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PLANNERS SAY PROJECT WILL IMPROVE SAFETY — Across 472, in DeLand, Kentucky Avenue becomes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway. As part of the development project on the southeast corner of the busy intersection, planners said, the rise in the road on Kentucky Avenue will be flattened out, improving safety on the road. In the photo, one sign advertises the plan for a development called The Crossings on the property, and another is a memorial to someone who died in a crash at the intersection. BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON

A major mixed-use project is in the offing at a strategic point in Orange City.

On the southeast corner of the intersection of State Road 472 and Kentucky Avenue are 26.3 acres destined for a mixture of residential and commercial development, set to get underway within a few months. The project, known as The Crossings, may go vertical with the construction of apartments next year. 

The polygonal tract, on paper, is carved into seven lots.

Orange City’s Technical Review Committee, a panel of city planners and department heads, on Dec. 7 approved the “latest iteration” of The Crossings planned-unit development and its infrastructure, including internal roads and a stormwater-control system. The City Council has already approved the development agreement for the project.

“The plan has been revised,” Frank Cannon, the president of Trycon Management & Leasing Inc., said of the latest layout. “Some of the property lines will change.”

The Crossings will have as many as 228 apartments. Once those are completed, other commercial development, notably a 100-room hotel, restaurants and specialty retail stores, would follow. 

“No big-box,” Cannon said, adding the retail space will be limited to 20,000 square feet for specialty stores.

In conjunction with the development, there will be noticeable changes on Kentucky Avenue. New right-turn lanes will be added for access by northbound drivers into The Crossings. 

Moreover, the hump — referred to as a “vertical curve” — on Kentucky Avenue that is a visual hazard for drivers, will be lowered. County Engineer Tadd Kasbeer said the rise in the terrain will be diminished to enable drivers in both directions to see clearly what is ahead of them, especially in the morning and afternoon rush hours when traffic backs up.

Under a proportionate “fair share” agreement between the county and Trycon, the developer will pay almost $1.75 million for the changes and improvements to ease the traffic flow through the intersection and into and out of The Crossings.

“That’s why we’re getting them to take that hill down,” Kasbeer said. “It’s a problem.” 

Paved shoulders will be added to Kentucky Avenue, and there will be better stacking of vehicles moving through the intersection with S.R. 472.

“A separate left-turn lane allows for half of that traffic to be put into a separate lane,” Kasbeer noted. “We understand it’s a problem. We are eagerly anticipating the developer there will address the problem.”

The two-lane Kentucky Avenue has an average daily traffic count of 10,900 vehicles, according to data compiled by the county’s Traffic Engineering Department. While that number may seem somewhat low for a 24-hour period, vehicles heading northward during the morning and afternoon rush times often back up in a single-file line awaiting several signal-light changes to get through the intersection. 

Kentucky Avenue is part of County Road 4101, a continuum that extends northward to  U.S. Highway 92. Kentucky Avenue denotes the roadway between East Graves Avenue and S.R. 472. The segment of C.R. 4101 north of S.R. 472 and south of the yet-to-be-constructed intersection with an extended East Beresford Avenue is known as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway. 

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