The Transylvania Times -

City’s Downtown Master Plan Under Review


The work done, so far, on revisions to the Downtown Master Plan will be explained Monday during the first regular Brevard City Council meeting of the year.

Work began on the city’s Downtown Master Plan in the early 1990s and it was adopted by city council in 2002. The city has recently been seeking input from the public on possible revisions to the plan.

As well as the revisions, the city wants to hear feedback on what items in the plan have worked well since its adoption and to help prioritize a list for future construction and implementation of the plan.

Downtown basically covers the area from Food Lion to the Sunset Motel and out West Main Street to Oaklawn Avenue and out along East Main Street.

Those who live or work within the Heart of Brevard recently attended the latest input meeting.

More greenery and flowers in downtown was one comment.

City Planning Director Josh Freeman asked audience members if they were willing to see increases in taxes or fees to help pay for the costs.

No one spoke in favor, but instead suggestions were made to try and solicit nonprofit groups and high school students to water trees and flowers.

Madrid Zimmerman, the Heart of Brevard executive director, said those kind of efforts haven’t been successful in the past.

Other suggestions included:

• Gallery owner Drew Deane said whatever work is done should be “consistent.” Kim Provost, the owner of Hunters and Gatherers, agreed.

In response to a question about “open space” in downtown, Provost said there are several areas that could be turned into gathering places. The green patch, for example, beside the Co-ed cinema could have benches and a fountain.

The area in front of Water Oak Suites could also be a gathering place.

Zimmerman said West Main Street could become a “transitional area” for people who will use Bracken Mountain before coming into downtown.

• Pam Childress, with the Transylvania Heritage Museum, said that people think downtown ends on West Main Street at the fire department.

She’d like that perception to be addressed by the Downtown Master Plan.

• Tom Cabe, with Red Wolf Gallery, would like more bike racks, which would promote the city as being “bike friendly.” To draw people to West Main, he suggested having a waterfall roundabout near Oaklawn Avenue.

• Anne Hollingsworth, owner of Main Street Limited, wants the city to provide more financial support for downtown improvements, such as more electrical outputs. She would not like to see “built in planters” butwould like more suitable trees in downtown.

She and Donna Stout, the owner of the White Squirrel Shoppe, both said the lack of parking needs to be addressed.

Parking is what their customers mostly complain about, they said. Stout said local office workers who use the parking spots also doesn’t help.

Deane said a parking deck is one solution to the parking problem.

Other things that were mentioned that needed to be addressed, included removing overhead wires, having wider sidewalks, meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and expanding the number of light poles.

The city has hired the Charlotte firm, ColeJenest & Stone, to revise the master plan.

The firm will be at Monday’s council meeting to give a presentation on the feedback and go through some preliminary recommendations.

City officials hope council will address the recommendations during the February retreat, with the goal of making budgetary decisions.


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