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Preliminary plats for two DeLand subdivisions came before the DeLand Planning Board June 16. One received a thumbs-up and one received a thumbs-down, at least for now.

Arlington Heights — Thumbs-down, at least until July

Arlington Heights is a 9.43-acre, 35-lot single-family subdivision planned for the southwest corner of East Voorhis Avenue and South Pine Street. 

If approved, this subdivision would include lots ranging in size from 65 feet wide to 75 feet wide. Arlington Heights would border the northern portion of the controversial and currently unconfirmed Beresford Reserve planned development to the north.

The 10-acre plot of land is already zoned R-1 for residential housing. As such, the applicant, Voorhis Partners LLC, did not seek rezoning. 

A majority of the comments and concerns for the applicant were repeats from the staff’s earlier look at the subdivision plan. The staff wanted more information about sidewalks and roads, and pointed out the need to conduct an endangered-species report to identify whether gopher tortoises live where homes may soon stand.

Some of these have been addressed. Technical difficulties made them unavailable for the city staff to see, engineer Kimberly Buck P.E. from Alann Engineering Group told the Planning Board. 

“Being a non-computer-literate type person, all of these comments are actually addressed, but they’re sitting in my computer,” she said. “Staff didn’t really have much of a choice but to give me the same comments again, but they have been addressed, and they will be uploaded tomorrow to the city’s website.” 

Buck said she would work with the applicants to address the new comments, as well. 

In turn, Planning Board Member Nora Lewis said she was happy to see the Planning Board looking for more concrete resolution of comments from the staff before handing out approvals.

“I really like that the planning group has decided that we’re going to get more complete plans before we decide on them, and I think this is a great example of there’s so many things outstanding that whatever we vote on will not actually be what comes out,” she said. “Our vote would be moot.”

With one member absent, members of the Planning Board — Lewis, Don Liska, Dan Reed, Jeremy Owens, Virginia Comella and Buz Nesbit — unanimously agreed, per staff recommendation, to continue discussion of the Arlington Heights preliminary plat to the next Planning Board meeting, at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, in City Commission Chambers at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave.

Canopy Terrance — Thumbs-up, now it’s off to DeLand City Commission

Canopy Terrace, formerly known as Kirk DeLand, is a 36.16-acre, 140-lot single-family subdivision planned for the northeast corner of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway and Cassadaga Road, across the street from the Integra Dunes apartment homes.

If approved, this subdivision would include lots ranging from 40 feet wide to 60 feet wide, but, per city staff, only 34 percent of the 140 units will be on 40-foot-wide lots. 

Gopher tortoises have also been found on the plat, and must be relocated. 

With assurance that the applicant would be able to answer the staff’s questions and concerns, the Planning Board’s job of approving the preliminary plat was mostly clear.

However, some members of the Planning Board still expressed concern — a concern that may sound like a broken record to those following DeLand development — over the subdivision’s 40-foot-wide lots.

“The health of the community, maybe yes, safety, probably yes, but I think the welfare of the community is not served by this project,” Nesbit said. “That is why I would be voting no.”

At the platting stage, though, the Planning Board’s discussion may no longer be about lot sizes, City Attorney Darren Elkind told the board. At this point, the Planning Board’s role is to ensure the plat lines up with approved plans. 

With a 4-2 vote, the Planning Board approved the preliminary plat, as the staff had recommended. Members Comella, Lewis, Liska and Reed voted in favor of the plat’s advancement, while Nesbit and Owens dissented. Member Albert Neumann was absent.

Nesbit said he was pleased to see progress made on the plan since the last time it came before the Planning Board, but he still could not vote in favor of it. Owens said he was dissenting for a different reason.

Canopy Terrace’s next step is to be heard by the DeLand City Commission. If documentation and changes are submitted in time, the City Commission will decide on the preliminary plat at its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, July 19, in City Commission Chambers at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave.

The DeLand City Commission typically meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Monday of each month, and the Planning Board typically meets at 5 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. 

All DeLand City Commission and Planning Board meetings are open to the public. 

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