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Hello all,


Sharing with you Ray McNulty's 32963 piece covering the Ideas for Downtown Charrette here.


The news coverage has been terrific -- if you want to see all of it in one place, visit and click the "In the News" tab.


The charrette has concluded, but DPZ CoDESIGN is still seeking your ideas. You may share ideas by first viewing the final presentation -- very important -- and then either taking the survey at the Ideas for Downtown website or submitting them via email to the City of Vero Beach at


Some of you have asked for the PowerPoint slides -- they have been incorporated into the final presentation, which can be viewed here. The PowerPoint itself is also posted on the COVB site in the Planning Department section.


The final DPZ CoDESIGN plan is due in late March and we will seek your input again then.


Stay tuned for updates!





Jonathan Buckley

Communications Subcontractor, DPZ CoDESIGN

February 20, 2024

On behalf of my fellow council members and staff of the City of Vero Beach, I am excited to announce the Ideas for Downtown community engagement campaign with DPZ CoDESIGN is officially underway.


Andres Duany and the DPZ CoDESIGN team will arrive one week from today for what promises to be an exceedingly future-forward Downtown Master Plan Charrette, and we are eager to hear your ideas, both in person during the week-long charrette and online at I encourage everyone in our community to get involved and take part in the process.


The outgrowth of a months-long process, this Charrette serves as the pre-cursor to adopting a new downtown master plan -- a plan very much designed for the future. And a plan that will appeal to the next generation who want to live, work and play in downtown. You'll see a lot of focus on how to make downtown more livable and on how to create more attainable housing in order to receive, attract and retain younger community members. You'll also see a lot of emphasis on shaping a place distinct in character from Ocean Drive and Three Corners.


Start by taking the survey. Then, mark your calendars for daily presentations and Q&A from 5-7 p.m. beginning Monday, February 5 through Friday, February 9 at the Vero Beach Community Center (2266 14th Ave.). Note: there will be no public presentation on Thursday, as the design team will be preparing their drawings for Friday's closing presentation. The full schedule can be found at on the website at


In closing, I want to express my gratitude to the entire Vero Beach community for your ongoing input, support and engagement on important issues facing our city. Your voices and feedback play a crucial role in shaping our priorities and decision-making.





Mayor John E. Cotugno

City of Vero Beach

January 29, 2024

January 29, 2024

A Message from Mayor John E. Cotugno



In case you missed it, I am sharing Mayor John E. Cotugno's message circulated Monday about the Ideas for Downtown campaign (pasted below).


This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (actually twice if you participated in Three Corners!) to work alongside Andres Duany in shaping a Master Plan for Downtown. The team is eager to hear your ideas. Completed surveys are rolling in and we are sharing your insights and ideas with the team in real time. Let's keep those surveys coming.


Forward this email to your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to get involved with what promises to be an exciting series of workshops.


Mark your calendars for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb 5, 6 and 7) from 5 - 7 p.m. and then again on Friday, February 9 from 5-7 pm for the closing presentation. You can check out the full schedule here.


For planning purposes, we kindly ask you to RSVP in case we need to shift venues, add more chairs, etc. In fact, the opening presentation has already been moved to the Heritage Center and other presentations may as well. Fortunately, the two venues are close in proximity, and we will have re-direct signs from the Community Center for those who have already signed upl.


Bear in mind:


  •  If you are new to this initiative, we suggest you start by reading up on Andres Duany's initial observations as presented to the City Council on January 18 in the "In the News" section and then check out the "FAQ/Resources" tab for links to historical studies at the website -- If you want to drill deeper into the history, visit the Planning Department tab at

  • You will notice Andres is eager to hear from younger people...aka 30-year-olds who will be 50-year-olds when Downtown Vero matures. While there is a definite focus on the "under 45's," we want to hear from EVERYONE, so please take the survey and join in person as well.

  • When you take the survey, we do ask for your name, email address, and street address. We ask for this information to protect the integrity of the process as well as understand which Vero Beach residents are city residents (voters) and which are county (unable to vote in city elections). As a reminder, just because you have a Vero Beach mailing address does not mean you are actually a resident of the City of Vero Beach. You can check whether you are a city or county resident here.

  • Jason Jeffries, COVB Planning Director, is working on a list of frequently asked questions which will be posted to the website shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you may pose them here.

  • If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the site or survey, please email for assistance.


Last but not least, we urge you to take the survey ASAP so that the team has as much advance intelligence as possible.


And now....the Message from Mayor John E. Cotugno

January 31, 2024

Dear Young Vero Beach Voters,


I hope this letter finds you in high spirits and full of aspirations for our community's future. Today, I want to talk to you about a remarkable opportunity we have to work alongside DPZ CoDESIGN in reimagining our downtown to unleash its true potential in attracting and retaining young creatives, entrepreneurs and professionals like ourselves.


Our downtown, distinctly different from Ocean Drive and the future Three Corners project (also designed by DPZ), holds immense promise for innovation.


However, to transform it into a dynamic and thriving hub that meets the needs and desires of our generation, Andres Duany is calling for your active participation and visionary ideas.


Picture this: an active downtown that offers a more affordable range of housing options tailored to our preferences, complemented by a range of exciting recreational and social activities.


To make this vision a reality, we need your input, your passion, and your creativity. Your voice matters, and your ideas have the power to shape our downtown landscape.


Consider this an invitation to actively participate with a world-renowned, but Florida-focused, planning firm in the creation of a new master plan that will define the future of our downtown.


Here's how you can get involved:


1. Attend Community Meetings: Beginning this coming Monday (February 5) at the Heritage Center. There will be workshops every evening except Thursday. The full schedule can be found at Please RSVP -- especially for the opening evening, which is shaping up to be a fantastic group of young people and community leaders.


2. Share Your Insights: We want to hear your thoughts, dreams, and aspirations for a vibrant downtown that caters to young professionals. Take a few moments take our survey (at and in the last question, write down your ideas, concerns, and suggestions.


With your active participation, we can create a downtown where young professionals can thrive, connect, and create memories that will last a lifetime. What’s missing in Downtown Vero? Let us know!


I hope to see you Monday at the Heritage Center -- bring some friends! , and don't forget to take the survey!


Yours in community engagement,



Jonathan Buckley

Vero Beach Resident and Communications Subcontractor for DPZ CoDESIGN

February 3, 2024

Thanks to all who joined last night's opening presentation. We had over 200 people at the Heritage Center!


Check out Larry Reisman's full story here (subscription required).


Tonight, we expect a smaller group -- in The Florida Room at the Community Center (next to Heritage) at 2266 14th Avenue.



The DPZ CoDESIGN team will be discussing and projecting drawings of a range of the ideas that have been put forth to date.



Tomorrow night will also be in the Florida Room. I will send out a reminder. There is no programming for Thursday evening as the team will be preparing for the closing presentation.



Mark your calendar for Friday

5 pm

Closing presentation.


Community Center

2266 14th Avenue



If you have any questions or ideas you would like to share with the team, go ahead and email them to me a or text me at 917-330-4995. You can also take the survey at





Jonathan Buckley

DPZ CoDESIGN Communications Subcontractor

(917) 330-4995

February 6, 2024

The replays of the DPZ CoDESIGN presentations from Day 1 and Day 2 can be found here.


Scroll forward to the end of the Day 2 presentation to see the renderings and drawings from last night's presentation.


Take a look and let us know what you think!


Via email, survey or in person tonight, where you will see the next iteration of drawings.


Day Three Presentation

Tonight - February 7, 5:30 - 7 p.m.


Community Center

2266 14th Avenue



I you have any questions or ideas you would like to share with the team, go ahead and email them to me at or text me at 917-330-4995. You can also take the survey at





Jonathan Buckley

DPZ CoDESIGN Communications Subcontractor

(917) 330-4995

February 7, 2024



Just a reminder there will be no public presentation this evening as the team at DPZ CoDESIGN is hard at work preparing the final drawings for tomorrow's presentation.


If you have been participating in meetings, you know there are lots of exciting ideas taking shape. If not, you may view the replays from days 1, 2, and 3 on the homepage. You may also view Jon Shainman's WPTV news segment here.


Have a look and let us know what you think!


Last but not least, reminder that tomorrow's final presentation will take place in the main room of the Community Center, located at 2266 14th Ave.


I look forward to seeing all of you!



Jonathan Buckley

DPZ CoDESIGN Communications Subcontractor

(917) 330-4995

February 8, 2024

Sneak Peek: Just one of 30 slides and ideas that will be presented this evening.

Hello everyone,


Your ideas have hit the drawing board, and tonight, after a week of planning, the team will officially showcase these drawings to the public in the main room of the Vero Beach Community Center, located at 2266 14th Ave.


It's been truly inspiring to see the community rally around DPZ CoDESIGN to create a shared vision for the future of Downtown Vero.


Like earlier events this week, doors open at 5:00 and the presentation will begin at 5:30. We will post the replay for all to see on the homepage of, where our replays for days 1 through 3 are currently available.


Parking can be found behind the Community Center/Pocahontas Park, on 14th Avenue, and there is overflow parking at the parking lot north of 23rd Street.


Thank you for making Charrette Week truly special. We look forward to seeing all of you!


Jonathan Buckley

DPZ CoDESIGN Communications Subcontractor

(917) 330-4995

February 9, 2024

Tonight: The Big Reveal!

Hello everyone and Happy Super Bowl Sunday!


What a week! Thank you all for your ideas -- you will see many of them incorporated in the final proposal for the downtown plan. Bear in mind, this plan continues to evolve, so stay engaged -- we will keep you updated regularly.


If you were one of the 200+ people who attended Friday night's final presentation, you felt the excitement in the room. Lots of bold ideas, applause and -- yes -- another standing ovation. If you missed it, start by reading TC Palm stories by Nick Slater here and Larry Reisman here. Then watch the presentation in its entirety here. Looking forward to seeing Ray McNulty's piece in 32963 this week.


Just a few of the favorite elements:


- Creating 50-60 units of housing for teachers on perimeter of the Freshman Learning Center campus (FLC) -- the first thing Andres Duany learned when visiting Vero Beach in 2019 was the challenge of recruiting and retaining top flight teachers due to sub-par and expensive housing stock


- Projecting work of local artists with digital art and short films in the courtyards, on the walls of the new residential units at FLC, and other buildings downtown -- much like what we saw at Art after Dark at the Vero Beach Museum of Art this past December


- Enabling restaurants to take one parking spot outside their establishment to create outdoor cafes, as they do in Paris


- Rearranging and increasing the number of pickleball courts at Pocahantas Park


- Re-configuring the parking at Pocahantas Park to gain more parking spaces


- Creating a welcoming and beautiful town square along 14th Avenue and 20th Street


- Updating and modernizing the community center to maximize revenue generating opportunities


- Activating the sweeping lawn outside the Heritage Center with an amphitheater; blankets, picnics, children playing, etc.


- Converting the intersection at 21st and US1 to be less confusing,with signage signaling "you have arrived" in downtown


- Shifting (over time) the current City Hall, department by department to the elegant and historic courthouse across from The Heritage Center; a more befitting location for civic activities


- Maximizing walkability and ..... awnings, awnings, awnings



Let us know what you think of the plan! And if you have any new ideas you'd like to share, please send them along. All will be forwarded to the team as they refine the plan in preparation for the final report in March, or thereabouts.


You can use the contact button on the site or email me at the email below and we will share with the DPZ team and Planning Director, Jason Jeffries.


More as we know it...stay tuned.



Jonathan Buckley

DPZ CoDESIGN Communications Subcontractor

(917) 330-4995

February 11, 2024

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