west side of deland housing projects

Over two days, the DeLand City Commission and DeLand Planning Board gave thumbs up to projects that will add 868 homes

The DeLand City Commission approved several development projects Jan. 18.

The largest among them was Trinity Gardens, a 184- acre housing development that would bring 543 units of housing — including 425 single-family homes and 118 town homes — to the southeast side of DeLand.

Located between South Blue Lake Avenue and South Kepler Road, and north of the planned extension of East Beresford Avenue, Trinity Gardens will be built partly on land annexed into the city of DeLand.

Not much has changed since the development received unanimous approval from the DeLand Planning Board in December 2021, but the Planning Board’s concerns with the development have been addressed. These included slight changes to the separation between homes, changes to setbacks, and ensuring decorative features along the subdivision’s roads will be maintained by the homeowners association.

At the time, the members of the DeLand Planning Board were pleased with how fully realized the development plan seemed, and some on the City Commission felt the same.

“From the beginning, this has been a project I’ve felt more worthy of DeLand,” City Commissioner Chris Cloudman said at the DeLand City Commission meeting Jan. 18.

Speaking on behalf of Orlando-based developer Hanover Land Co., DeLand attorney Michael Woods of Cobb Cole stressed what makes this development different from older developments that surround it.

While it may be denser than those developments, he said, Trinity Gardens has amenities, sidewalks, trails and environmental features the neighboring developments don’t have.

One particular initiative Woods said he is proud of is the decision to plant three trees on every lot of the subdivision, if it is approved. The city can’t tell individual homeowners what they can and can’t do to trees on their own lots, but Woods hopes at least some of the homeowners will keep the trees to make Trinity Gardens as green as its name suggests.

“The reason why we’re doing that is because so much focus has been on clear-cut and everything else, that you have basically denuded subdivisions,” Woods said. “It’s a really good effort, and I think that gets to the effort, nature and underlying message we’ve been hearing about what kind of city we want for DeLand.”

At this stage, the only real change suggested by the City Commission was proper signage to delineate which amenities are for public use and which are by and for only members of the homeowners association.

At first reading, the rezoning application for the Trinity Gardens planned development was approved by the City Commission by a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Bob Apgar and City Commissioners Kevin Reid and Chris Cloudman voting in favor and City Commissioners Jessica Davis and Charles Paiva voting against.

Davis’ concern was the number of homes on 50-foot-wide lots. While Woods noted the developer avoided including homes on 40-foot lots after seeing the City Commission turn down developments for having so many, they turned to 50-foot lots instead.

While Paiva recognized the development was nicer than others he has seen, calling it “one of the more responsible projects he’s seen in 20 years,” he said some aspects of the project still did not meet his standards.

The next step for Trinity Gardens’ rezoning application is to return to the DeLand City Commission for a second reading. If approval is granted again, the next step is to prepare construction plans.

What’s on the way?

Trinity Gardens — 184 acres, 543 homes in southeast DeLand.

Plum Tree — 1.36 acres, 15 town homes near Downtown DeLand.

Addison Landing — 32 acres, 83 homes near the skating rink.

Taylor Ridge — 27 acres, 71 homes in southeast DeLand.

Manchester Neighborhood — 19 acres, 156 town homes near the hospital.

More development on the way

Trinity Gardens was the largest development approved by the DeLand City Commission Jan. 18, but here are some more projects at different stages that also got green lights:

Plum Tree — A 1.36-acre development planned for 613 W. Rich Ave., at the southwest corner of West Rich Avenue and North Orange Avenue. The applicant, Rich Partners, wants to build 15 town home lots on the property. The preliminary plat for Plum Tree received unanimous approval by the DeLand City Commission.

Addison Landing — A 32-acre development at 895 Greens Dairy Road near the skating rink, Rink DeLand, on the city’s northwest side. Addison Landing will include 83 single-family homes once construction — which has already begun — is complete. The project’s final plat was unanimously approved by the DeLand City Commission.

The Planning Board, too

The DeLand Planning Board also approved several developments Jan. 19. Approval by the DeLand Planning Board is a recommendation that the City Commission follow suit. Now these proposals move to the DeLand City Commission for final approval.

Largest of these developments was Taylor Ridge, another Hanover project, and similar to Trinity Gardens, though not as large.

This development would be situated at the northwest corner of South Blue Lake Avenue and East Taylor Road, and calls for construction of 71 single-family homes. The conceptual plan proposed 40 homes on 50-foot-wide lots and 31 homes on 60-foot-wide lots.

Like Trinity Gardens, attorney Michael Woods said the goal with the development was to consider what DeLand’s elected officials have approved recently and work with that.

“We’re trying to not rock the boat with what we’re proposing,” Woods said.

Amenities at the proposed Taylor Ridge include a covered gazebo and a pool.

With few comments, the four present members of the DeLand Planning Board — Nora Lewis, Jeremy Owens, Dan Reed and Don Liska — unanimously forwarded the requested annexation, land-use change and rezoning application to the DeLand City Commission with a recommendation for approval.

Smaller projects

A few smaller projects got a thumbs-up from the Planning Board Jan. 19, too:

Manchester Neighborhood — Preliminary plats for phases 1A and 1B of Manchester Neighborhood, a 19-acre age-restricted town home project planned for the west side of North Stone Street, north of West Plymouth Avenue, got a unanimous thumbs-up from the Planning Board.

This project calls for construction of 156 town homes, a community center and a pool. Staff made notes about sidewalk connectivity to the nearby AdventHealth DeLand hospital and medical plaza.

DeLand attorney Mark Watts of Cobb Cole, representing applicant Howard Lefkowitz of Manchester Communities, referred to the town homes as “affordable senior villas” near the medical offices.

Offices on Woodland Boulevard — Lee Munizzi of LAM Development is planning a smaller project along Woodland Boulevard. The Planning Board approved planned-development rezoning of a 1.9-acre parcel of land at 425 S. Woodland Blvd. next to local restaurant C’s Waffles.

Munizzi is looking to build a two-story office-and-retail building, sidewalks and associated parking for the building. Per the city’s land-development regulations, the project would call for 81 parking spaces.

The reason Munizzi is seeking rezoning to PD, city staff said, is because the land-development regulations do not allow for buildings as tall as the one he is proposing. The application to rezone was forwarded to the City Commission with the Planning Board’s unanimous recommendation that it be approved.


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