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Downtown DeLand drone shot
PHOTO BY FLYING CAT DRONEWORKS/ANTHONY DeFEO VIEW FROM ABOVE — This photo, taken with a drone, shows Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand, looking west. Many landmarks can be seen, including the Historic Volusia County Courthouse, Volusia County’s Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center, blocks of commercial buildings, and, of course, the historic Athens Theatre at the far end of Indiana Avenue.

Development plans and a property-tax hike are among the list of topics for the DeLand City Commission’s meeting on Monday, July 19.

Developments to be discussed include a rezoning for Oak Hammock Reserve on Spring Garden Avenue and a preliminary plat for Canopy Terrace on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway.

Oak Hammock Reserve is a 40-acre planned development that, if the rezoning is granted, could bring 110 single-family homes to the northwest corner of South Spring Garden Avenue and West Beresford Road.

Rezoning land for the project has been heard before the DeLand City Commission twice before. Come July 19, the project will receive its third “first reading.” A rezoning requires two hearings before the City Commission, called “first reading” and “second reading.”

At the last attempt at a first reading, city commissioners were hesitant to approve the project, concerned with the density of the homes and hoping to see more green space planned in the new neighborhood.

The City Commission will also decide on two plats, including the final plat for the Victoria Oaks community and a preliminary plat for Canopy Terrace.

The second-to-last phase of VIctoria Oaks, Phase C, includes 111 lots on 32.8 acres. Final plats for phases A and B have already been approved, with Phase A containing 224 units on some 75 acres and Phase B containing 160 units on 34 acres.

The entire Victoria Oaks project could include nearly 600 homes once fully completed.

Canopy Terrace is a 36-acre subdivision which, when completed, would allow for 140 single-family homes at the intersection of the Dr. Martin Luther King Beltway and Cassadaga Road.

Formerly known as Kirk DeLand, Canopy Terrace’s preliminary plat was approved by the DeLand Planning Board in June and now comes before the City Commission with the Planning Board’s recommendation for a thumbs-up.

While a continuance is listed on the agenda, staff do not anticipate any real discussion of Beresford Reserve, the controversial DeLand development planned for the old Southridge Golf Course on East Beresford Avenue. This development will come back before the City Commission at its meeting Monday, Aug. 2.

Outside of the development world, the City Commission will also vote on the proposed property-tax millage for the 2021-22 fiscal year. From the agenda, “The proposed operating millage of 6.9841 is 7.12% above the rolled back millage rate of 6.5200.” The proposed rate is also higher than last year’s millage of 6.7841.

A millage rate of 6.9841 would mean property owners will pay approximately $6.98 in City of DeLand taxes for every $1,000 of taxable property value. The owner of a home with a taxable value of $200,000 after any exemptions, for example, would pay $1,397 in city property taxes, along with property taxes imposed by the county, School Board, Hospital Authority, etc.

That same property owner would pay about $1,304 at the rolled-back rate, which is the rate that would give the city the same income as it had last year from property taxes, not counting taxes on new construction or annexations.

The final decision on the millage for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, will come in the coming months.

These topics and others will be up for debate at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 19, in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave. All meetings are open to the public and can also be viewed online, HERE.

To view the full meeting agenda and agenda materials, visit the City of DeLand website, HERE.

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