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Palm Bay
—  City  —

Motto: A perfect place to grow
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°59′52.52″N 80°40′12.03″W / 27.9979222°N 80.6700083°W / 27.9979222; -80.6700083
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Brevard
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor John Mazziotti
 - City Manager Lee Feldman
Area [1]
 - City 66.75 sq mi (172.9 km2)
 - Land 63.65 sq mi (164.8 km2)
 - Water 3.1 sq mi (8.0 km2)  4.64%
Elevation [2] 19 ft (5 m)
Population (1 July 2008)[3][4]
 - City 100,786
 Metro 536,521
  Census Bureau estimate
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 32905-32911
Area code(s) 321
FIPS code 12-54000[5]
GNIS feature ID 0288389[6]

Palm Bay is a city in Brevard County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population as 100,786 on 1 July 2008;[3] it is the most populous city in the county. Palm Bay is a Principal City[7] of the Palm Bay–MelbourneTitusville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 536,521 on 1 July 2008.[4]



The Timucuan Indians, attracted to the mouth of Turkey Creek at the Indian River by fresh water springs, fish, oysters, and wildlife, are thought to have been the first inhabitants in the Palm Bay area.

Palm Bay's recent history began in the 1850s when the first European settlers built homes along Turkey Creek. Originally referred to as Tillman, the settlement was described as a "small strip of hammock...on each side of Turkey Creek...mostly pine and palmetto, miserable sandy barren oak scrub, some ponds and interspersed with sawgrass and gallberry."[8]

By the mid-nineteenth century, there was a lumbering operation, packing house, and orange groves, but growth was slow until the arrival of the railroad in 1894. Goods were brought in and produce was shipped to market faster.

Between 1910 and 1914, Tillman became the center for a land company known as the Indian River Catholic Colony. Attempting to grow two crops a season, farmers quickly depleted the soil, and the colony failed. Those remaining built St. Joseph's Church on Miller Street, the oldest building still standing.

In the 1920s, the city was renamed after the bay bordered with sabal palm trees known as Palm Bay located at the mouth of Turkey Creek. A group of Tillman businessmen established the Melbourne-Tillman Drainage District, and issued $1.5 million worth of bonds. Starting in 1922, a 180 mile grid of 80 canals was dug to drain 40,000 acres (160 km²) of swampy land west of Palm Bay. The canals made it possible to control flooding and turn marsh lands to agricultural use. Farmers planted citrus groves and truck farms which shipped winter produce by the Florida East Coast Railroad to northern markets. Farmers sold timber and land to paper companies. In 1926, a fire among the dredges and a severe hurricane economically depressed Palm Bay. The Melbourne-Tillman Drainage District went bankrupt.

In 1959, General Development Corporation purchased and platted extensive tracts of land in Palm Bay for its large residential project known as Port Malabar. The city incorporated itself on January 16, 1960.[9]Prior to expanding their borders, the city population was 2,808 that year.[10]

The active development of the city after that point was intertwined with GDC, who laid out and built many of the streets, sold and built many of the city's now older homes, and built a water treatment plant later purchased by the City after GDC filed for bankruptcy in 1991.

The city made the finals for "All American City" for three years 2003-2005.

In 2008 the former Port Malabar Country Club property was revalued at $300,000, essentially "worthless" because of arsenic in the groundwater which would require an estimated $12 million dollars to clean up.[11]

The city's budget for 2009 contained little if any funds for repairing and maintaining its increasingly deteriorating road system, much of which is left over from GDC days.[citation needed] A bond referendum which included projected funds for road repairs was soundly defeated by voters in May 2009.

The Florida Scrub Jay is threatened because the species is territorial and cannot move to better grounds when its habitat is jeopardized. In 2009, the Brevard Zoo moved the remaining 15 scrub jay families native to the city to Buck Lake Conservation Area in Mims.[12]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 66.75 mi² ( km²), of which 63.65 square miles (165 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8 km2) is water (4.64%).

The city is often referred to in four "quadrants": Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast, each contain multiple zip codes. The most urban area is in the Northeast. The most rural area is in the Southwest, containing an area called The Compound. This area is home to Bombardier Recreational Products. A small portion of Bayside Lakes lies in the area.

Palm Bay is developing its Bayside Lakes "downtown" to create a focus for the city.

Drainage continues to be a problem in some parts of the city, caused primarily by the sudden unplanned transfer from General Development Corporation to the city of the responsibility for planning future growth and designing adequate drainage.[citation needed] This problem has been mitigated since 2000 with the continued design and construction work by Palm Bay City employees.[citation needed]During the early 1990s, Palm Bay Regional Park, a soccer and athletic complex in the Western part of the city, was constructed. It is the largest of a citywide system of parks and recreation areas. The Turkey Creek Sanctuary is a small nature reserve in the northeast part of the city.

Surrounding areas


City name marker erected on I-95 in 2002.

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 79,413 people, 30,336 households, and 21,781 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,247.7/mi² (481.7/km²). There were 32,902 housing units at an average density of 517.0/mi² (199.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.54% White, 14.31% African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.38% from other races, and 2.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.63% of the population.

There were 30,336 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.03.

87.6% of all residents 25 years or older are high school graduates. 20.9% have a Bachelor's Degree or higher.[13]

In the city the distribution by age was: 26.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.

In 2008, the Census Bureau ranked the city as the 25th fastest growing large city in the United States.[14]


Personal income

The median income for a household in the city was $36,508, and the median income for a family was $41,636. Males had a median income of $31,060 versus $22,203 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,992. About 7.1% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.


Pink Wal-Mart Supercenter built in 2005: the city uses Key West vernacular architecture.

The following corporations are located in the city:


In 2007, the average size of Palm Bay's labor force was 49,935. Of that group, 47,542 were employed and 2,393 were unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 4.8%.[13] This figure had risen to 6,571 (12.7 %) and was the highest rate in the county.[17]


In 2008, 403 building permits were issued for 534 units. This was down from 739 permits issued for 739 units in 2007, which was down from 1766 permits for 1771 units in 2006.[18]

The median home price in 2007 was $166,500.[13]


Members of the Palm Bay city government in 2003.

Palm Bay utilizes the council-manager form of government. This system of local government combines the political leadership of elected officials in the form of a council, with the managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The form establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected council and where the council hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the delivery of public services.[19]

The Mayor and City Council are the legislative branch of city government; its members are the community's decision makers. The Mayor is the presiding officer at the Council Meetings and is the official head of the City for all ceremonial occasions. Power is centralized in the elected Mayor and Council (City Council), which approves the budget, determines the tax rate, focuses on the community's goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing, and strategic planning.

In Palm Bay, a five-member Mayor and Council, operate in accordance with the City Charter. Three positions created by the Charter (Charter Officers) are appointed by and report directly to the City Council: City Manager, City Attorney, and City Clerk.

The City Manager is responsible for all activities related to the operations of the City. The City Manager hires a professional staff to assist in the administration and enforcement of the City Charter, ordinances, resolutions, financial conditions and all of the various procedures and policies that are required for the City to function properly.

  • Mayor - John Mazziotti
  • Deputy Mayor - Milo Zonka
  • Councilmembers - Kristine Isnardi, Michele Paccione, and William Capote
  • City Manager - Lee Feldman

Zonka and Isnardi were elected in 2007 and are serving three-year terms expiring in November 2010. Paccione and Capote were elected in November 2008 and will serve through November 2012. Mazziotti was reelected in 2008 without opposition.[20]

In June 1999 Mazziotti was removed from office by then Governor Jeb Bush when it was revealed that the mayor had previously served two prison sentences and did not have his civil rights restored. Mazziotti had served 27 months in a federal penitentiary for a marijuana trafficking conviction in Pennsylvania and a second separate conviction for smuggling amphetamines across the Canadian border.[21] It was also discovered that, as a 17 year old, Mazziotti drove the getaway car during a robbery.[22] After having his civil rights restored, he ran again for the City Council and won. He ran unopposed for mayor in 2005 and 2008.[22]

In 2007, the city had a taxable real estate base of $5.84 billion.[23] This amount was the largest of any municipality in the county.

In 2010, the city opened a data base to the public,, that tracks city income and expenditures.[24]

In 2010, the city employed 913 full-time equivalent workers.[25]

In 2008, the police department won an award for training patrolmen to properly collect DNA samples. At the time, they were the only police force in the world with this program.[26]

Water department

In 2009 the utilities department had 545 miles (877 km) of water lines, 300 miles (480 km) of sewer lines, 2,250 fire hydrants, and 120 full-time equivalent employees.[27]

Public health and safety

A 2009 survey indicated that the city was ranked 263 out of 400 in crime statistics, with #1 being the worst. Crimes included murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.[28]


All public schools are run by the Brevard County School Board: The following are public elementary schools in the city:

  • Christa McAuliffe Elementary School
  • Columbia Elementary School
  • Oakwood Academy Charter School
  • Palm Bay Academy Charter School
  • Palm Bay Community Charter School
  • River's Edge Charter Academy
  • Royal Palm Charter School
  • Odyssey Charter School
  • Discovery Elementary School
  • John F. Turner Sr. Elementary School
  • Jupiter Elementary School
  • Lockmar Elementary School
  • Palm Bay Elementary School
  • Port Malabar Elementary School
  • Riviera Elementary School
  • Sunrise Elementary School
  • Westside Elementary School
  • Southwest Middle School

Private schools include:

  • Covenant Christian School
  • Cornerstone Christan School
  • St. Joseph Catholic School

Public High Schools:

There is a Palm Bay Campus of the Brevard Community College.


Major roads in Palm Bay include:

  • US 1.svg U.S. 1 - This road serves the northeastern section of the city. It is intersected by 4 main roads: Malabar Road, Port Malabar Boulevard, Robert J. Conlan Boulevard and Palm Bay Road.
  • Emerson Drive, Bayside Lakes Boulevard, and Bombardier Boulevard - All 3 roads make a large crescent-shaped roadway. The northern terminus is Amador Avenue, the southern terminus is a dead end in The Compound. There is a dirt road, Emerson Drive, off Degroodt Road. The western terminus of the route is Sappodilla Road. Main intersections include Wingham Drive, Sapodilla Road, Degroodt Road, Eldron Boulevard, Walden Boulevard, Waco Boulevard, Malabar Road, Minton Road, and Jupiter Boulevard.

Most roads in the area west of DeGroodt Road are unpaved.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Florida by place Population, Housing Units, Area and Density:2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  2. ^ "Palm Bay, United States Page". Falling Rain Genomics. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the population for the Incorporated Places of Florida" (CSV). US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  4. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the population for Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas" (CSV). US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and guidance on their uses" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  8. ^ Albert Hazen Wright, The habitats and composition of the vegetation of Okefinokee Swamp, Georgia, Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press, 1932. OCLC 1965132
  9. ^ Cervenka, Susan (5 December 2009). "Parade kicks off Palm Bay birthday". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B. 
  10. ^ Summers, Keyonna (17 January 2010). "Looking back at 50 years". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B. 
  11. ^ Florida Today retrieved June 19, 2008
  12. ^ Waymer, Jim (20 December 2009). "A new home, new hope for scrub jay". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. 
  13. ^ a b c Palm Bay Community Data Sheet Economic Development Council of Florida's Space Coast. Retrieved on 2009-07-24.
  14. ^ Florida Today retrieved July 10, 2008
  15. ^ Peterson, Patrick (18 February 2010). "Spin-off success stories". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 8C. 
  16. ^ MC Assembly
  17. ^ "Indicators already show weak economy". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today): pp. 6A. 10 January 2010. 
  18. ^ Building Permits United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2009-07-24.
  19. ^ "City of Palm Bay form of government information". Palm Bay, Florida. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  20. ^ "City Council/City Clerk - City Council". Palm Bay, Florida. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  21. ^ "Governor Suspends Mayor". Associated Press. 26 June 1999. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  22. ^ a b "Florida Today archive search–keywords john mazzioti prison". Florida Today. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  23. ^ Dean, James (April 26, 2008). More taxes or fewer services. Florida Today. 
  24. ^ Cervenka, Susanne (17 January 2010). "Palm Bay opens its finances online". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B. 
  25. ^ Moor, Kimberly C. (6 March 2010). "Cities find ways to trim budget". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. 
  26. ^ [1] retrieved November 25, 2008
  27. ^ Moore, Kimberly (24 April 2009). "Care urged in water testing". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 4B. 
  28. ^ Moody, R. Norman (28 November 2009). "Brevard crime up, down". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 5B. 
  29. ^ [2]retrieved October 5, 2008
  30. ^ Ring of Fire. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.. Air America Radio. 26 April 2008.

External links

Simple English

Palm Bay is a city of Florida in the United States.

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