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If Sebastian OKs huge annexation, new development rules could be in place for 1,944 acres

NewsIf Sebastian OKs huge annexation, new development rules could be in place for 1,944 acres

SEBASTIAN — If the city annexes 1,944-acres of citrus property on Dec. 14, Graves Brothers Co., which owns the land, will find new regulations in place once the property is rezoned for mixed use, multifamily development. 

The City Council Nov. 21 unanimously gave initial approval to zoning permitting a mix of medium-density housing on any property designated for up to 10 units per acre.

The R-10 zoning classification was established primarily to manage multi-family developments including duplexes and other types of detached and attached residential housing, Community Development Director Lisa Frazier explained. 

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The mixed-use zoning fits in well with her concept for developing the Graves Brothers property, which includes a second city center. The mixed-use zoning is appropriate for that property, she said, because it provides suitable uses for future development that supports the sustainability of the city.

The zoning encourages a broad mix of diverse housing options, and would include townhomes, single-family dwellings, rental homes and apartments as well as foster care and group homes with fewer than six residents.

Conditional uses such as childcare services; schools; cultural and civic facilities; nursing homes; parks and utilities; and accessory office and retail space all could be included.

Qualified affordable housing, for area service workers, would be permitted as a conditional use. 

The new regulations get the city closer to providing the affordable and workforce housing community members have been asking for, Mayor Fred Jones said.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said Jones. “It may not be all we need now, but it is a step in the right direction.”

The new multifamily, mixed-use zoning category is a great fit for the city, according to City Manager Paul Carlisle.

“I think it goes well for what Ms. Frazier has said,” said Carlisle. “It gives us the opportunity to get some affordable homes, attainable housing in Sebastian.”

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