As you drive through Downtown Kissimmee you see office buildings, restaurants and even some schools. But that look could change once a new zoning ordinance goes into full effect.
Kissimmee wants to give its downtown a makeover to boost the economy. A new ordinance in the downtown area will prevent schools and homeless aide organizations from moving in.
“It is a new zoning district for the corridor which would emphasize office and retail,” said Craig Holland with the director of development services for the city.
Under the recently-passed ordinance, new schools or institutions like homeless shelters will be allowed to move in along Main Street. One of the main reasons the new zoning was proposed was to prevent some heavy traffic problems city leaders believe would come with new schools or shelters.
Kissimmee resident Adam Link said he understood school traffic problems, but he thinks homeless shelters should be based downtown.
“If you’re homeless usually you need a new way to start over," Link said. "You are right here where you can look for jobs and you can look for your groceries.”
Right now there is no homeless shelter in the city of Kissimmee or Osceola county. The Osceola County School District told News 13 over the summer that there could be a growing need for more schools in the area.
However, this zoning ordinance pushes any plans to build schools out of downtown Kissimmee. And City Officials said that will help businesses.
“We are trying to accommodate as much of a mixed use as possible without bringing things counter-productive to everything else,” Holland said.
During the last city commission meeting the rezoning ordinance did pass. It won’t go into effect for another 30 days. After that 30-day waiting period, any proposed construction that doesn’t meet the criteria will be denied.