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PolitiFact Florida's Buck-O-Meter: Federal grant helps Bob Buckhorn's promised master plan for urban growth

TAMPA — As a candidate, Mayor Bob Buckhorn made a first-year promise to start work on a master plan to guide urban growth in and around downtown Tampa.

What he wanted was a plan for the design guidelines, amenities and connections between downtown and areas like Ybor City, the Channel District, Tampa Heights and North Hyde Park.

Now Buckhorn says a $1.18 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will help make that plan a reality.

That, in turn, moves the needle on the Buck-O-Meter, PolitiFact Florida's accountability project to track Buckhorn's performance on nearly three dozen campaign promises.

The city originally won the federal grant last fall for a corridor study along Nebraska Avenue in anticipation of high-speed rail coming to Tampa. Then Gov. Rick Scott rejected high-speed rail funds.

"With the demise of the rail, we asked HUD to allow us to expand it, so we can look at the entire downtown core," including the area within 2 miles of downtown, Buckhorn said.

The plan also is to include recommendations to promote transit-oriented development and an update of city development regulations.

"It came back to us with the okay to do it, so now we're putting a (request for proposals) on the street for a consultant," Buckhorn said, "and that allows us to create the master plan."

We'll wait to see more, but for now we rate this promise In the Works.

The promise

"During Bob's first year, he will begin the formation of a master plan that will engage the downtown, Ybor City, Channelside, Tampa Heights, Riverside Heights and North Hyde Park areas to guide future urban growth. This master plan will include design guidelines, amenities, funding strategies, connectivity between major public projects, zoning and land use, particularly those centered on the Hillsborough River, among other concepts."

Buckhorn for Mayor campaign website

The ruling

Buckhorn seems to have found a way to make it happen. We'll watch for further follow-through, but for now this promise is rated In the Works.

To see the Buck-O-Meter online, visit

PolitiFact Florida's Buck-O-Meter: Federal grant helps Bob Buckhorn's promised master plan for urban growth 07/08/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 9, 2011 12:17am]
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