GRAPHIC COURTESY CITY OF DELAND MANCHESTER NEIGHBORHOODS — This graphic shows the different phases of development planned for the 19-acre DeLand subdivision Manchester Neighborhood. Two preliminary plats, phases 1A and 1B, were approved by the DeLand City Commission Feb. 21.

Taylor Ridge gets a thumbs-down while two other projects move forward

One proposed development in southeast DeLand was shot down, while two others moved one step closer to completion at a recent DeLand City Commission meeting.

Taylor Ridge

A 26-acre proposed development near southeast DeLand failed to get approval from the City Commission Feb. 21.

Taylor Ridge received a 4-1 vote against approving a request to annex land into the city’s boundaries for the proposed 71-unit single-family residential development. Mayor Bob Apgar was the only member of the City Commission to vote in favor of the annexation.

The development was last discussed by the DeLand Planning Board in January, where it received a unanimous vote passing it on to the City Commission with some minor tweaks.

To get to the planned development, or PD stage, the city would have had to first approve annexation of the 26-acre parcel that currently resides in unincorporated Volusia County adjacent to DeLand’s boundaries. That’s where the project hit a snag.

The parcel is currently zoned as Volusia County A-2 agricultural land. Under this zoning classification, the minimum lot size for a single unit is 5 acres. If the land were developed as is, the maximum number of homes that could be built on the 26 acres would be five.

Bringing the parcel into the city, City Commissioner Charles Paiva explained, would automatically guarantee more homes could be built on the land.

“If they come into the city, we annex them, they are entitled to our lowest zoning, and, unfortunately, our lowest zoning allows four units per acre,” Paiva told The Beacon. “If we annexed it, we would have to, by law, allow them a fallback of four homes per acre.”

Apgar was concerned, though, that without annexing the parcel in, the developer could pursue the same, or a similar project, through the county, leaving DeLand without a seat at the table.

“They can go through the process seeking the same uses through the county, and we now will have to provide the water and sewer service if the annex promotes development,” Apgar said.

City Attorney Darren Elkind confirmed this would be the case — the parcel, while currently not within DeLand’s boundaries, is within the bounds of the city’s utilities.

So why deny it? Per Paiva, denying the application prevents a situation like the controversial Beresford Reserve development, where a developer has the potential to pursue a project through the city’s land-development regulations if a PD proposal is shot down.

City Commission approvals

Plats for two planned developments received approvals by the DeLand City Commission Feb. 21.

The first is Woodland Village, an 89-unit single-family residential subdivision planned for 24.5 acres of land at 204 E. Mohawk Ave. in north DeLand. Access to the development will be available via East Mercers Fernery Road, and plans have been made to widen both East Mercers Fernery Road and Flower Drive, a street connecting East Mohawk Avenue and East Mercers Fernery Road.

Woodland Village has been in the works for some time; a preliminary plat for the development was initially issued in June 2020.

The approval of a development’s final plat allows for a developer to begin pulling permits for and selling individual homes.

Two preliminary plats, for a project called Manchester Neighborhood, also received approvals.

Manchester Neighborhood is planned to be a 19-acre subdivision that will bring 156 town home lots to the west side of North Stone Street, north of West Plymouth Avenue.

When the preliminary plats were passed on to the City Commission by the Planning Board last month, attorney Mark Watts of Cobb Cole in DeLand, representing applicant Howard Lefkowitz of Manchester Communities, referred to the town homes as “affordable senior villas” not far from AdventHealth DeLand and other medical establishments.

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