VERO BEACH - On Nov. 19, the city of Vero Beach launched the design process for the Three Corners, considered to be the most valuable city-owned water-front property on Florida’s east coast.
The 38-acre parcel at the base of the 17th Street (Alma Lee Loy) bridge is the size of the historic area of St. Augustine, large enough to accommodate many different uses.
The city has created a Three Corners Steering Committee to guide the process. The committee is Mayor Tony Young, Vice Mayor Laura Moss, Councilmembers Robbie Brackett, Joe Graves, and Rey Neville, and appointed members Mark Tripson, Linda Moore, Mike Johansen, Alma Lee Loy, Dr. Richard Baker, Vicky Gould, and alternate member John Cotugno.
Three properties make up the 38-acre parcel.
The 17.4-acre electric power plant property is on the northeast corner, adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon. The city shut down its electric power plant in 2015, and zoning restrictions limit the uses to education and government facilities, and utilities.
The 16.3-acre wastewater treatment plant property is on the southeast corner, also adjacent to the lagoon. The property currently includes the wastewater treatment plant facilities and an office, storage, and ramps/docks for the Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County.
The 4.6-acre Postal Annex property is at the southwest corner of the intersection of Indian River Blvd. and 17th St., and currently designated commercial.
The two waterfront parcels are subject to City Charter restrictions, including the requirement of a referendum to approve certain uses. The postal annex has no such restrictions.
“Now that we have successfully affected the sale of Vero Beach Electric to FPL, our city’s number one priority is to engage the community before embarking on a plan,” said Vero Beach City Manager Monte Falls.
There are two ways to participate in the process: the design charrette, and the community engagement website.
The city hired DPZ CoDESIGN to engage residents and other stakeholders through the charrette, which is a process where residents give ideas to the design team and detailed visuals are created to show what the ideas would look like when realized.
The Three Corners charrette will take place at The Vero Beach Community Center at 2266 14th Ave., Vero Beach from Jan. 27 through Jan. 31.
For people who cannot attend in person, an online hub has been created at SpeakUpVeroBeach.com. Here residents and visitors can follow the process, offer opinions, and comment on other proposals and opinions.
The goal of both the charrette and the website is to create and evaluate alternative development scenarios for the properties. DPZ expects the process to lead to five possible scenarios. The first four will reflect the concerns of residents cautious about growth; immediate neighbors; the greater Vero Beach population; and elected officials.
The 5th scenario will be the recommendation of DPZ after synthesizing ideas from the first four scenarios.
The next steps after the charrette will be presentation of a draft report to city staff in mid-April, 2020, and a final report to the city council on May 5, 2020.
For more information, visit www.speakupverobeach.com.