The DeLand City Commission will meet Monday, Nov. 21, to discuss a variety of topics, including a previously-denied apartment project on Spring Garden Avenue, an appointment to the Planning Board and the results of a brief moratorium on residential annexations.
Apartments on the way?
On Aug. 15, the City Commission denied a rezoning for the Pointe Grand apartments, a 204-unit complex proposed on North Spring Garden Avenue between West Plymouth Avenue and International Speedway Boulevard. The City Commission cited density and accessibility concerns as reasons for their denial. However, in September, the developer’s attorney, Mark Watts of Cobb Cole in DeLand, asked the City Commission to reconsider its decision and commissioners agreed.
The application the City Commission will see Nov. 21 is Pointe Grand’s second shot at a rezoning. The biggest change since August is the addition of benefits for renters who work as medical staff. If approved, 15 percent of Pointe Grand’s units would be reserved for medical staff for the first two years after construction. These renters would have access to benefits that would include a waiver of their first month of rent, a 50-percent discount on their deposit and a cap on some rent increases.
Following this year’s elections, the DeLand Planning Board needs a new member, and the City Commission is expected to appoint them Nov. 21. DeLand business owner Dan Reed was a member of the seven-member Planning Board, but his election to the City Commission left a seat vacant.
For Reed’s seat, six DeLandites have thrown their hats in the ring: Harper Hill, Kelly Hobbs, Lacey McMullan, Jonel Meta, Beverly Scott and Paul Tetor.
The applicants range from a data analyst, to a small-business owner, a retiree, and an insurance agent. The Planning Board, as in the case of Reed, as well as City Commissioner Kevin Reid, Mayor Chris Cloudman and others, can sometimes serve as a stepping stone to a political career in the City of DeLand.
Other boards need new members; in addition to the Planning Board, the City Commission will also appoint new members to the DeLand Housing Authority and the city’s Tree Advisory Committee.
Moratorium no more
Earlier this year, amid calls to press the pause button on applications to build more homes and expand DeLand’s borders, the City Commission issued a moratorium on annexing new property when the intention was to build more residential housing. The moratorium quietly ended several months ago, but the City Commission will see the results of the moratorium Nov. 21 — a new land use category.
When a developer wants to build a subdivision on a plot of land, they typically have to change the parcel’s land-use designation, a classification that dictates how dense construction on a property can be. However, the City Commission often ran into a problem where the lowest-density land-use designation in Volusia County was significantly lower than the lowest-density designation available once the property was annexed into DeLand.
The result was, just by annexing into the City of DeLand, developers would be allowed to build more residential units.
The city’s lowest density currently is four homes per acre, while the county offers a residential land use that restricts development to one home per acre.
The city’s solution was a new land-use designation called “transitional residential,” a zoning category with a density of 2.9 homes per acre.
These items and more will be on the City Commission’s docket for the meeting that begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21.
The City Commission meets in the City Commission Chambers in DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave. All meetings are open to the public and can be streamed live online on the city’s website, HERE.
To view the full Nov. 21 City Commission agenda, click HERE.