Lutz began with the construction of a small train depot on the Tampa Northern Railroad which carried materials from Tampa to Brooksville. It was named "Lutz Station" by William Paul Lutz, an engineer on the Tampa Northern Railroad. The area surrounding the depot officially became known as Lutz when the U.S. Postal Service authorized a post office. The first post office was a 7 square foot building on a lot south of the depot. George Sibthorpe, the first postmaster of Lutz, moved the post office to his realty office. In 1914, the post office was again moved to inside the train depot. As people moved to the rural community from Tampa, the Lutz area continued to grow until it no longer depended on the "Lutz Junction", which was demolished in the late 1960s. In 2000, a replica of the depot was rebuilt in the approximate location, which is now at the intersection of Lutz-Lake Fern Rd. and US Highway 41. The post office's structure is still in the same place today, although it is now an art gallery. A public library is located behind the train depot replica. This area is known affectionately as "Beautiful Downtown Lutz". 
Lutz was also used as a major filming location in the movie Edward Scissorhands. In the credits, the town is named in the "Thank you" section. 
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 17,081 people, 6,314 households, and 4,767 families residing in the community. The population density was 307.2/km² (795.6/mi²). There were 6,596 housing units at an average density of 118.6/km² (307.2/mi²).
There were 6,314 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.1% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.5% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the community the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.0 males.
The median income for a household in the community was $60,278, and the median income for a family was $68,413. Males had a median income of $49,320 versus $33,004 for females. The per capita income for the community was $28,446. About 3.9% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.