What is the North Brevard Economic Development Zone?
The North Brevard Economic Development Zone (NBEDZ, or "Zone"), created in July 2011 by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, is a Special Dependent District in the northern part of Brevard county established under Florida Statute, Chapter 200.
The North Brevard Economic Development Zone was formed with the goal of facilitating job growth and economic development in North Brevard, in the wake of NASA's Space Shuttle program end in 2011.
What areas make up the North Brevard Economic Development Zone?
The North Brevard Economic Development Zone geographic boundaries are contiguous with the County Commission District One, excluding those areas south of State Road 528 and the boundaries of the City of Cocoa.
Why is the North Brevard Economic Development Zone necessary?
The North Brevard area, like the rest of the central Florida region, has greatly benefited from the space industry. Even today, the aerospace sector remains a key part of the North Brevard local economy, with current employment at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) near Titusville numbering above 8,000. However, unlike the rest of the county and region, and primarily because KSC consumes such a large percentage of land, the North Brevard area faces several additional challenges:
- The highest percentage of workers laid off from the Space Shuttle program are likely residents living within the northern portion of Brevard County.
- More than 50% of the land in North Brevard is exempt from property taxes (as either Federal or state-owned conservation land, particularly along the St. John's River waterway), rendering what would be key commercial and industrial areas unavailable for development.
- While the North Brevard area has 20% of the population (in large part due to NASA's on-going presence), it only has 10% of the County’s taxable value, due to the land development restrictions noted above.
In creating the North Brevard Economic Development Zone, the very clear objective of the Board of County Commissioners was to create a vehicle dedicated specifically to facilitating job growth and economic development within North Brevard county. In the originating ordinance, the Board of County Commissioners made the following findings:
- The projected reduction of launch operations at Kennedy Space Center combined with the general economic downturn affecting Florida in general and the "space coast" in particular has created a profound negative impact on the economy of North Brevard County.
- Although still an active player in the local economy, the resulting employment reduction at NASA from 2008 to 2011 and the dampening of traditional economic activity and discourse require immediate implementation of economic development initiatives in the general vicinity of the City of Titusville and the North Brevard community.
- To be successful, effective economic development requires the establishment of dedicated funding mechanisms.
"The passage of the North Brevard Economic Development Zone provides the county with a strong incentive to bring and expand the business base in a part of our community that could use assistance. The approval of this development zone presents further evidence that Brevard County is taking a proactive stance in attracting new business to the Space Coast."
- Former Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Robin Fisher