Crystal River City Council sets 2014 goals

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By Abdon Sidibe

CRYSTAL RIVER — In the first meeting of the new year, the city council is opting for the big-ticket items by setting goals for the year and in its capacity as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

At the CRA meeting set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, officials plan to lay out a blueprint for the vacant Petrella property, at the corner of U.S. 19 and Citrus Avenue. The city recently purchased the northern/western portion of the property and would like to re-sell it at some point to a private developer who shares city leaders’ vision for the parcel. Officials want the property to be the gateway to the city’s downtown core and would like to see a structure commensurate with those aims.

In the interim, officials are suggesting, among other things, the following improvements:

+Removal of a deteriorated oak tree and palm trees located in the middle of the property.

+ Installation of a privacy fence along the eastern side of the property to shield a barbed-wire fence that is currently visible from U.S. 19.

+ Installation of a concrete apron within the right of way adjacent to Citrus Avenue to eliminate sand washout from the vacant property onto Citrus Avenue, and to facilitate the installation of parking spaces along the south side of the property (between the easement and an existing building).

+ Install 20 parking spaces between the easement and the existing building using stone and concrete wheel stops. These spaces would provide parking support for the downtown area, pending what would happen with the property.

+ Put up a sign in the northwest corner of the site stating the property is available for redevelopment.

+ Limited landscaping along Citrus Avenue.

At the 7 p.m. regular council meeting, officials are expected to lay out goals for the upcoming year, which include:

+ Extend the term of the Community Redevelopment Plan by 30 years.

+ Develop Commercial Waterfront District development guidelines that give consideration to such things as reducing/eliminating on-site parking requirements in conjunction with a pooled parking system that serves the overall CRA district and modifying height restrictions within designated areas.

+ Complete Cutler Spur Boulevard project.

+ Begin work on the wastewater line to Duke Energy power generation site.

+ Enhance city parks.

+ Facilitate the development of the Three Sisters Springs site.

+ Address floodplain management concerns.

The council also will consider a resolution requesting the transfer of ownership of a portion of County Road 495 from Citrus County to the city of Crystal River.

 WHAT: Crystal River government meetings.
 WHEN: Monday — CRA, 6:30 p.m.; city council, 7 p.m.
 WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 123 N.W. U.S. 19, Crystal River.
 CONTACT: 352-795-4216 or visit crystalriverfl.org.

Contact Chronicle reporter A.B. Sidibe at 352-564-2925 or asidibe@chronicleonline.com.