Editor’s note: This letter was submitted to The Beacon before the DeLand City Commission held its special meeting Nov. 22 to discuss Beresford Reserve, the proposed development on the old Southridge Golf Course.

However, the letter is still relevant, since the outcome of that meeting was yet another postponement of a decision on the proposed development.

Beresford Reserve’s request for rezoning has been continued to a meeting whose date has not yet been determined, but will likely be after the holidays. Commissioners voted unanimously to obtain more thorough independent information about the possible environmental contamination present at the site, which was used as a city dump, before making any decision about development there.

Editor, The Beacon:

This coming Monday night at 6 p.m., we will finally have a vote on whether or not to change the zoning for the old Southridge Golf Course. It may determine whether this beautiful piece of land becomes another cookie-cutter housing development here, in DeLand, or a city park.

I recently read an article in a local newspaper about a meeting in Volusia County concerning the chaotic frenzy of development, and just who is benefiting from it.

Attendees called for a moratorium on development. That is a great idea, since the current status of development seems ridiculous, really. There is no plan for DeLand’s future, from what I can discern.

Cresswind is going forward, apparently. City officials are quoted as having concerns about the density. There are 266 acres of buildable land, for an approved 600 homes. There are 100 fewer acres (167) for 100 more homes (700) to be built at Beresford Reserve.

Oak Hammock was approved with misgivings. That development is 110 houses on 40 acres. Beresford Reserve would be almost twice as dense as Oak Hammock.

How will the city provide clean water for all these homes? How will we manage traffic, schools, roads and trash?

I much prefer the plan, expressed by Stetson professor Wendy Anderson, Greg Heeter and others who have voiced a vision of a lovely arboretum, in the center of town, a place for all DeLand residents and our visitors to enjoy.

We could transform the 167 acres into a beautiful tree-filled space for all, or another overcrowded resource-consuming development right in the middle of our Downtown.

What type of town will our mayor, vice mayor and commissioners vote to endorse?

Catherine Samuels




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