Mixed-use plan for downtown
A construction group proposes shops and upstairs living for Crystal River. While it has appeal in some corners, the project would require modifying the land development code.
By ELENA LESLEY
Published June 26, 2006
CRYSTAL RIVER - The city could get its first mixed-use development downtown if officials can make provisions for such a project in the land development code.
A local construction group made an informal presentation to the Community Redevelopment Agency in late May, showing preliminary sketches of a development that would have shops downstairs and apartments upstairs and be built at the corner of U.S. 19 and Citrus Avenue.
"This would fit with making a true downtown, a walkable downtown," said Kurt Woerner, director of planning and community development.
But the city has never had a similar project before, and there are no rules to guide its progression - at least not yet.
"I'm researching," Woerner said. "We'd first need to create a vehicle in the land development code for mixed use."
Chris Ensing of Southern Exposure, who made the presentation, said he didn't want to give too many details because the project is in its early stages. But he said he felt a mixed-use development would "broaden downtown, make more activity."
"Crystal River kind of rolls up the sidewalk when it gets dark," he said.
Though Woerner said he thought residents could benefit from a greater range of shops and the city could use the tax money, there are some concerns associated with a mixed-use development.
There may be problems with noise and the increased density.
"The designs they showed us were innovative and exactly the type of thing we'd like to see happen," said Roger Goettelmann a consultant for the CRA. "If done correctly, mixed-use could be very desirable."
[Last modified June 25, 2006, 22:28:38]
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