TAMPA — Longtime Hillsborough Planning Commission executive director Robert B. Hunter will retire at year's end, according to a release from the commission Wednesday.
Hunter notified the commission in a two-page letter of resignation, effective Dec. 31. The current president of the American Planning Association, he has been the county's executive director since 1987.
"Its good for him but bad for us," said County Commissioner Rose Ferlita, who has worked alongside Hunter for eight years.
Ferlita said that losing a man with Hunter's institutional knowledge will be hindrance as the county looks to merge efforts to improve transportation with growth and planning in the coming year.
"Bob Hunter will forget more than most people will ever know about his field," she said. "He couldn't have picked a worse time to go."
Hunter agreed that there is still lots of work to be done with the Planning Commission, such as rail, transit-oriented design, land use and transportation integration, and green economic development incentives, the release stated.
During the two decades he has headed the department, the county created comprehensive plans for Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and unincorporated Hillsborough. It also instituted neighborhood planning.