Brevard approves zoning for Space Coast Credit Union expansion
The Brevard County Commission approved a zoning change allowing Space Coast Credit Union to add three office buildings and a 500-vehicle parking garage at its Baytree headquarters. The expansion could add up to 600 jobs.
Viera Voice Photo
Space Coast Credit Union’s plans for a $30 million expansion to its Baytree corporate headquarters that would add up to 600 jobs are on track after the Brevard County Commission unanimously approved a zoning change for the project.
The zoning change, approved Dec. 4 by the commission, allows the credit union to add four 55-foot-high structures — three office buildings and a 500-vehicle parking garage — at its location at 8025 N. Wickham Rd.
Credit union attorney Philip Nohrr urged the commission to approve the rezoning, explaining that the 300-employee credit union’s current 80,000-square-foot headquarters is too small to accommodate any more staff. A 5,100-square-foot branch office also operates at the site.
“The credit union, if it wants to bring in another employee today, it can’t,” Nohrr said. “That job basically goes south . . . we can’t house that. We’re stretched to the max with what we’ve got. So we want that building and we want that building now.”
Nohrr said the credit union would build the four-story parking garage first, completing it by March or April, then begin construction on the first of the trio of three-story buildings at the site of the headquarters’ old parking lot. Eventually, the project would add more than 100,000 square feet during a 10-year period.
To appease Baytree residents, Nohrr said the credit union is willing to add more vegetation as a buffer between the facility and the adjacent residential community and alter its road improvement plans, which include new turn lanes and traffic signals, to preserve Baytree’s large entrance sign at Baytree Drive and Wickham Road.
Several residents spoke against the rezoning proposal. Baytree resident Joy Morgan said the increased traffic as a result of the expansion would cause a public safety hazard for pedestrians and harm nearby small businesses.
“A campus such as the one proposed by the credit union is better suited for an area such as the Viera Government Center, where there are similar campus buildings,” Morgan said.
Resident Richard Bosseler said one of the proposed new three-story buildings would enable its occupants to look down upon homes, hurting property values. He
proposed that the building be limited to only one story, no more than 15 feet high.
Maria Hernandez, chairwoman of the board of supervisors of the Baytree Community Development District, urged commissioners to delay a vote until the district could meet with the credit union to address buffer and traffic concerns.
“There are children getting on and off the school bus there and there are some safety factors involved,” she said.
Commissioner Curt Smith, whose District 4 includes Baytree, said he saw no reason not to vote on the zoning change, saying the credit union is “clean industry” that will bring hundreds of jobs to the community at minimal cost to the county.
“I’ve spoken with the developers and I’m impressed with their willingness to work with the residents, and I’ve spoken with residents and I’m very impressed with their desire to work with the developers,” Smith said. “We have a very good business, we have a good business plan, we have a good neighbor.”
The credit union still must return with a binding development agreement for the county to review, Planning and Zoning Enforcement manager Cindy Fox said.
“This is not the last time we’ll see them. They have to come back to us on a couple of issues,” Commissioner Andy Anderson said.
For more information on this and other District 4 issues, call Smith’s aide Pat Woodard at 321-633-2044 or email email@example.com. See related story, page 27.