Melbourne Village, Florida

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Melbourne Village, Florida
Town
Town of Melbourne Village
Motto: "The Town That Really Cares!"
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 28°5′18″N 80°40′1″W / 28.08833°N 80.66694°W / 28.08833; -80.66694Coordinates: 28°5′18″N 80°40′1″W / 28.08833°N 80.66694°W / 28.08833; -80.66694
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Brevard
Settled 1946
Incorporated 1957
Government
 • Type Commission
 • Mayor Robert E. Downey
 • Vice Mayor Rand Carroll
Area
 • Total 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
 • Land 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 23 ft (7 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 662
 • Density 1,100/sq mi (440/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 32904
Area code(s) 321
FIPS code 12-44075[1]
GNIS feature ID 0286687[2]
Website www.MelbourneVillage.org

Melbourne Village is a town in Brevard County, Florida. The population was 662 at the 2010 United States Census.[3] It is part of the Palm BayMelbourneTitusville Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the smallest incorporated municipality (by population) in Brevard County.[4]

History[edit]

The area that is now the town was previously used for raising cattle. Aerial photographs from circa 1943 of the area[5][6] show some native oak hammocks, pine lowlands, and cleared areas for cattle grazing.

Three women, Virginia Wood, Elizabeth Nutting, and Margaret Hutchinson, came from Dayton, Ohio, following the end of World War II to the area of Melbourne, Florida. Their goal was to build a community from scratch for people wanting to establish a lifestyle that was simple and close to nature.[7] This social experiment[8] was an “intentional community”, a response to the hardships of the Great Depression. The founders were influenced by the concepts and teachings of Ralph Borsodi, who also lived in Melbourne Village from 1950 to 1960.[9] Many early residents[10] cleared their land, built their own houses, and ran small home businesses, from organic gardening to raising chinchillas, to help support themselves and their families.[11] There was a community store[12] run on the honor system.[13] Early families overcame the lack of construction materials for civilian use immediately following World War II by purchasing and relocating surplus military barracks from nearby bases. Two of these barracks still remain, one being the Original Melbourne Village Hall and the other a private residence.

The Town of Melbourne Village was incorporated in 1957 out of concern of being annexed by Melbourne or included in the incorporation of West Melbourne.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²), all land.

The village is surrounded by West Melbourne, except the northeastern portion of the town, where it is bordered by Melbourne.

Environment[edit]

Over 90% of lots are between 0.33 acres (0.13 ha) and 1.0 acre (0.40 ha), with houses nestled in among the native oaks and pines.[14] It is common in Melbourne Village for a lot to have at least 30% canopy coverage, from mature live oaks and southern pines.

Erna Nixon Hammock[edit]

The eastern section of the town includes a portion of the Erna Nixon Hammock. The hammock's namesake and Melbourne Village resident, Erna Nixon, was a force behind the preservation of the 54-acre (22 ha) area. This small oasis of pine flat woods and oak hammocks is surrounded by a commercial district and was zoned for warehouses. Her work, with assistance from the Junior League of South Brevard, convinced the county and state to purchase the land and establish the Erna Nixon Park. The park opened in 1976 and is a key habitat for many native plants, birds, and animals, including gopher tortoises, indigo snakes, and bobcats.

Government[edit]

The Town of Melbourne Village is governed by a Town Commission of seven members, one of whom is the Mayor/Commissioner. By town charter, these are volunteer (unpaid) positions. The Mayor and Commissioners are non-partisan positions and are elected in November during the general elections for two year terms. Terms are staggered, with three commission seats up for election each year plus the mayoral seat up every other year. The Commission meets at least once a month to deal with town business, in a modified "town hall"-style meeting. This form of government is a modified "strong mayor" system. While the Mayor is responsible for the day-to-day executive oversight and guidance for the town, the Commission must approve the Mayor's actions.

Three departments serve the town with paid employees: Administration, Public Works, and Police. Even though the municipality is small, having its own police force[15] enables the town to provide 24/7 coverage with fast response times, as well as community policing activities.

American Homesteading Foundation (AHF)[edit]

The American Homesteading Foundation was the force behind the founding of Melbourne Village. All homeowners in the town must be members of the AHF.[16] The AHF was founded in 1946 by Virginia Wood, Elizabeth Nutting, and Margaret Hutchinson, and is a not-for-profit corporation and independent of the official municipality. The AHF serves the community by owning, maintaining, and operating all the community property within the town, and sponsors recreational and educational activities throughout the year.[17] The community property includes approximately 45 acres (18 ha) of parks and paths, the Village Hall, and the AHF Swimming Pool. In its modern form, the main function of the AHF is sometimes described as an independent self-funded Parks and Recreation department for the town.

Community involvement[edit]

More than 25 percent of the residents of Melbourne Village are routinely involved in committees and volunteer events. In the 2008 elections, voter turnout for Melbourne Village (Precinct 31) was 95 percent.[18] Even in non-presidential election years, turnout is typically 60 percent[19] to 80 percent.[20]

Planned development[edit]

The Vision 2012 Committee was chartered by the Town Commission in March 2006 as a response to trends and concerns about recent construction that, if not addressed, could significantly change the existing neighborhood character, the larger size of structures and greater lot coverage, and the loss of green-space.[21]

The result of this work was the Responsible Growth Plan,[22] a set of ordinances that developed building coverage ranges for all lot sizes, devised incentive strategies to encourage homeowners and builders to minimize the visual and environmental impact of larger lot coverage, improved the town's code emphasis on tree canopy, green conservation, and native vegetation,[23] and provided a way to manage all these objectives via the Town Review Board.[22]

Mayors[edit]

  1. 1957–1957: W. Harries Fisher
  2. 1957–1961: Clark J. Strohmer
  3. 1961–1968: Arthur A. Codding
  4. 1968–1969: A. Harold Peters
  5. 1969–1970: Clemens J. Neuhaus
  6. 1970–1972: Albert G. Falco
  7. 1972–1975: Raymond E. Henderson
  8. 1975–1978: Grace D. Walker
  9. 1978–1978: Albert F. Zimmerman
  10. 1978–1980: Herbert C. Doughty
  11. 1980–1982: A. Harold Peters
  12. 1982–1992: George T. Woodmansee
  13. 1992–1996: James A. Miller
  14. 1996–2000: Julia E. (Tibby) Parker
  15. 2000–2002: Richard F. St. John
  16. 2002–2004: Robert E. Downey
  17. 2004–2008: Stephen J. Gaul
  18. 2008–2012: L. Scott McCoy
  19. 2012–present: Robert E. Downey

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 706 people, 307 households, and 210 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,239.4 inhabitants per square mile (478.2/km²). It has the smallest population of any municipality in the county.[24]

There were 325 housing units at an average density of 570.5 per square mile (220.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.01% White, 0.71% Asian, and 0.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.27% of the population.

There were 307 households out of which 21.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the town the population was spread out with 17.8% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 26.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $48,750, and the median income for a family was $60,000. Males had a median income of $51,058 versus $27,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,782. About 2.6% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Melbourne Village town, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ Florida Population Estimates for Counties and Municipalities April 1, 2000-2008, Office of Economic and Demographic Research, The Florida Legislature
  5. ^ Brevard County Property Appraiser 1943 Aerial Photos for Platbook 27-37-31
  6. ^ Brevard County Property Appraiser Platbook 28-37-06
  7. ^ Reprint of Orlando Evening Star article, circa 1947
  8. ^ Crepeau, Richard C. Melbourne Village: The First Twenty-five Years (1946-1971), University of Central Florida Press, 1988
  9. ^ Crepeau, 1988. ppg 59-60.
  10. ^ Reprint of Miami Herald article, March 28, 1948
  11. ^ Reprint of Melbourne Times article, May 2, 1947
  12. ^ Melbourne Village Community Store Interior
  13. ^ Melbourne Village Community Store
  14. ^ Brevard County Property Appraiser Platbook 37-31
  15. ^ Melbourne Village Police
  16. ^ American Homesteading Foundation
  17. ^ http://www.melbourne-village.com/multimeda/calendar.html AHF Calendar and Scheduled Events
  18. ^ Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Voter Turnout Report 2008 General Election
  19. ^ Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Voter Turnout Report 2007 General Election
  20. ^ Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Voter Turnout Report 2006 General Election
  21. ^ Reprint of Florida Today article, August 5, 2006
  22. ^ a b Town of Melbourne Village, Ordinance 2007-01
  23. ^ Town of Melbourne Village, Ordinance 2008-01
  24. ^ Heale, Rick (21 January 2010). "Brevard's 17th municipality?". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 3A. 

External links[edit]