Strategic Planning, Environmental and Research

The Strategic Planning Environmental and Research Division is responsible for a number of policy, data, strategic planning, and place-based initiatives in Hillsborough County.

The division develops and maintains the environmental and infrastructure elements of the Comprehensive Plans of all four jurisdictions in Hillsborough County. This includes the following elements: Conservation and Aquifer Recharge, Coastal Management, Potable Water, Wastewater, Stormwater Management, Solid Waste and Capital Improvements.

In addition, relevant components of the Future Land Use Element affected by the environmental or infrastructure issues are also included. Pursuant to the activities described above, the team reviews all items requiring a consistency determination with each of these plan elements, such as, Tampa Port Authority permits, other environmental reviews, Long Range and Master Plans, and amendments to the projects of the four Capital Improvements Elements.

The division produces demographic and economic data that underlie the four comprehensive plans for Hillsborough County’s four jurisdictions and the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Long Range Transportation Plans.

The data is produced in raw form for use within the agency’s various projection models, and it is also produced in printed publications for use by the public. Within the area of economic data, the group provides assistance, as requested, to communities and other organizations in Hillsborough County. This support ranges from the provision of data, to the conduct of surveys, to the analyzing of trends.

The division also works to create and develop long-range innovative planning initiatives to enhance the quality of life for all the citizens of Hillsborough County. The division works in areas that include policy initiatives (infill, redevelopment and transitional areas, study of potential expansion of the Urban Service Area, mixed use development and corridors, climate adaption strategies, land use and transportation coordination, health and comprehensive planning and community planning), special area studies, enhanced research capabilities and succession planning.

Shawn College, AICP, Division Director, Responsible for environmental planning, serves as Executive Director of the Hillsborough River Board, and supervises infrastructure planning, demographics and research, 813/273-3774 x367

Stephen B. Griffin, AICP, Strategic Planning Initiatives Director, With over thirty years of experience in land use and comprehensive planning, Mr. Griffin advises and manages the pursuit of innovation in planning policy and implementation, 813/273-3774 x353

Melissa Dickens, AICP, Strategic Planning and Policy Manager, Responsible for overseeing strategic planning, policy development and utilities/capital improvements planning, 813/273-3774 x355

Jay Collins, AICP, Special Area Studies Manager, Responsible for overseeing collaborative efforts between Plan Hillsborough’s staff and the many planning partners within Hillsborough County in developing, undertaking and implementing special studies, 813/273-3774 x335

Pedro P. Parra, Principal Planner, since 1987 has worked in the preparation, coordination, and production of studies and reports of land use, rezoning, findings of consistency and amendments related to the Future of Hillsborough County Comprehensive plan.  He has managed the development and adoption of six (6) community plans in Hillsborough County. 813/273-3774 x356

Tatiana Gonzalez, CNU-a, Senior Planner, Responsible for preparation of quarterly and annual building permits reports. Prepares demographic, socioeconomic, and policy analyses, 813/273-3774 x320

Terry Eagan, Project Manager II, A professional librarian who maintains the Planning Commission’s extensive archive of print and historical resources. Additionally, he tracks quarterly building permits and prepares demographic and socioeconomic analyses and annual population estimates, 813/273-3774 x349

Diego Guerra, Community Planner II, Responsible for infrastructure, utilities and capital improvements planning, assists with environmental planning and the Hillsborough River Board, 813/273-3774 x384