Coastal Area Action Plan

Coastal Area Action Plan
Coastal Area Action Plan

Background

In April 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the state of Florida would receive $633,485,000 in funding to support long-term mitigation efforts (following Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew and Irma) through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Program.

The CBDG-MIT funding is designed to address mitigation needs to ensure that the state of Florida is more resilient to future natural disasters. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is the lead agency and responsible entity for administering the CDBG-MIT funds allocated to the state. The state of Florida’s Action Plan, which was approved by HUD on April 2, 2020, details how this funding, along with subsequent allocations, will be apportioned to address unmet mitigation needs in Florida that represent targeted strategic investments for grantees based on current or foreseeable risks.

In July 2020, the City of Tampa submitted a grant application to DEO for planning assistance.  In January 2021, the City was notified by DEO that it had received $500,000 to complete a Coastal Area Action Plan.  The project includes four separate, but related planning efforts described below. 

Coastal Area Policy Assessment

Challenge

Tampa’s population has historically migrated along and near the bays and river. These areas are the most vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.  Today, approximately 35.5% of the City’s population reside in the Hurricane #1 and #2 Evacuation Zones. New development continues in many parts of the Hurricane #1 and #2 Zones.  There are concerns regarding the effectiveness of current policies in guiding future development in this area in a manner that protects property, human life and economic viability. 

Opportunity
  • The Project will evaluate current state and regional requirements for development in the Coastal High Hazard Area and Hurricane A & B zones.
  • It will analyze the City’s comprehensive planning requirements for development, including hurricane evacuation, shelter requirements, building regulations, rebuilding practices and zoning requirements. 
  • The assessment will recommend changes to the Tampa Comprehensive Plan to reduce the risk posed by tropical storms and severe weather.

Strengthen Community Lifelines

Challenge

A lifeline enables the continuous operation of critical government and business functions and is essential to human health and safety or economic security. Lifelines are the most fundamental services in the community that, when stabilized, enable all other aspects of society to function.  There are many agencies that are responsible for managing community lifelines, but these efforts are not fully coordinated.

Opportunity
  • The project will identify facilities that will strengthen community lifelines.
  • Key community stakeholders and asset managers from Tampa Port Authority, Tampa General Hospital, University of Tampa, MacDill AFB, University of South Florida, BayCare, Tampa Electric, Hillsborough Area Transit Authority and others will be convened to collectively develop an integrated plan for improving the resiliency of this network in the face of tropical storm events and other climate change events. 
  • Lessons learned from this task will be integrated into citywide mitigation efforts.

Community Plans

Challenge – Palmetto Beach

The Palmetto Beach area consists of 560 acres east of downtown Tampa. The population is 1,883 persons, residing in 894 housing units.  The neighborhood is comprised of mostly single-family homes along McKay Bay adjacent to the heavy industrial uses of the Port of Tampa and the City of Tampa’s McKay Bay Waste-to-Energy facility.  Approximately 30.8% of the population residing in the Palmetto Beach census tract has an income below the poverty level.  From a development perspective, the community has been stable for many years, but it is vulnerable to floods and storm surge. 

Opportunity
  • The project will produce a strategy that will strengthen the resiliency of the community while protecting and enhancing affordable housing, particularly as it grows.
  • It will establish the long-term vision for the neighborhood and create a strong sense of place.
  • The Project will evaluate development trends and recommend projects, programs and policies that will support the vision of the community.
Challenge – Area South of Gandy

The South of Gandy area consists of roughly 4,300 acres in the southernmost part of Tampa’s Interbay Peninsula, north of MacDill AFB.  It is comprised of a mix of commercial and residential land uses, with a range of housing types (single family, townhouse and high-rise multifamily).  Development activity in this area is robust with several new projects having been constructed in recent years.

Opportunity
  • The Project will establish effective policies for guiding redevelopment in the area, taking into consideration potential wind and storm surge risks, evacuation, shelter needs, traffic and protection and preservation of neighborhood and community character.
  • It will create a plan that builds on the assets of each neighborhood and achieves greater harmony between the existing, recently built and anticipated development.
  • The Project will evaluate development trends and recommend projects, programs and policies that will support the vision of the community.

Equity and Social Vulnerability Analysis

Challenge

While not located in a storm surge zone, many low- & moderate-income households are still susceptible to effects of severe flooding, high winds, power outages & extreme heat that can occur during or after a major tropical event.  In severe storm events, these populations may not have access to groceries, medicines and other necessities.  Oftentimes these communities are not able to invest in resiliency efforts such as storm proofing or hardening their homes or access to affordable alternative energy.

Opportunity
  • Using an approved Social Vulnerability methodology, the Project will evaluate the risks of the City’s most vulnerable populations to effects of severe storms.
  • The project will recommend actions and programs to support vulnerable populations.

Community Engagement

Challenge

Community engagement is a process by which community members come together to reflect on and make decisions about the future of their community. Community engagement can take place in person or online, and it can be an isolated, one-time event, or it can be an ongoing engagement.  There are many people living and working in the study area that will be directly impacted by the project. There are also many others who will have an indirect interest how the affected communities respond to the preceding challenges. 

Opportunity
  • The project will include a robust, broad-based public engagement program that will educate, inform, solicit and present all aspects of the plans and recommendations to community stakeholders.
  • It will include input from Neighborhoods, Businesses, Property owners, Community and Business organizations, Non-Profits, Developers, Architects, Designers and Planners, Professional organizations and more.
  • The community engagement efforts will seek out and involve voices not typically heard in planning initiatives.    
  • The Project will also include a series of Knowledge Exchange Webinars, designed to inform and educate the community on best practices in community design and resiliency.  Potential topics include Placemaking, Working with Density, Hurricane Evacuation, Creating Livable Communities, Vibrant Coastal Communities, Working Waterfronts, etc.

Schedule

The project will kick-off in July 2021, with the selection of a qualified planning consultant.  All components are expected to be completed within two years.

For more information, email us at [email protected]