Projects located within Competitive Sites are entitled to an expedited review process

As a way to encourage property owners to maintain office and industrial entitlements, projects located within Competitive Sites are entitled to an expedited review process. Designated affordable housing projects may also be entitled to this expedited review process. This process will reduce the review timeline by two to six weeks. Additionally, horizontal (site plans) and vertical (construction plans) may be submitted for a dual review process.


Eligible targeted industry projects located on designated Competitive Sites designated as Priority Economic Development projects by Economic Development Department (EDD) and eligible affordable housing developments designated by Affordable Housing Services (AHS) may qualify for the expedited permitting process under the Economic Development category referenced in the County's Development Review Procedures Manual.


To qualify for the expedited permitting process, a site owner (applicant) shall be required to contact with representatives of either the Hillsborough County EDD or Hillsborough County AHS, in person, via e-mail or phone to determine if the project constitutes a Priority Economic Development (PED) project or affordable housing development. If eligible, the site owner qualifies for expedited permitting process. Subsequent pre-submittal meetings with Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) and Development Services (DS) are then scheduled to review project plans. The expedited permitting eligibility process occurs in a three-step sequence as follows:

  1. The applicant will meet with the EDD or AHS to discuss the project and determine qualification as a PED or affordable housing development project. If the project qualifies, EDD or AHS shall issue a letter authorizing such designation to the applicant and EPC via e-mail, and at such time, the applicant moves on to step 2.
  2. The applicant meets with representatives of the EPC for a pre-submittal meeting. This meeting covers both horizontal and vertical development permit requirements for the project. Horizontal development primarily refers to wetlands related or site-specific issues, and vertical development covers air, water resource,hazardous waste, etc., permits associated with the vertical structures of the project. The EPC review steps are as follows:
    • After receiving PED approval from EDD or affordable housing development verification from AHS, and the approval has been transmitted via e-mail with authorizing letter to the applicant and EPC, the applicant shall contact EPC to schedule a pre-application meeting with the established EPC Priority Permitting Committee to discuss environmental conditions of the site, if any, and horizontal and vertical development permitting requirements of the project. The EPC will schedule a pre-application meeting within 10 days of the applicant’s request.
    • After obtaining feedback from the EPC Priority Permitting Committee, the applicant shall submit applicable plans and permit applications to EPC, in a form prescribed by their rules, for review and approval.
    • The EPC will prioritize their review of the PED site as applications are received.
  3. The applicant will meet with representatives of DS for their expedited permit presubmittal meeting of project plans and permit requirements. This meeting may be scheduled while the applicant is obtaining EPC feedback from the EPC Priority Permitting Committee. The DS meeting will cover zoning, land development and building permit requirements of the project. It also includes the EPC horizontal requirements, as well. The DS pre-submittal review steps are as follows:
    • The applicant shall schedule a DS Pre-submittal meeting for review of the PED project requirements
      The applicant shall have key design/build principals present at the DS presubmittal meeting.
    • The applicant’s project plans shall be 80% complete.
    • The applicant agrees not to use County staff for quality control.
    • The applicant shall identify on-site representatives who will be responsive to requests, questions or comments from the County staff.
    • The applicant shall include the PED or affordable housing development designation, in the form provided by the EDD or AHS, on all project plan submittals/re-submittals to the EPC and DS.
    • The applicant’s review timeframe by DS reviewers will be one-half of the time allotted pursuant to Sec. – DPRM Site Development Construction Plan Review.
  4. The applicant will keep EDD or AHS, EPC and DS apprised of the status of all steps referenced above through the 3-step process.

Please note: If you are requesting an expedited building permit or development order review under an authority not listed above, please include this information in your online permit application and reference the statutory basis for your request.


Last Modified: 1/26/2024, 1:52:58 PM

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