Federal Highway Master Plan

Project: Federal Highway master plan

DATE: Adopted August 2021

PROGRAM & ROLE:
In coordination with the City of Stuart and with funding from the Department of Economic Opportunity the developed Master Plan provides clear design recommendations for detailed urban design and redevelopment scenarios along the Federal Highway Corridor in Stuart. For the City of Stuart, the workshop, surveys, and interviews offered an opportunity for citizens, property owners, and others to identify and evaluate land-use patterns and lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the study area. This visioning process expanded the role of citizen input, highlighting the relationships between land use, mobility, economics, and other factors. With an adopted Master Plan, the City can clearly communicate its expectations to citizens, business owners, investors, and agencies, well ahead of the capital investments necessary to enable a vibrant and sustainable City. Over time, the implementation of the Master Plan will encourage safer mobility and a more resilient economic corridor. This is crucial as issues of sustainability, growth, and transportation are paramount to local governance in Florida.

STUDY AREA:
The study extends from St. Lucie Crescent Road to SE Dixie Cutoff Road and includes about a mile of Federal Highway. Relatively little redevelopment has occurred in the last thirty years along this section of the corridor which sees frequent vacancies in plazas and unfulfilled infill development opportunities. Much of the existing development is characterized by large parking lots and buildings set far back on their site. A storage facility and gas stations are recent redevelopments. It has been clearly expressed that these uses so near the downtown of Stuart are misaligned with the community vision of the area. There are numerous challenges for pedestrians, cyclists, public transit users, and vehicles which have stifled mobility and are contributing to the economic stagnation along the corridor. Of note this adopted Master Plan build from other studies commissioned by the CRA including the Triangle Master Plan  adopted by the City of Stuart in August of 2021.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS:
Through this study, it has been noted that there are inconsistencies between the assigned Future Land Use (FLU) designations and Zoning categories and the desired community vision and national and regional market trends. For this reason, the study recommends investigating the assignment of land to Commercial FLU and B-1 Zoning through much of the corridor. It is best practice to promote like development face with like development.

Along the corridor today there are places where the more urban Downtown Zoning districts face the more suburban Commercial zoning districts and this can explain some of the disconnects between development and community desires.

The key to the redevelopment of Federal Highway and its sustainability over time is an investment in the public right of way. The public right-of-way is the front door to a community and as such the standards and aesthetics of that right of way should be prioritized. Today the conditions do not meet the needs of users and incremental steps to retrofit the sprawling conditions are necessary. Investments in shade trees and prioritizing the safe movements of pedestrians, cyclists and transit users over vehicle speed will improve the overall appearance and safety of the corridor while improving safety. Public investment is often followed by economic growth. Stuart has seen this relationship in the public investment along SE Colorado Avenue. Public investment can redefine the public space and therefore the redefine the vision and expectation of a place.

  • Invest in the corridor with incremental improvements through CRA incentive programs including the proposed Infill Tree Planting Program and the existing Business Improvement Grant.
  • Invest in the corridor with placemaking and safety interventions by providing lighting, transit shelters, crosswalks, and pedestrian-orientated intersections.
  • Update the existing regulations to ensure the desired street sections that promote a consistent and predicable sidewalk and planting zone as redevelopment occurs.
  • Encourage a realignment of uses on the Federal Highway corridor by studying changes to the existing FLU and Zoning along the study area adjacent to downtown.

DOCUMENTS:  Federal Highway Master Plan

TEAM:

  • Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council
    • Thomas J. Lanahan, Executive Director
    • Dana Little, Urban Design Director
    • Jessica Cortor Seymour, RA, LEED AP, Project Manager
    • Lauren Moss Clark, Urban Planner
US1-Ocean Blvd - Copy
US1_North of Kanner-existing - Copy
US1_North of Kanner-recommended
US1_South of Kanner-existing
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Walking Tour 1
Walking Tour 2
Walking Tour 3
Walking Tour 4