southwest activity center plan map
ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY GROWTH AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
This map shows the original plan for a portion of the Southwest Activity Center, a partnership of Volusia County, DeLand and Deltona. The 486 acres within the solid black line in the map above are what remains of the now-defunct plan. Of the original 1,800 acres or so at and around the interchange of Interstate 4 and State Road 472, the county’s share has diminished because of annexations by neighboring cities, especially Orange City and DeLand. Most of the land still under the county’s jurisdiction is owned by the F.A. Ford family. The original and current zoning allows for warehouses and offices on the property, shown above in green, but does not specifically permit warehouse-distribution centers. The Fords are asking the county to change the original zoning of the land to allow warehouse-distribution centers to be developed on the land. The family is also asking that the portions of the property zoned for residential use, shown above in blue, be changed from a minimum density of two dwelling units per acre to four units. An ordinance amending the zoning will be presented to the County Council at a later date.

Planned in the early 1990s, the Southwest Activity Center was envisioned as sort of a copy of Heathrow along I-4 in Lake Mary.

The SWAC, according to civic and business leaders, was a grouping of lands destined to become a showcase of single-family and multifamily dwellings, retailers, restaurants, hotels, office parks and clean, light industries.

The SWAC was a joint-planning venture spearheaded by Volusia County, with the cities of DeLand and Deltona as partners. Parcels within the grouping were located in each of the three jurisdictions.

It was anticipated that the build-out of the SWAC would take years, but nothing happened until the past decade or so.

The SWAC was known as a development of regional impact (DRI). A DRI, under former laws and planning criteria, was a project so massive that its effects — especially economic — would cover a wide area, drawing people from other localities to live or work or both within its boundaries.

Despite its strategic placement — location, location, location — the property sat idle.

Deltona withdrew from the DRI in 2009 and vowed to chart its own course to develop the 900 acres within the city limits, while the SWAC parcels in DeLand and the unincorporated area of the county remained largely untouched.

ILLUSTRATION COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY GROWTH AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
MORE HUGE-BOX TRUCKING BUILDINGS ON THE WAY? — The graphic at left shows the location of the parcel in unincorporated Volusia County that may become a suitable location for corporate warehouse-distribution centers.

Deltona, in fact, was the first to bring any development to the former DRI, beginning with a Duke Energy substation and followed by Epic Theatres, a 12-screen cinema that opened in 2011.

Since then, several businesses have opened within the Deltona Activity Center, on the east side of the interchange, including RaceTrac, Burger King, McDonald’s, Wawa, a 90-bed Halifax Health hospital and, not least, a 1.4 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center.

More development, including an industrial park with other high-cube warehouses, is underway.

In fact, though the DRI was abolished, the land within it is changing in ways closely aligned with the old proposals.

“What we’re seeing is that the area around 472 is becoming more developed,” county Growth and Resource Management Director Clay Ervin said.

1 COMMENT

  1. Good morning. The blue Community District, indicated on the northern piece of this map, next to Victoria Park, namely Asterbrook and Birchmont Avenues, isn’t an apartment complex, already erected on this site? Of course, being a resident of Victoria Hills I have a keen interest in this area. Thank you.

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