The Hampton Oaks subdivision has generated some noisy concerns from its neighbors, but those complaints were nearly drowned out Jan. 22 as the Deltona City Commission approved the new neighborhood at a meeting where a rowdy crowd urged commissioners to fire the city manager.
City commissioners voted 6-1 in favor of a rezoning for Hampton Oaks. Commissioner Loren King dissented.
“This is a rezoning request,” Deltona Senior Planning Manager Ron Paradise said, describing the proposal.
ICI Homes asked for the property to be rezoned to residential planned-unit development (RPUD) to replace the R1AA zoning. Under the RPUD, the developers may build 259 single-family homes, more than the 228 allowed under the R1AA zoning.
People living next to the 113-acre project fear it will negatively affect their homes and lives. The land is between Fort Smith and Saxon boulevards.
Concerns include increased traffic, school overcrowding and stormwater.
“We’re having actual issues in this area,” resident Dana McCool said. “You have the property, and you have the right, but that still doesn’t make it right.”
That message weighed on the City Commission.
“We have to make sure there is adequate drainage there,” Commissioner Anita Bradford said. She noted the city purchased four homes in the Beechdale flood zone in 2004 to make way for stormwater.
The Hampton Oaks RPUD plan calls for homes to be built on lots smaller than those in surrounding neighborhoods. The RPUD also sets aside 28 acres for conservation.
In addition, ICI may build homes that are smaller than many surrounding dwellings. ICI’s minimum home size for Hampton Oaks is 1,400 square feet.
The engineer in charge of the design of Hampton Oaks, Parker Mynchenberg, said the streets will be designed to accommodate runoff.
“We’re going to have curb and gutter,” he told the City Commission.
Deltona residential areas mostly use swales, or shallow ditches in the front of homes, to handle stormwater.
Neighbor Jeff Dinan wasn’t reassured.
“We’ve got stormwater-mitigation problems,” he told the City Commission. “It’s not if it will happen — it’s when it will happen.”
Dinan said the Hampton Oaks “hardscape” — houses and streets in the subdivision where water can’t be absorbed — will force stormwater into Kensington Estates and other established neighborhoods.
To the relief of the homeowners in Kensington Estates, there will be no access to Hampton Oaks from the east off Fort Smith Boulevard. The Kensington residents objected to extending Steeplechase Lane to provide another entry and exit for Hampton Oaks.
“We’re a small community. We do not want such a road,” Doug MacDonald said.
To the relief of MacDonald and his neighbors, access into and out of Hampton Oaks will be from Saxon Boulevard onto three streets: Pearl Tree Road, Alabaster Way and Meadowlark Drive.
But worries about stormwater are paramount for the surrounding residents. A drive-by view of the property shows low-lying terrain, including land where stormwater has accumulated in the past.
ICI Homes President David Haas said the start of Hampton Oaks is probably 12 or more months away.
“It would be unlikely that any development would begin before January of next year,” he said.
Haas said his company must obtain the OKs of several regulatory agencies, including the St. Johns River Water Management District and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Asked how long it may take to fully build out Hampton Oaks, Haas replied, “We like to sell eight units a month,” he added.
At that rate, Hampton Oaks could be sold out within about 2.5 years. Haas said the homes will be priced at about $300,000.