When Tom Corbin helped pave the roads in Indian River City, he had no idea how it would change his neighborhood.
“These were all dirt roads until about 1979,” said Corbin, 56, who grew up in Titusville. “When I got out of the Navy, that was one of my first jobs. I stepped out here and helped pave these roads.”
The improved roads brought an intrusion of multifamily and commercial properties as well as a concentration of social service organizations into the south Titusville neighborhood that was originally platted in 1913.
“When we paved these roads, the ordinances were changed to build apartments,” said, Corbin, a lead payload mechanic for United Launch Alliance. “The whole character of the neighborhood changed. And it has been unchecked for years.”
This month, the Titusville City Council adopted a plan to revitalize the Indian River City neighborhood, and the city is moving forward with creating a new zoning district.
The plan recommends:
• Zoning regulations to encourage single-family land uses and growth.
• Preventing the “unhealthy” concentration of social services in the neighborhood.
• Providing for mixed-use opportunities within the commercial districts, by allowing residential and office along with commercial facilities.
The city contracted former county manager Peggy Busacca as a consultant to create the new zoning district, which will cost the city $10,000.
The process could take about four months before the city council can vote on a new ordinance, said Courtney Barker, executive director of Planning and Growth Management for Titusville.
After the area is rezoned, the city will try to attract new homeowners to the area, offer beautification incentives and complete infrastructure projects. Barker expects the revitalization effort for the Indian River City neighborhood will take at least five years, depending on available funding.
“I think it’s a win-win for everyone if we can stabilize the neighborhood and do some beautification and cleanup,” said Titusville City Councilwoman Martha Long.
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