BEACON PHOTO/BARB SHEPHERD MAKING THEIR CASE — With his attorney Alex Ford looking on, Mike Prelec Jr. speaks to the DeLand City Commission Jan. 3. Prelec is with Glasshouse Square LLC, which is under contract with the City of DeLand to redevelop the Old Jail, and also with Deltran Operations USA, which is envisioned as one of Glasshouse’s anchor tenants in the redevelopment. Prelec and Ford urged the city not to require the development to build so much parking that the project would become financially unfeasible.

Update, March 7: 

The article as originally printed incorrectly stated that the Planning Board special meeting would be held Tuesday, March 8. The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 9.

The original article has been amended to reflect this correction.

Meetings of the DeLand City Commission and the DeLand Planning Board next week will address hot topics like the redevelopment of DeLand’s Old Jail and affordable housing.

DeLand City Commission

The first meeting next week will come at 7 p.m. Monday, March 7, when the DeLand City Commission convenes. A number of items feature on the City Commission agenda, including discussion of the redevelopment plan for the Old Jail on West New York Avenue.

The company tapped by the city to redevelop the building, Glasshouse Square LLC, hit a roadblock during a City Commission discussion in January when the company couldn’t settle on the number of parking spaces to build for the property.

Glasshouse is now proposing to shrink one of its two proposed buildings by one story — a move that would, by the city’s estimate, reduce the necessary number of parking spaces from 112 to 80. The company also proposes providing the city with a total of $330,000 in cash and incentives that Glasshouse would give up. The company proposes that the city use this money to turn the former Best Cleaners dry-cleaning lot at 224 S. Florida Ave. into public parking, while Glasshouse would build no private parking for its development.

Part of that $330,000 comes from a $140,000 check Glasshouse offered to write the city to fund the construction of the parking lot, but a staff report prepared by Community Development Director Rick Werbiskis notes that the sum wouldn’t cut it. Werbiskis also notes that giving up a 10-year-long incentive doesn’t provide the city with money upfront, so the city would need to borrow funds to build parking.

“Staff has reviewed the opportunity to utilize the Best Cleaners site for the construction of a new public parking lot and does not believe that the payment of $140,000 is adequate to fully fund the cost of creating adequate parking to serve the Glasshouse project,” Werbiskis wrote, later noting, “Staff believes the better alternative would be for Glasshouse to forego the tax incentive and give up the demolition credit of $300,000, which the City would have to pay upfront.”

As of Feb. 28, the Glasshouse Square team had not filed all its required paperwork to have the city approve rezoning for the project, so the discussion March 7 will instead serve as direction for the developer and the city staff about how to proceed with parking plans.

The City Commission will also discuss topics unrelated to the Old Jail, including the approval of outdoor liquor sales for the upcoming Parking Lot Chili Throw Down, to be hosted by Issues bar Sunday, March 20, in the parking lot between Issues bar and Abbey Bar on East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand.

The DeLand City Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, March 7, in the City Commission Chambers at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave.

Can’t make it in person? Meetings are also streamed live online at the city’s website, HERE. To view the full agenda packet for the meeting, click HERE.

DeLand Planning Board

The following day, on Wednesday, March 9, the DeLand Planning Board plans a special meeting to discuss changes to the city’s land-development regulations to better facilitate the development of housing that is, per the Planning Board documents, “affordable to our residents.”

Proposed changes to the code include removing a requirement that all single-family homes built in the town’s core gateway provide space for two interior parking spaces, providing for more flexibility in the construction of accessory dwelling units in all single-family zoning classifications, and eliminating minimum square-footage requirements for multifamily housing in the city’s Downtown Historic District.

According to a memo prepared by Planning Director Mike Holmes, these changes would promote infill development, which would increase the available inventory of homes in the DeLand community.

The DeLand Planning Board will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the City Commission Chambers at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave.

To view the full agenda packet for this meeting, click HERE.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here