vision for the future. A Comprehensive Plan acts as the guide by which a community’s development and preservation decisions are made, covering a wide range of topics, such as: land use, mobility and public services, all intended to improve the quality of life for the community.

A: Yes. According to Florida Statutes Section 163.3177, “the comprehensive plan shall provide the principles, guidelines, standards, and strategies for the orderly and balanced future economic, social, physical, environmental and fiscal development of the area that reflects community commitments to implement the plan and its elements.

A: The Comprehensive Plan is typically updated every 7-10 years. The Future Land Use Element of the Unincorporated Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan has not been substantially updated since 2008.

A: Goal: The long-term end toward which policies, programs, or activities are directed.

Objective: A specific, measurable, intermediate step that is achievable and marks progress toward a goal.

Policy: The way in which programs and activities are conducted to achieve an identified objective and goal.


A: The Urban Service Area is part of the adopted Future Land Use Element’s Growth Management Strategy that gets more bang for the buck on your tax dollars by focusing new growth and redevelopment and concentrating public and private investments where services are available and will be most needed. By guiding growth to be predominately in the Urban Service Area, we create more livable and desirable communities within the major urban activity centers, while also preserving the suburban and rural lifestyles and our numerous environmental and agricultural assets.

Learn more: planhillsborough.org/urban-service-area/

A: This update includes all of Unincorporated Hillsborough County.

By completing the survey and leaving your email address, you’ll be eligible for drawings for one of five $100 Publix gift cards.

The drawing will be conducted using numbers representing all entries that provide a valid, unique email address or have mailed in a unique entry. Winners will be randomly drawn and contacted during the week of May 1, 2023 via the email address or phone number provided for mail-in entries. Each winner drawn will have 1 business day to respond to the email to claim their prize. If the email address or phone number is no longer valid, or if no response is received after 1 business day, an alternate winner will be selected and contacted until all five winners of a $100 Publix gift card have been confirmed. Limit one winner per household.

If you would like to be entered into the prize drawing and do not have or want to provide an email address, please clearly print or type the following information: your name | your age | complete home mailing address – not a PO Box | your work/school zip code | daytime telephone | cell phone number | and a confirmation that you, and no one in your household, is employed by Plan Hillsborough or Hillsborough County, FL and mail to:

The Planning Commission – Survey prize entry
County Center, 18th floor
601 E Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33602
Prize drawing participants must be at least 18 years of age and live, work, play, or go to school in Hillsborough County. Plan Hillsborough and Hillsborough County employees and members of their households are not eligible for the prize drawing. If you have questions, please contact Lynn at [email protected]

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. Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a potential public records request, please do not submit your email address.


Contact for general questions on the Future Land Use update

Andrea Papandrew, AICP Senior Planner
T: 813-665-1331
[email protected]

Melissa Lienhard, AICP Executive Planner
T: 813-547-4364
[email protected]

Contact for questions on Centers & Connections

Katrina Corcoran, AICP Senior Planner
T: 813-582-7323
[email protected]

Elizabeth Watkins, AICP Principal Planner – Transit
T: 813-582-7382
[email protected]