BEACON PHOTO/MARTIN O’CULL TREES OUT OF THE WAY — A development site on DeLand’s east side is cleared of trees and ready for homebuilding.

Editor, The Beacon:

The Beacon’s Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2021, edition includes two articles, one featuring DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar and one, land-use attorney Mark Watts.

Their views suggest accepting rapid growth and inadequate infrastructure as a reasonable byproduct.

Both indicate our best interests and those of our neighbors are always at the forefront of their services.


A growing number of citizens are voicing their objection to unchecked growth of developments, inadequate planning for traffic, overcrowding schools, clear-cutting land, diminishing water supply, failure to design for alternate transportation modalities, and a willingness to erase DeLand’s unique character.

What makes more better? Mr. Watts’ long view suggests we have no choice because of Florida’s history as a growth state.

Experience allows organizations to plan meaningful change. Surrounding cities provide examples.

Recently, Casselberry purchased their founder’s home for a park and event center. Seminole County purchased a former Longwood golf course. Residents are now enjoying a public park.

We need to enhance our community. Let’s choose smart growth. This requires vision, commitment and perseverance.

Martha Shaw Sylvester




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