- Titusville Talking Points October 2020 ADA
Titusville Talking Points October 2020 ADA
What's Happening in Titusville?
Here are the Newest Updates for What's Going On in Town
The season is changing once again as we approach the end of the year, but despite the extraordinary circumstance of 2020, some things have remained consistent in Titusville. There continues to be a lot of exciting new developments taking place in town, including several large-scale projects that have people excited and looking forward to the new year.
Inside this issue you will find such updates, including city projects that affect everyone. One exciting upgrade for the city is the official website, Titusville.com, which has undergone a complete redesign to its aesthetics and function.
We hope everyone is staying safe and wish to remind everyone to please wear a mask and follow all health and safety guidelines as we work together to finish the year strong.
Talking Points Staff
- Jim Thomas - Managing Director
- Kurtis Korwan, Shane Daily, Wil Petty - Layout, Design, Photojournalism
New and Continued Projects
A site plan is under review for a 13,400-square-foot office & fabrication shop/warehouse located at 1825 Shepard Drive.
DREAM Space Coast Apartments
Site plans are under review for changes to the property including: dumpster enclosure, parking re-striping and additional landscaping at the existing apartment complex at 2825 S. Washington Avenue. Additionally, the developer is in the process of seeking designation on the National Register of Historic Places. City Council approved recommendation which has been sent to the Florida Department of State’s Historic Preservation Officer for approval.
A site plan is under review for a 68,922-square-foot, 122-room hotel to be located at 4830 Helen Hauser Blvd, across from the Extended Stay Hotel and Durango’s Steakhouse.
Home Depot Outparcel
A site plan is under review for a 4,200-square-foot retail/restaurant & new parking lot located at 3363 Columbia Boulevard.
Canopy Living ALF
A site plan is under review for a 49,193 square foot assisted living facility (ALF) located at 2805 Cheney Highway.
Falcon’s Roost Subdivision
A sketch plat is under review for a 28-lot single-family home subdivision on 53 acres, to be located east of Apollo Elementary School, off of Knox McRae Drive.
Shepard Drive Warehouse Expansion
A site plan is under review for a 9,800-square-foot warehouse expansion to an existing 10,150-square-foot building located at 1500 Shepard Drive.
Site plans are under review for changes to the former Astronaut Hall of Fame including: parking re-striping, additional landscaping and new drive paths located at 6225 Riverfront Center Boulevard.
Nu-Vision Professional Office
Site plans are under review for a 3,965-square-foot office building located at 105 Pinedo Drive.
Chaffee Drive Development
Site plans are under review for a 9,221 square foot warehouse and office located north of Chaffee Drive.
Brooks Landing Subdivision
A sketch plat has been approved for a 143-lot single-family home subdivision located north of Jay Jay Road and west of Hammock Road.
Merritt Shapes Manufacturing
Site plans are under review for a 32,176-square-foot manufacturing building located at 1500 Armstrong Drive.
A site permit has been issued for a 2,503-square-foot restaurant located at the southeast corner of State Road 50 and Helen Hauser Boulevard.
A site plan is under review for a 9-unit multi-family development located at the northwest corner of Palmetto Street and South Brown Avenue.
A building is taking shape and site construction continues for utilities, drive aisles, landscaping and other related infrastructure at the corner of State Road 405 and Cheney Highway. The proposed site plan includes three commercial buildings – Discount Tire, Aspen Dental, and Cumberland Farms.
Previously called Willow Creek, houses are being built, and road construction and other infrastructure is in progress at the new subdivision located on Willow Creek Blvd, off Grissom Pkwy. The first phase of the subdivision will consist of 70-single-family homes.
Site and building construction continues for 100-residential condominium units within two buildings with associated amenities located at 1805 Riverside Drive.
Construction crews continue to work on the new Beachwave store located near Sand Point Park. The 33,600-square-foot building will feature over 1,000 sqft of retail space, 3,400 sqft of restaurant space, and a 5,000 sqft tiki bar on the second floor.
Courtyard by Marriott
Crews continue to work on the new five-story hotel overlooking the Indian River and Kennedy Space Center, located at the site of the former U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. The 152-room hotel will include 14 extended and one-bedroom guest suites, a large outdoor pool and a rooftop deck with bar, for guests to watch rocket launches.
Barlow Orthodontics is renovating the building located at 4987 South Washington Avenue. This building will become the new home of their Titusville orthodontic treatment office.
A sketch plat is under review for an 86-lot single-family home subdivision on 79.79 acres, to be located along South Park Avenue, just south of Park Avenue Baptist Church.
Demolition is planned for the former Eckerds building at the corner of Barna Avenue and Cheney Highway. Further plans for the site include construction of a bank and retail spaces.
The Bird is the Word
Every year, the white pelican migrates North for the winter, and one of their favorite spots is right here on the space coast.
The white pelican spends its summer in the Great Salt Lake before heading back down south for the winter. They can migrate as far north as Canada’s Northwest Territories and as far south as Colombia. A great place to view this majestic bird is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, where they are known to hunker down for the cold season.
“It’s a very elegant bird and quite impressive and beautiful when you observe a large flock take to wing,” says Jim Eager of Obsessive Compulsive Birding in Titusville. “They are all white with black wingtips.” While most pelicans will dive into the water and scoop out fish with their unique bill, the white pelican actually collaborates with other members of its flock to attain food. They prefer to sit on the waters edge and work together to catch unsuspecting fish who wander by. It also has the largest wingspan of any bird in North America, which can reach up to 9 feet – double that of the Brown Pelican.
Be sure to see this beautiful bird before it heads back north! While the exact timing of their migration can vary, they generally arrive in fall and stay until late spring, and are present during the local Birding and Wildlife Festival in January. These majestic birds prefer estuaries and lakes to the open seashore. Maybe you’ll spot one on your next trip out to the beach!
New Holiday Decorations
This holiday season in the historic downtown, the pedestrian street light poles will be decorated with new white LED rope lights, 66 new holiday banners and four (4) 32-inch pole mounted lighted wreaths to be placed at the intersections of South Street and S. Washington Ave./S. Hopkins Ave. and at the intersections of Garden Street and S. Washington Ave./S. Hopkins Ave.
Pine Street and Orange Street west of S. Hopkins Ave. along with Lemon Street were resurfaced in September with CRA funds.
Pedestrian Street Lights
The CRA approved the funding to install three (3) new decorative street lights matching those on S. Hopkins Ave. and S. Washington Ave. to be constructed on Julia Avenue between S. Hopkins Avenue and S. Palm Avenue. The new light poles will replace the three (3) existing light poles in front of the Titusville Playhouse installed in the 1980s.
Waterfront Pedestrian Observation Pier
The CRA approved a contract with Taylor Engineering from Jacksonville, Florida to conduct a feasibility study for a pedestrian – observation pier connecting Spaceview Mercury/Veterans Park to Spaceview Gemini Park. The study will take approximately ten (10) weeks to complete. The study will assess the existing conditions; analyze the constructability of the walkway in the designated location; evaluate the environmental impacts; and review the permitting requirements to construct the proposed walkway pier. The study will be brought back to the CRA for advisability.
New Office Building Proposal
The Historic Preservation Board approved architectural design plans submitted by Mr. Jimmy Mutter, Real Living Mutter Real Estate, for a new two-story office building to be constructed at the northwest corner of S. Washington Avenue and Julia Street. The building will replace the old Book Rack building that was demolished due to structural issues caused by termites and weather. As the property is located within the Downtown Commercial National Historic District, a Certificate of Appropriateness was required to be obtained from the City’s Historic Preservation Board to ensure that the proposed building will be compatible with the other structures in the historic district. The building will be the new office of Real Living Mutter Real Estate.
New Fast Food Establishment - A 1,600 square foot fast food restaurant with a drive through is being proposed to be developed by Fishgreen Investments on the old Gates Gas Station property located at 405 Garden Street . The existing gas station building will be demolished to make way for the new construction and layout. The tenant of the building has not been disclosed.
Local company takes the fight to COVID!
Pharmco Labs shifts production to help fight pandemic.
In the fight against the spread of COVID-19, local firm Pharmco Labs – a maker of skin and beauty products – recently shifted its production capabilities to begin mass-producing hand sanitizing lotions and ointments for distribution throughout central Florida and beyond.
The company reports the hand sanitizer is an antimicrobial gel containing 70% ethyl alcohol to help reduce the number of germs on hands. It is fragrence-free and
includes aloe as a moisturizer to help keep skin hydrated.
Established more than 40 years ago in Titusville by a group of
four chemists, the firm now operates from a 12,000-square-foot manufacturing facility located on South Street. Pharmco Labs is a registered manufacturer with the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and is routinely inspected
for quality control and compliance with FDA standards.
Currently employing 70 people, the company expects to add more positions in the near future, largely in response to production needs during the ongoing pandemic.
For more information on this local company and its COVID-19 prevention efforts, visit their website at www.pharmcolabs.com.
Flu Season Fast Approaching!
Health Department urges citizens to get innoculated now.
County health departments in the Central Florida region - Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia - are urging residents to contact their healthcare provider
or pharmacy to get vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible.
Once vaccinated, it takes about two weeks to offer protection. Getting the flu shot each year is important, but reducing illness and hospitalization from flu is even more critical this year to protect frontline health care workers and hospital systems who will continue to care for people with COVID-19 and other illnesses. Also, having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time could lead to a negative outcome. The flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses, but until there is a steady vaccine supply against COVID-19, the way to help prevent these two viruses from circulating at the same time is to get your flu vaccine now.
Additionally, there will be less spread of the flu and COVID-19 if everyone continues to:
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Wear a face covering when around others or if social distancing isn’t possible
For more information from the Florida Department of Health regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.FloridaHealthCovid19.gov
Women's Center of Brevard
For over 45 years, the Women’s Center of Brevard has been on a focused mission to help women, men & children who have faced trauma related to domestic violence and sexual assault. With centers in Melbourne and Titusville, the non-profit organization serves over 6,500 people annually and offers a number of services including victim advocacy, counseling, housing programs, and more.\
A Helping Hand
The Women’s Center of Brevard first opened its doors on March 8, 1975 on International Women’s Day. Despite being called the Women’s Center, the organization strives to address the needs of all who need it, including men and children. With the aid of local supporters and volunteers, the organization provides counseling services, financial assistance, career guidance, job training, transitional housing, and victim advocacy for those who have faced trauma relating to violence and sexual assault.
Located at 400 Julia Street, the main Titusville office is open Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm, but several hotline numbers are available 24/7 for those who need immediate assistance:
Domestic Violence Hotline 321-607-6809
SAVS Rape Hotline 321-784-4357
When a victim contacts the Women’s Center, they are able to help in a number of ways. If the victim is in immediate danger, the Women’s Center will arrange for emergency housing to get them out of harms way. They can then assist in filing for protection orders, provide legal advocacy and court accompaniment during hearings, and help to create a safety plan for the victim.
Once the victim is safe and removed from the dangerous situation, the Women’s Center can offer individual, group, and family counseling services out of either their Melbourne or Titusville office locations. These services are free for victims of trauma, sexual assault, or domestic violence. They also provide general mental health services for issues related to depression, anxiety, or grief. These services are offered by behavioral health specialists and can be paid for by insurance or payments on a sliding fee scale.
The organization has group sessions for domestic violence support, trauma recovery, depression, LGBT trauma, and self esteem.
Another big part of the teams work is their prevention and youth programs. The Women’s Center has partnered with Eastern Florida State College to institute the Green Dot initiative, a violence prevention strategy focused on preventing dating/domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and bullying. Emphasizing the power of the bystander, they train faculty, staff, and students in intervention methods with the ultimate goal of setting two new social norms on Eastern Florida State College campuses: violence will not be tolerated, and everyone can, and should, do their part to prevent personal violence. They also host Camp Gaia, a one-week summer camp for adolescent girls entering the 5th through 8th grade. The camp focuses on girls attaining positive self-esteem and learning important themes such as taking care of themselves, leadership and teamwork, giving back to the community, and embracing creativity in themselves and the world around us.
Along with their main offices in Titusville and Melbourne, the Women’s Center also manages the “Upscale Resale” store at 3216 South Hopkins Avenue. The store accepts donations and is a fundamental part of raising money to fund the organization. With the help of its sister location, the Furniture & More store in Melbourne, the Upscale Resale store donates its funds to support the various counseling and transitional housing services provided by the group.
Along with money from customers, the thrift store also accepts donations in the form of furniture, clothing, and other household items. These items are primarily resold for money to fund the groups many programs, but many are also repurposed to furnish transitional housing for low income women and children who are homeless or at imminent risk of being homeless; victims may receive vouchers to visit the store and get items that they need. Additional services for those in transitional housing includes case management, budgeting assistance, and access to support groups, career guidance, and food pantry services.
Thanks to several local community partners who regularly donate to the shop, Upscale Restore has become a vital lifeline for funding of the transitional housing program.
Another vital source of revenue for the Women’s Center are the signature fundraising events that they hold every year. In addition to some extremely popular one-time events that the group holds, they are most well-known for their annual signature events, Boots & Bandits and the Superbowl of Trivia.
Boots & Bandits is usually held in the fall every year at a local park. Local community leaders or partners can sign up to become a “Bandit” for the event by donating at least $2,000 as “bail” to support the Women’s Center. Tickets to the event are sold for $25 with VIP options available, and at the end of the event a “Judge” oversees the trial of the bandits. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the 2020 Boots & Bandits event had to be cancelled until next year.
The Superbowl of Trivia features a variety of trivia topics and 8 rounds of questions. For $50 per person, contestants can bring their own team of 8 people or be placed randomly in a group to compete. The event also offers Hors D’oeuvres, Super Prize Chance Drawings, and a silent auction. Sponsorship options are always available, and proceedings go to support the Women’s Center. The 9th Annual Superbowl of Trivia is tentatively scheduled for February of 2021, but with the COVID-19 situation underway, the group says they will have to watch carefully and plan accordingly.
Other popular events hosted by the group include Jenny’s Walk, a sponsored 75-mile trail walk in the Smoky Mountains, and Bourbon, Cars, & Cigars, a fun filled evening featuring an open bar of bourbons, hors d’oeuvres, live music, and cigars at the Porsche dealership of Melbourne.
Adjusting to COVID
COVID-19 has had an impact on everybody for the last several months, and the Women’s Center is no exception. In addition to the rescheduling of several of their fundraising events, social distancing has also affected the volume of victims reaching out for help and the way that they are offered services.
“With everyone stuck at home and the overall stress of the situation, we believe that once quarantine is lifted we will see a huge increase in victims reaching out,” says Hillary Arena, manager of the Upscale Resale store. Thankfully, however, she noted that the store has seen a huge increase in donations, presumably since so many people have been home and have been cleaning up their houses and getting rid of extra items.
“Anything fabric [that is donated] gets sanitized and held for 48 hours before becoming available in the store, and all furniture thoroughly wiped down and sanitized,” says Arena.
The Women’s Center is also changing how they interact with victims. Since social distancing started, many of the services offered at the main office have either fully switched over or are being offered as virtual services instead.
“We’ve found that many of our clients actually prefer to attend sessions virtually instead,” says Arena. “For once reason or another, many of them are just more comfortable that way.”
Interested in reaching out to help? The Women’s Center says the best way to take action is in the form of giving, whether that be with money, time, or resources. While the organization is always looking for donations, they also could not function without the invaluable assistance of its volunteers. There are several ongoing volunteers opportunities for anyone looking to get involved. For those who want to work behind the scenes, they are always looking for helpers to work at the thrift store, input data entry, housekeep, educate, and make repairs. For those looking to take a more active role, they are also looking for advocates who want to work with sexual assault or domestic violence victims, along with administrative help running the front desk.
For more information on any of the life saving services offered by the Women’s Center of Brevard, visit WomensCenter.net or call 321-607-6811.
The Reality of Local Realty
Local real estate market provides sellers with soaring values/buyers with opportunities, amid dwindling inventory and a global pandemic.
North Brevard’s real estate market has experienced significant increases in value over the past few years as the local economy continues to make great strides in recovering from the end of the shuttle program in 2011. New construction has been a good indicator of market improvement; however, some people have been concerned that it could be the 2005 – 2008 housing bubble all over again. Add COVID to the mix, and the level of uncertainty becomes more salient as to whether the housing market in Titusville and the surrounding area can sustain itself.
The good news is, according to several local real estate agents, the market is weathering the storm of uncertainty just fine; in fact, the market appears to be in a better condition now than it was 12 years ago, and the outlook over the next few years appears to be solid.
Presently, the housing market in the area is strong, but inventory is limited. According to the Space Coast Association of REALTORS report from August 2020, provided by Al Taylor of Coldwell Banker Coast Realty, the supply of single-family homes showed only 1.8 months of inventory on hand. Townhomes and condos showed a little more inventory, coming in at 2.7 months of inventory available. Other reports show that the inventory on homes under $100k has dropped significantly since this time in 2019.
According to Holly Carver and Lisa Earnhardt of Rocket City Real Estate, available listings of homes has declined by nearly 30% year over year, with a current number of about 248 residential listings active on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) — a database used by agents all over — compared to 344 listings just one year ago. Some of the listings are still under construction and not even complete yet, highlighting how quickly things are moving.
Lori Hundley of Discovery Realty explained, “The market began 2020 with sales 15% over the previous year and the average price of a single family detached home up 7% to $280,000.” In many ways, it is a seller’s market right now, which is helping propel the prices higher, and in some cases, pricing out younger people and first-time homebuyers. “The detached, single-family inventory [is] so low buyers are consistently being discouraged by properties going under contract before they can even see the property they are hoping to call home,” she says.
“Single family homes had a $34,500 [median price] increase,” states Taylor, “Condo/townhomes had an increase of $38,000 to a median price point of $223,000 from one year ago. So, you can see that demand is overtaking supply.”
According to Cecil and Peggy Cornish of Coldwell Banker Coast Realty, the inventory on historically less expensive homes is almost non-existent. They explained that the small homes which would’ve been around $60k in 2008 is averaging about $200k now. These increased prices aren’t swaying too many people, however, as the more expensive homes in town are also moving quickly.
“We recently attended an open house on a home priced around $500k,” explained Cecil and Peggy Cornish of Coldwell Banker Coast Realty. “By the end of the day, they already had 6 offers on it. In one day.”
One key factor helping to drive this real estate boom is the resurgence of the space program on our doorstep. Now, as myriad private companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Lockheed-Martin, etc, invest heavily in the area, their growth is bringing countless high-paying jobs to the Cape. It used to be that the space program consisted of NASA and a few contractors, but now it is more diversified with private funding, meaning it is no longer solely reliant on the federal government. That, in turn, is driving the local economy in a multitude of ways.
“Such major economic development initiatives have created a demand for amenities and the North Brevard area is reaping the benefits.” Reported Carver and Earnhardt. “We are seeing a wave of new retail, new restaurants, new hotels, multiple new construction projects, new single-family housing, and new multifamily housing. Together, these opportunities create a robust job market.”
Another factor is the population growth which has been increasing lately. According to the New York Times in September 2020, it is estimated that about 1,000 new residents are moving to Florida per day, predominantly from northern regions such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and other expensive states with high costs of living. In fact, the U.S. Census reports that from 2010 to 2019, there was nearly an 11% increase in Brevard’s population alone, with nearly 7% growth right here in Titusville. What’s bringing them here? Warm, relatively good weather year-round (never mind the occasional hurricane). Also, no state income tax, low estate tax, and a decent homestead exemption on property taxes — all these contribute to making our area a desirable place to live.
Another major factor is that money is cheap to borrow. Interest rates are at historic lows right now. According to Freddie Mac, a public government-sponsored home mortgage corporation, the rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 2.88% in August 2020.
“For buyers, mortgage rates are at an all-time low and for sellers, the demand is at an all-time high with the population in our area growing over the last several years,” explained Taylor. “The new home building in the area has not been able to keep up with the demand for the last several years allowing the market for previously owned home to raise to near record levels.”
According to Hundley, demand continues to be greater than supply not just in Titusville but in all of Brevard County, even as prices continue to increase at an accelerated rate year over year. She is certain the low interest rates are a factor but there is also a human component of buyers wanting a home quick with little attention to the attributes outside of the home, and sellers wanting to sell quickly to move to their new home.
So… not a bubble?
Concern that the fast-rising values of property may signify another real estate bubble similar to 2005 – 2008 is understandable. This phenomenon is not isolated to our area, it is occurring in places all over the nation. However, many REALTORs and agents do not share that gloomy outlook. They cite one key reason this real estate boom is different for our area: the aforementioned exponential growth in the diverse private space industry, and other aerospace manufacturing related to national defense and commercial air travel. Thousands of high-paying jobs have poured into the area over the past several years — some estimates show more than 15,000 since 2016 — bringing a lot of people looking for homes close by. The result is the reduction in available inventory. Coupled with the exodus from higher-taxed, higher cost of living states bringing more and more people to our area, makes for a more solid foundation for the market than before.
“We don’t fear a ‘bubble burst,’” exclaim Carver and Earnhardt. “Our area, specifically North Brevard, has seen the highs and very lows of economic cycles and for a long time that was largely dependent on… the government aerospace industry. With the privatization of that industry, along with the swell of business diversity, Titusville and the surrounding area is quickly becoming a desirable market.”
Another concern as to whether this is a bubble or not, lies in who is purchasing at the moment. According to Taylor, it’s not just investors looking to flip homes, purchasing is “all across the board.”
Cecil and Peggy Cornish believe that while the market was investor-heavy in 2005, today those buyers are turning more toward foreclosures and “fixer-upper” properties that wouldn’t qualify for mortgages anyway, meaning the market is driven more by buyers planning to occupy the homes. Mr. Taylor agrees, stating that lenders do not want to lend money on property that requires lots of upgrades as the purchaser, in most cases, does not have extra funds available to make the upgrades.
In short, the Cornish’s opinion is that the market is “more stable now than in 2005.”
Rent or Buy?
So, the big question especially among younger people, is whether to rent or buy. With the minimal availability of homes at affordable prices, what options do people have right now? According to recent market data, the average rental prices in the Titusville area are between $700 and $1,500 per month, if you can find a place. According to Taylor, rentals are in short supply. “At this time, it is more feasible to own than rent,” he says.
“Inventory is also low on rental properties in North Brevard,” describes Carver and Earnhardt. They state that as of now, “there are less than 50 active rental listings, 16 of which are single family homes. The monthly payment on a $225,000 home with a 30-year mortgage could be under $1,500 depending on the lending program and current interest rates.”
Opportunities, challenges and the first-time buyer?
Low interest rates are providing potential owners and investors with the biggest opportunities to purchase right now. According to Taylor, prices in North Brevard are still below the average in the rest of the county, which is also a plus. However, the biggest challenge comes from the quick pace at which properties are being bought up when the inventory is so low.
“Properties are only remaining on the market for such a short period of time that if the buyer is now ready to move forward with a purchase…the property is gone in a matter of days.” Taylor says.
According to the Cornishs, the new construction in town has homes estimated to start selling at around $250k and up, making it difficult for first-time buyers, and that the majority of those purchases are by space center workers or established families moving up from smaller homes. This is not to discourage first-time homebuyers, however. There are programs to help them get into a home, on both the local and state level.
Though not as available today as in past years — for example, the Community Conventional Loan program is currently on hold due to COVID-19 — there are still opportunities for assistance. One example comes from Rocket City Real Estate, where a first-time buyer was able to utilize a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to purchase a brand new home in Mims with a minimal down payment while keeping the monthly mortgage payment under $1,500.
It is highly encouraged that potential buyers contact an agent to see what programs they qualify for, as each program has different qualification requirements for approval such as income and credit score. Jennifer Kline, a Mortgage Loan Originator at The Mortgage Firm says that a helpful resource on local programs is the Community Housing Initiative of Brevard’s website at www.chibrevard.org.
What About the ‘Rona?
One thing that no one could’ve planned for or predicted was the unwelcome guest in the form of COVID-19. As the world was rocked by the global pandemic in February/March of this year, many thought the real estate market would take a serious hit — or worse. Surprisingly, though, that wasn’t the case. At first, it was very difficult to show listings to prospective buyers; a natural occurrence considering the veracity of the virus. According to Cecil and Peggy Cornish, the main difficulty was that everyone was remaining at home; homeowners didn’t want strangers coming through while they were there, likewise prospective buyers didn’t want to come through while people were in the home. Over time, though, that became easier.
“When the COVID-19 problem started back in March, many sellers were not wanting to have the public coming through their homes,” explained Taylor, “but with safe guards now in place, masks, footwear and cleaning, the buying public is out looking for property every day now.”
Technology played a large role in this “new normal” for real estate. The increased use of virtual showings and open houses, interactive online meetings, and even online offers became the rule rather than the exception, according to Carver and Earnhardt.
Hundley believes the pandemic has certainly changed the dynamic, “Overall COVID only had a short-term effect on home real estate sales and pricing so far this year. But I do believe it has an effect on the trend of families consolidating to one home in an effort to accommodate the aging population and many college and grown children moving back home.”
Looking out into the coming months and year, the agents who contributed to this article all agree that the market looks to be a stable and strong one, despite the hardships of 2020. They also report that inventory will continue to increase due to the over 5,000 new homes in various stages of development in North Brevard; either in permit review, construction, or near completion.
Overall, the agents who contributed to this article have a positive outlook on the market. Mr. Taylor sums it up by stating: “The market looks to be strong here in Titusville for the next couple of years. The demand is still there and growing, now that the ‘season’ is with us, more and more people will be coming to Florida and Titusville for our great way of living.”
City Gov News
Do You Scoop?
Dogs are companions, friends, and members of our family. Just like us, dogs poop. Human waste gets treated at wastewater plants. But what about dog waste? Left on the ground, dog waste can harm waterways.
Dog waste gets into waterways through runoff and deliberate dumping. When it is left on the ground, it gets washed into the curb by runoff from rain or irrigation. Once in the curb, it ends up in a stormdrain and the stormwater system carries the waste to either the Indian River Lagoon or the St. Johns River. Waste also gets dumped into stormdrains, detention ponds, lakes, or creeks by pet owners.
Dog waste is bad for waterways because it overloads the nutrient balance and causes algae blooms. Algae blooms block the sunlight needed by aquatic plants; Algae blooms and their subsequent decay rob the water of oxygen, which kills plants, fish, and wildlife; Algae blooms can trigger respiratory issues in people, as well as look and smell bad.
Dog waste is bad for waterways because the bacteria and other micro organisms in the waste can make people sick if they come into physical contact with or ingest the water. One gram (453.592 grams equal one pound) of dog feces
can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Fecal coliform bacteria are indicators of other disease causing microorganisms such as giardia and cryptosporidium. The most common form of fecal coliform is E. Coli. Even waste from healthy, well-cared for dogs has bacteria.
Dog waste is bad for waterways because just like on the ground, animal waste in waterways looks bad and smells worse.
Excuses people use to avoid picking up dog waste:
- Why should I? Ducks poop in the water, my dog's poop can't hurt.
- No one else picks it up!
- I can't find a bag.
- My dog's poop is too small to matter...
- This takes too long!
- Yuck! GROSS!
All of us can improve the health of our waterways. No more excuses! Scoop It!
Did You Know?
The City of Titusville has a Pet Waste Ordinance.
Chapter 12, Section 29 of the Titusville Code of Ordinances states: “All owners and keepers [of pets] are required to immediately and properly dispose of their pet’s solid waste deposited on any property, public or private, not owned or possessed by that person. On any property owned or possessed by that person, all pet owners and keepers are required to properly dispose of their pet’s solid waste as frequently as necessary to prevent a public nuisance.”
The ordinance — numbered 17-2015 — was adopted by city council on on May 12, 2015, in an effort to alleviate the nuisance of pet waste found along streets, sidewalks and right-of-ways throughout the city, and to help reduce the amount of waste that makes its way into the Indian River Lagoon and other area waterways. There are some exemptions to the ordinance, such as if the owner/keeper uses the pet for disability assistance and would therefore be unable to clean up after the pet.
Furthermore, any person who violates this ordinance shall be punished under Chapter 1, Section 15 of the city code, which includes a fine not to exceed $500.00, or a jail sentence of up to 60 days, or both.
Fall/Winter Irrigation Schedule Begins Nov 1
An estimated 50 percent of all homeowners over-water their yards. Are you one of them? One way to keep from over-watering is to follow the irrigation restrictions established by the City of Titusville and St. John’s River Water Management District.
Most homes and businesses have automated, in-ground irrigation systems. These systems use 47 percent more water than non-automated, above ground systems. Unfortunately, owners of these systems frequently suffer from “Set It and Forget It Syndrome,” and often don’t realize their systems need to be adjusted for weather and change in seasons.
On November 1 we return to Eastern Standard Time. The fall and winter irrigation schedule during Eastern Standard Time limits irrigation to one day per week. Yards or businesses within the St. Johns River Water Management District fall under these state restrictions. Titusville echoes these restrictions, including restrictions on reclaimed water.
Florida’s irrigation schedules mimic nature. In the fall and winter there is less rain, less sunlight, and cooler weather. Your irrigation needs are also less during this time of year. Follow the steps below to reduce your irrigation and increase your irrigation efficiency.
Follow the irrigation schedule. Do not irrigate if your yard does not need it or if it has rained.
Group plants by watering needs and put them in the same zone. Plants and plant beds should be in different zones from turf.
Match all the sprinklers heads in each zone. Mismatched and inappropriate sprinkler heads lead to dead spots and overspray.
Check spray angles. Misdirected sprinklers irrigate the street and sidewalk, not your lawn. Large arcs gets lost to evaporation and never reach your lawn.
Use micro-irrigation heads or drip irrigation for plant beds.
Irrigation restrictions apply to the use of city water, well water, & reclaimed water.
Fall & Winter Irrigation Schedule
November 1, 2020 — March 14, 2021
Before 10 a.m. After 4 p.m.
One Day Per Week
- Odd-numbered addresses
- Saturday Only
- Even-Numbered addresses
- Sunday Only
Commercial & Non-Residential Addresses
- Tuesday Only
Fertilizer Blackout Period Ends in Titusville.
Titusville’s annual fertilizer blackout period, which begins on June 1 and runs through the summer months, has ended as of September 30. Now fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus can once again be applied to lawns with some exceptions, such as when heavy rain is likely (such as a bad storm or hurricane), or if the property is within 25 feet of the Indian River Lagoon.
For more information, contact Eddy Galindo at 321-567-3976.
New City Website Introduces Robust Accessibility Tools!
The City of Titusville has a brand new website. This new and improved site provides access to a multitude of city services, including online bill pay, employment applications, Talking Points magazine and video, and much, much more!
In order to build the best website possible, the city partnered with CivicPlus, a web developer based out of Manhattan, Kansas, who works with over 4,000 cities, counties, and other government agencies across the country. CivicPlus’ clients list includes several Florida cities, such as St. Augustine, Vero Beach, North Miami, and more.
The process began early in 2020 when the city’s Community Relations team worked closely with representatives from the company to design the layout, imagery selection, site navigation, and content arrangement. The new site has been created with accessibility in mind in order to better provide information to citizens with vision and cognitive impairments. It has a responsive new layout that enables it to better fit different screen sizes, and the site has been redesigned to better accommodate visitors utilizing mobile devices and screenreading programs.
One feature in particular we are very happy to include is the new AudioEye Accessibility Tool, which will show up as a little blue circle in the bottom right of your screen while you navigate the website. By clicking on the circle, you can gain access to a number of accessibility tools, including the ability to enlarge font, highlight text, and enhance contrast, among others. It also comes with a built-in screenreader for those with visual disabilities, to be able to better use the site and access important information.
On July 7, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners voted to allocate $10 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to help small businesses in the area weather the economic downturn resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. Through its CARES Act Small Business Economic Relief Grant Program, the county has now processed more than 447 grant applications, awarding in excess of $4.2 million to those local businesses most impacted by pandemic. Firms in the county may still apply for grant assistance by visiting www.brevardfl.gov, and clicking on the icon that reads “Brevard CARES Resources.”
The CARES Act, is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
North Brevard County Farmer's Market
Starting in August, the City of Titusville began hosting the North Brevard County Farmers Market in the Julia Street Parking Lot, in support of Brevard County and the University of Florida Agriculture Extension Office. Open to the public, the market has taken every Friday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m., and features a selection of locally-grown and produced items.
As part of the market, and in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, personnel have been on hand to assist people with the purchase of food with funds from the CARES Act. For people to receive assistance, they must show proof of Brevard County residency and meet certain income requirements, as shown in the chart on the next page.
Have you been financially affected by COVID-19?
Funds are now available to assist in the purchase of food at the North Brevard County Farmers Market.
Fridays 3 to 6 p.m.
Titusville Visitors Center, 419 North Hopkins Avenue, Titusville, FL 32780
Contact Adrienne.email@example.com for more information
Must show proof of Brevard County residency and meet the following income limits to receive assistance.
AREA MEDIAN INCOME (AMI) LIMITS
Step 1: Circle the number of persons in your household. Step 2: Circle the income range to the right of the circled household size that describes your household's annual gross income.
|Number of Family Members||Equal to or Below:|
*NOTE: Your household's annual gross income is the total of ALL income received by ALL persons living in your home including employment, social security, SSI, SSDI, unemployment WAGES, child support, alimony, retirement, investment income, etc.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notify University of Florida/IFAS Extension Brevard County no later than 72 hours prior to the meeting at 321-633-1702 or fax 321-633-1890.
City Building Inspections becoming virtual.
The City of Titusville has committed to safety and is leading the way with an innovative new technology provider for virtual inspections. Coming soon VuSpex Virtual Inspections - a virtual inspection software tool that provides inspection services to Contractors with the use of a smartphone.
VuSpex CLICK is a powerful, easy-to-use, and cost-effective software solution for offsite Inspectors and onsite Contractors. With VuSpex CLICK, there is no app to download for Contractors. The Inspector simply enters a phone number and the Contractor receives an SMS Text Message link and taps the link to begin the inspection.
The Contractor connects to the Inspector with video & audio. Then the Inspector verbally guides the Contractor through the virtual inspection and is able to verify their GPS location, take photos & videos, add comments, markups, and complete the inspection with an automatically generated inspection report. VuSpex saves time & money, reduces windshield time while maintaining safe-distance COVID protocols.
“The City of Titusville is excited to introduce this innovative new software tool which will increase operational efficiency. The safety or our City residents, development community and City staff is paramount during these challenging times. Having this safe alternative is certainly beneficial.” said Steven Adams, Building Official.
VuSpex is coming soon. The service is expected to launch mid-October and will be used for Mechanical Changeouts, Electrical Panel Replacements and minor interior improvements within occupied residences. Contractors must have a smartphone with adequate cell or WiFi signal.
City completes nearly 7 miles of road resurfacing
Titusville recently completed road resurfacing of 6.7 miles of roadway. Funding came from the 2020 General Fund, Titusville Community Redevelopment Area Fund, and Community Development Block Grant funding. City Council recently approved $886,761 in funding for the 2021 budget. Once the 2021 contract is awarded, the list of roads to be paved will be placed on the City’s website.
Coast-to-Coast Bicycle Company Closes
COVID-19 has had a negative impact on many businesses around the globe, and unfortunately, one of those businesses is the Coast to Coast Bicycle Company. Due to the impact in item shipments, Coast to Coast has had an extremely difficult time continuing to acquire parts and supplies for their business, and have sadly made the tough decision to close their doors.
“It is with great sadness that we are announcing the closure of Coast to Coast Bicycle Company, effective September 19. It has been an honor and privilege to have been a part of this bike shop and its great staff. We have made a lot of friends and had a great time with our bike rides on the trail and on the roads of Titusville. We want to thank the City of Titusville and the Titusville Chamber of Commerce for their support. We especially want to thank our customers and friends for supporting us the past 3+years. If you have purchased a bike, had a repair, or been on a group ride we thank you! It’s been a great ride!”
Property Owner looking to make big changes to Titusville Mall
California Retail Properties Corporation, the real estate development firm that owns the 22-acre Titusville Mall retail property, is currently weighing plans to create a mixed-use development at the mall site, one that would involve a residential component, along with new, open-air retail and lodging space. According to company CEO Jesse Wright, the redevelopment of the existing mall – built in the early 1970s and known for many years as the “Sears Town Mall” – could exceed $20 million. The company is currently working on design elements with the Orlando-based architectural firm Cuhaci & Peterson, the same group that designed another Titusville retail center, Titus Landing.
Veteran's Day Ceremony
Titusville American Legion Post 1
Hosting with local Fraternal & Veteran Organizations
Titusville’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony
Wednesday, November 11 10 a.m.
1281 N. US Hwy 1
in the outdoor pavilion area.
Organizations are “Massing the Colors” this year.
Veteran’s Day Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m.
TPD - Code Enforcement Achieves National Accreditation
The City of Titusville Code Enforcement Division has exceeded all the required standards, and is formally awarded by the American Association of Code Enforcement (AACE) with a 4-star accreditation. AACE President, Barbara Burlingame, bestowed this accreditation, reviewed by an independent third-party, after a comprehensive evaluation of the division on 50 high standards relating to their submission of jurisdictional information, staffing, policies, procedures, reporting and response history.
Notedly, this nationally recognized accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence that has been awarded to only four code enforcement agencies within the United States. The Titusville Code Enforcement Division, responding to over 10 thousand inspections, and a combined 19 thousand complaints, violations and cases in 2019, ensures compliance with Titusville codes and other regulations, and implements the policies and procedures set by the government at the state and federal levels.
The AACE re-accreditation cycle is every three years and accredited agencies share best practices for effectiveness and customer service. “It is an honor to join the other accredited agencies, and to be able to provide our community with one of the best code enforcement teams in the nation”, said Titusville Code Enforcement manager Glenn Tolleson.
TPD - Upgraded TPD Training Facility Now Completed!
The Titusville Police Department has upgraded their training facility. The new enhanced changes were made possible by the City of Titusville Facilities team members and the Titusville Police Department’s Professional Standards Division. The 1,554-square-foot venue hosts in-house training, as well as, state and national law enforcement training events which include, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI LEEDA. As a direct result of this premier hosting capability, the department is afforded state-of-the-art, cost-free training to sworn and non-sworn staff, providing the city a cost savings of approximately $30,000 per year. The facility’s upgrades include new tables, ergonomic chairs, new ceiling, lighting, improved HVAC system and two convenient courtesy device charging station.
Additional features include:
- Computer Projector Interface
- Document Viewer
- Easy Access to Rest Rooms and Break Room
- High-Speed Internet Access
- LCD Projector
- Padded Mats available
- Room for 100 Students Seated
- Room for 60 Students at Desks
- Surround Sound Audio
- 1554 Square foot Training Room
- Two 70’ high definition display screens
- Wide Viewing Screen
- Wireless Microphone
TFD - New Equipment Donated to Department
Titusville Fire Department is excited to announce the awarding of the AeroClave RDS 3110 Decontaminating System through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation grant program. While more than $51 million has been given and 4,702 grants fulfilled since 2005, we are the FIRST department awarded this type of equipment in the history of the Foundation. The AeroClave process provides consistent, reliable delivery of the right amount of disinfectant, decontaminating to OSHA and NFPA specifications every time. Ultimately, this reduces staff & patient exposure to dangerous pathogens and improves unit turn-around time. We are extremely grateful to the Foundation, Britt & Jeff Diaz (our local Firehouse Subs Titus Landing franchisees, but importantly our friends) and to the public who provide the funding through eating at Firehouse Subs. Many wonder if the money stays local when you “round up”, this is proof positive that it does! While the grant awarded was over $16,000, having the ability, given our current environment, to decontaminate rooms, equipment and apparatus is priceless!
TFD - National Fire Prevention Week
In the fire service as October approaches, we gear up for National Fire Prevention Week on October 4th – 10th. This year we are cooking up fire safety in the kitchen. For most of us the kitchen was a place to provide comfort food during COVID-19. Those of us who don’t ordinarily cook, had to get reacquainted with our kitchen appliances. One appliance that belongs in the home to keep us safe is a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. We taste test our food before we serve it, so test your smoke alarms before you take that post carb binge nap.
Preparation is key to prevent injuries in the home. Here are some Quick Tips for the kitchen:
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home injuries.
- Before you start cooking, clean your cooking area and
- remove anything close to the heating element.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly,
- use a timer and don’t leave the house.
- Keep kids at least 3 ft. away from the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.
For a more information, check out our Cooking Safety Quick Tips video at Titusville.com/CookingSafety
Completed & Open
Extended Stay Hotel - The Extended Stay Hotel on South Helen Hauser Blvd. opened its doors to guests in August.
Life Storage Expansion - The Life Storage multistory indoor storage facility on Garden Street is complete and open for business.
Box Drop Mattresses - A new mattress store has opened up inside Baldwin Plaza along Main Street in Downtown Titusville.
Community Credit Union - The Community Credit Union building across from Titus Landing is complete and open for business.
Caribbean Delights Express - A new Caribbean restaurant and sweets store is open at 1823 Knox McRae Drive.
Park Preserve - Constructions is complete and several homes are still available for purchase in the Park Preserve subdivision, located at the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Knox McRae Drive.
Pritchard House Reopening
The North Brevard Heritage Foundation is very happy to announce that they will reopen the historic Pritchard House for tours starting October 15, 2020 with CDC Safety Precautions in place. Please read the COVID19 Safety Plan and Visitor Health & Safety Requirements before making reservations to ensure everyone’s safety. Tours are available daily from 10am – 3:00pm, limited up to 6 visitors per group and will not be mixed with another group. Call ahead for reservations to schedule your preferred time or for additional information: 321-607-0203. We’re looking forward to your visit!
The Historic Pritchard House COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN
- No one will be permitted to enter the facility if exhibiting symptoms of COVID19 or refuses to wear a mask and follow CDC guidelines as indicated.
- Visitors and docents will be required to wear face masks at all times and social distancing will be practiced in accordance with CDC guidelines. Temperatures will be taken prior to entrance.
- Hand Sanitizing stations will be available prior to entrance.
- Number of people in tour group will be limited and not mixed with another group.
- Hands-on Exhibits are suspended until further notice.
- Docents will sanitize after each tour by wiping down banisters, doorknobs, and bathroom facilities.
- No staff member will participate if they have been exposed to or have tested positive for COVID19 and will require a doctor’s notice to return to active duty.
Visitor Health & Safety Requirements
- Avoid visiting this facility if you have symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID19 within the past 14 days or have been in close contact with someone infected with or experiencing symptoms.
- Wearing a facial covering/mask during the visit is mandatory and in accordance with CDC guidelines. Remain with your group and children must remain with adults at all times.
- Use hand sanitizer that is available prior to entering the building.
- Follow docent directions for physical distancing, reducing contact with others and other CDC guidelines as indicated.
- Visitors who require additional accommodation must notify the museum prior to your visit & when reservations are made.
Historic Spotlight - Titusville's Last Public Outhouse
The only remaining public 2-holer outhouse in Titusville was located along the outside wall of a building located on property behind the structure on the corner of Julia Street and Washington Ave. (US 1).
Built in 1915 of red brick, 6ft.wide x 10ft. long, walls 8ft. high with a galvanized metal shingled roof. Open spaces between the bricks at the top provided light and ventilation. The structure was divided into two separate rooms by a wall, each with a bowl, cover and lavatory, and the addition of a urinal in one for men, and all was connected to the City Sewer System. Originally, the City had a sanitation cleanup campaign and “honey wagon” duty was one of the duties assigned to the local sheriff’s office, much to his dislike. Unfortunately the structure was demolished in recent years and all that remains is a vacant lot and a faded outline on the wall where it once stood.
- Important City Numbers:
- Building Department 321.567.3760
- Business Tax Receipts (Occupational Licenses) 321.567.3758
- City Clerk 321.567.3686
- City Hall Main Number 321.567.3775
- City Hall FAX Number 321.383.5704
- City Manager’s Office 321.567.3702
- Code Enforcement 321.567.3770
- Community Advocate 321.567.3689
- Customer Service (Utility Billing) 321.383.5791
- Economic Development 321.567.3774
- Fire Department (Non-Emergency) 321.567.3800
- Fire Public Education 321.567.3804
- Human Resources 321.567.3728
- Jobline 321.567.3731
- Neighborhood Services 321.567.3987
- Municipal Marina 321.383.5600
- Permits 321.567.3759
- Planning Department 321.567.3782
- Police (Non-Emergency) 321.264.7800
- Police / Fire Rescue (Emergency) 911
- Solid Waste 321.383.5755
- Stormwater 321.567.3832
- Stormwater (After Hours Emergency) 888.399.1327
- Streets Maintenance 321.567.3832
- Water Field Operations (Water Main Break) 321.567.3883
- Water Main Break (After Hours Emergency) 321.383.5657
- Water Resources Conservation Program 321.567.3865
- LED Sign Information 321.567.3689
- Important Community Numbers:
- Brevard County Auto Tags 321.264.5224
- Chamber of Commerce 321.267.3036
- Department of Motor Vehicles 321.264.5224
- Florida Power and Light 800.577.1156
- City Gas Co of Florida 321.636.4644
- Social Security Office 321.633.8100
- Canaveral National Seashore 321.267.1110
- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge 321.861.0667
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City of Titusville
555 South Washington Ave
Titusville, FL 32796