stonekirk build to rent community deland
GRAPHIC COURTESY CITY OF DELAND STONEKIRK — This graphic shows a preliminary look at Stonekirk, a 240-unit rental community that could be built near the DeLand I-4 exit on State Road 472. The rental community, as proposed to the DeLand Planning Board Feb. 16, would rent above market-rate, which concerned the Chair of the Planning Board, Virginia Comella. “We’re forgetting the base of our workforce,” she said.

Stonekirk could bring 240 ‘above market rate’ ‘cottages’ near I-4

The DeLand Planning Board got a glimpse Feb. 16 at Stonekirk, a proposed planned community that could bring 240 one-and two-bedroom “cottages” near DeLand’s I-4 exit on State Road 472. 

This “luxury rental community,” as the planning documents dub it, will be seeking rezoning for planned urban development, or a PD, soon, but the Feb. 16 presentation was just to gauge initial interest of the Planning Board. If approved once a formal proposal before the Planning Board and DeLand City Commission, the 28.5-acre community would sit at the southeast corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway and Cassadaga Road, just south of the 140-home Canopy Terrace subdivision. 

“This is something new for DeLand,” attorney Mark Watts of Cobb Cole said. Watts is  representing developer Taylor Morrison, an Arizona-based company with housing developments across the U.S., including in Florida.

The key difference between Stonekirk and other developments coming down the pike in DeLand is the rental aspect. Stonekirk’s rental units would be smaller than typical single-family homes, but they would include pet-friendly private backyards. The 240 rental units comprising the “build to rent” community, as the developer called it, would be managed similarly to an apartment complex, preventing investors from buying up private units to rent out themselves.

The demographic Stonekirk is targeting with its “above market-rate” dwellings, Watts said, includes “young professionals,” “baby boomers” and “people who can afford to buy a home, but choose to rent.”

But “luxury,” “above market-rate” and small didn’t excite Planning Board Chair Virginia Comella.

“I don’t see a place for walking; I don’t see a place I want to live in,” Comella said. “I feel it’s being catered to the people coming in from the North; who sold their big home.”

Comella continued, “Our poor people who work here and provide the services we need can’t afford to live anywhere here, and that really, really bothers me.”

A development like Stonekirk would not supplant more affordable housing, Watts said, but contribute more variety to DeLand’s housing options.

The next step for Stonekirk is for the applicant to submit a PD proposal. As of Feb. 17, none have been submitted. 

All meetings of the DeLand Planning Board and DeLand City Commission are open to the public. For more information about when and where meetings are held, visit the City of DeLand’s website, HERE.


  1. They are building DeLand away. It will become a densely packed community with no green space. This only benefits the developers, the attorneys and the back office deal makers who line their pockets with corrupt bribe money. Rest assured our property taxes will increase as DeLand symphony off its share of of the I’ll gotten gain. Five years from now people will cry how crowed DeLand has become and traffic will be impossible to manage. Water pressure will decrease. Increase in taxes will allegedly pay for road improvements. Wild life will suffer. The noise level will increase. DeLand PD will have their hands full as well as the fire department and other first responders. DeLand will become too expensive to live in as contractors raise their prices. More shopping places will open to accommodate to increase in demand. Get prepared for a major mess in DeLand as the officials line their pockets. They could care less.


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