COUNTY LINES, CITY LIMITS

A key meeting tonight for one-stop homeless center


Published: Monday, February 1, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 9:56 p.m.

A significant meeting dealing with the long-discussed one-stop center to house and provide services for the homeless is tonight at Gainesville City Hall.

The city's Plan Board is scheduled to hear and make a recommendation on the city's application to rezone a nearly 10-acre property at 820 N.W. 53rd Ave. from a general industrial category to a planned development district.

A shelter, a soup kitchen, a health care facility, a thrift shop and a campground for the homeless are among the uses sought in the application.

Discussions on the planned GRACE Marketplace One-Stop Homeless Assistance Center have stretched on for more than a year, and the city's acquisition of the land has taken longer than originally expected.

Following the Plan Board's recommendation, the zoning application goes to the City Commission at a future meeting date.

Tonight's meeting of the Gainesville Plan Board begins at 6:30 at City Hall, 200 E. University Ave.

Groundbreaking ceremony for C.R.A. project: From noon to 1:30 p.m. today, the city of Gainesville will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on a Community Redevelopment Agency building project at 802 N.W. Fifth Ave.

The two-story building is planned to have first-floor retail/commercial space that the city will lease out, and C.R.A. staff offices on the second floor.

The estimated project cost: $893,750.

As a C.R.A. project, the funding will come via tax increment financing: tax revenue generated from the increase in property values on properties within four designated community redevelopment areas in the city.

On the C.R.A. Web site, the new commercial building project is billed as a "catalyst" for additional commercial development in the Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street Redevelopment Area.

In a related project, the city will begin an approximately $850,000 streetscaping project along the 600-1000 blocks of Northwest Fifth Avenue.

Improvements will include new, wider sidewalks, new cross walks, new brick work and decorative street lights.

Park application goes to City Commission: On Thursday, the Gainesville City Commission will hear a zoning application for a proposed city nature park at the headwaters of Hogtown Creek.

The aptly named Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park would include nature trails and a boardwalk on more than 50 acres. Three branches of the creek flow through the property.

The city purchased the property in 2008 with the aid of a $3.6 million state grant. The land is north of Northwest 45th Avenue, east of Northwest 19th Street, south of northwest 53rd Avenue and near Home Depot at 5150 N.W. 13th St.

The City Commisssion will consider the zoning application for the park during its evening meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

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