Virus or no virus, DeLand still has a litany of proposed developments awaiting the approval of its city commissioners.
City officials have held off on any public hearings about new rezoning, annexations and land-use changes in March and April, but they expressed a desire to continue to move projects through the pipeline by having virtual public hearings on a few developments next month.
The projects waiting in the wings include:
– Cresswind DeLand, a project with as many as 600 new homes on 318 acres for those 55 and up on the eastern side of Lake Winnemissett.
– A 33-acre project on the corner of Spring Garden Avenue and Greens Dairy Road with 114 single-family home lots proposed.
– Annexation and rezoning of an 8-acre mobile-home park at 2700 S. Woodland Blvd., so the property can connect with city sewer.
The projects have been heard by the DeLand Planning Board throughout late December, January and February, and would have likely come up at the City Commission meetings in March or April if not for COVID-19.
The virus has led the city to hold its meetings online, via the Zoom teleconferencing app, with residents able to submit questions on items beforehand to the city via email.
The system worked as commissioners approved a slate of mostly pro forma city business items in their April virtual meetings, but considering more than 100 people can potentially show up to a contentious public hearing on development, City Manager Michael Pleus and the commission developed another plan.
Those wishing to speak on the record would be allowed to come to City Hall, enter the chambers 10 at a time, and speak. The speaker would be on camera and visible to the commissioners and public watching on Zoom, and they’d see the commissioners on-screen.
After their question, they can stay and watch the meeting if there are fewer than 10 people attending. Otherwise, they’ll have to watch the remainder of the meeting online.
The annexation of the mobile-home park and the Green’s Dairy Road development are likely to be among the items that come up in May requiring public hearings, but Pleus said staff are recommending the discussion on Cresswind, the largest project waiting in the wings, be delayed until June.
Discussions about the redevelopment of the old Volusia County Jail property have also been tentatively pushed to a special meeting June 8. It remains to be seen whether the June meetings will be held virtually or in the old-fashioned manner.