Frequently Asked Questions about the Comprehensive Plan

Future Land Use Categories  – What uses are allowed under my property’s Future Land Use classification? 

This is a listing of all adopted Future Land Use Categories shown on the Future Land Use Map.  Use the Bookmark tab to locate individual Future Land Use Categories and the associated descriptions.

Future Land Use Classifications

What is the Comprehensive Plan?

The Comprehensive Plan is a legal document, adopted by local governments to guide and coordinate the long range growth and development. Comprehensive Plans for unincorporated Hillsborough County, and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City were developed by the Planning Commission (the Local Planning Agency) with the input of the citizens.

The Comprehensive Plan is a twenty-year (20) blueprint for future growth of the local jurisdictions. It examines relevant information such as population projections, the pattern of existing development, the suitability of land for development, the capacity of public facilities to serve future development, and the financial capacity of the County to make improvements to those facilities. It establishes official policies toward land use and growth. It includes a Future Land Use Map that regulates the general type of land use that is allowed (commercial, industrial, residential etc.) and the maximum density (living units per acre) or intensity (square feet of building area) of those uses. The State of Florida requires all counties and municipalities to adopt comprehensive plans. All land use decisions made by the local jurisdictions must be in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.

The Comprehensive Plans for Hillsborough County, Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City were adopted in 1989. Evaluation and Appraisal Reports were prepared in 1994, 1996, and 2005 with subsequent plan updates completed in 1998, 1999 and 2007.

Why Should I be Interested in the Comprehensive Plans?

The comprehensive plan represents the public policy for the protection of the public welfare and investment in the community.  The plan provides policy direction to the local jurisdiction on issues that affect the quality of life for the community.  The Comprehensive Plan provides the visionary framework from which decision-making and planning will be based.

Where Can I View Existing Comprehensive Plans?

To review the County or Cities Comprehensive Plans, follow the identified link and choose the tab stating “Adopted Long Range Plan” for the jurisdiction you are interested in.

What subjects are covered in the Comprehensive Plan?

The Comprehensive Plan is organized by “Elements.”  Elements cover specific subject areas and include background information and data, as well as Goals, Objectives and Policies.  By law, the Comprehensive Plan must include the following elements: Future Land Use; Transportation; Infrastructure (water, wastewater, drainage, etc.); Recreation and Open Space; Conservation; Housing; Intergovernmental Coordination; and Capital Improvements.  In addition, the Plan can include optional Elements based on the Communities’ interests.
How often is the Comprehensive Plan updated?
There are two updating processes:
  1. Annual updates and changes based on locally initiated requests for changes.  Certain components, like the Capital Improvements Program, are updated annually. The plan can be revised or amended up to four times per year. Every six to ten years the plan is evaluated and updated to include the next horizon time period (20 Years).
  2. Comprehensive update every 7 to 10 years.  By law, the Comprehensive Plan is updated through the preparation of an Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR).  The EAR includes a process in which the effectiveness of the Plan is assessed and updated.