City of Kissimmee to begin downtown Main Street rezoning process
By Tiffanie Reynolds
Plans for rezoning a section of downtown Kissimmee are closer to becoming permanent as Kissimmee city commissioners recently voted to have the rezoning draft ordinance advertised to begin the public hearing process.
This proposed rezoning covers the Main Street corridor, with boundaries reaching to West Vine Street, Palmway Street, North Central Avenue and Neptune Road, and aims to curb the types of uses in the area to better mesh with the Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency’s master plan as well as the surrounding area. Currently, the area is designated under a B3 zoning, a commercial general designation that includes medical-related facilities and schools.
Staff now recommends that the area should be given a new zone that combines both B3 and B1 designation, which focuses more on smaller retail and office uses, eliminating any auto-related businesses, K-12 public or private schools and institutional care facilities and hospitals in the area.
“We’re really focusing on those retail uses, office uses, uses that will compliment both the B1 as well as the medical corridor that you have immediately adjacent. You have uses that will compliment the residential that you have to the east.
The proposed uses would really foster redevelopment in that area, and promote that commercial environment,” said Lucie Ghioto, Kissimmee development services historic preservation planner.
Ghioto first presented the rezoning changes at the commission’s May 20 meeting, and was given direction by the board to schedule more meetings to talk to business owners in the area and further analyze rezoning choices.
City staff invited more than 130 property owners to an open house on June 24, and Ghioto said that, from the owners that did attend, the biggest concern was wanting to see more retail, business services and commercial uses in the area. Staff agreed and presented the commission a list of potential uses with the area that falls under both B3 and B1 zoning designations.
A majority of the commission agreed with the list of proposed uses. Commissioners Cheryl Grieb and Sara Shaw asked if the staff could look back at the institutional care facilities, and find a way to include rehab facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities because the area is close to Kissimmee’s medical corridor. Ghioto clarified that the proposed rezoning would only exclude K-12 public and private schools, making room for smaller post-secondary vocational or technical schools. Also, any existing K-12 schools in the area would be grandfathered in if the new zoning ordinance passes, but would not be allowed
The commission also passed a temporary moratorium, or freeze, on any new requests to build a K-12 public or private school while the zoning ordinance is in the public hearing process. The moratorium does not include any school requests already in the process for approval.
With the ordinance now being advertised to the public, there will be three additional public hearings on the zoning changes. Currently, the proposed zoning uses are only a first draft, and city staff welcomes any changes to the list by the public or commissioners during the process.