A set of rental dwellings planned between DeLand and Orange City has been abruptly shelved.
Volusia County planners say they have received word of the landowner’s decision to halt official consideration of a proposed 135-unit project along State Road 472. The property owner, the Stewart Family LLC, had asked the county to rezone almost 41 acres from R-4 (Urban Single Family Residential) to RPUD (Residential Planned Unit Development) for the project known as Hillpointe 472.
The somewhat triangle-shaped parcel, with about 16.6 acres of wetlands, is undeveloped and situated at the intersection of S.R. 472 and East Minnesota Avenue, approximately a quarter-mile west of the now-defunct Southwest Activity Center.
The decision not to go forward with the project came from the property owner’s attorney.
“Please allow this to serve as notice that we would like to withdrawal [sic] our application for Hillpointe 472,” Nika Hosseini, an attorney of Cobb Cole, wrote in an email to county Planner Patricia Smith on Dec. 12.
In her reply to Hosseini a short time later, Smith agreed to “cancel this application and remove it from the county council agenda.”
Hosseini gave no reason for her client’s change of mind. She could not be reached for comment.
“The applicant is under no obligation to explain the reason for the withdrawal and did not volunteer the information,” Planning and Development Services Director Carol McFarlane was quoted as saying, in a response to The Beacon’s request for more information about the sudden decision to cease work on Hillpointe 472.
Less than a month before, the county’s Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission had voted to recommend that the County Council approve the rezoning and the housing proposal.
Before the PLDRC endorsed the project, Hosseini said the number of dwellings in the plan had been reduced from 195 to 135. The rental complex, as envisioned, was to include town houses and cottages.
“They’re a really cute housing type,” Hosseini told the PLDRC at its Nov. 17 meeting.
Hillpointe, she said, was designed to provide more open space on the property.
“We want to cluster our development,” Hosseini added, noting the close grouping of the dwellings would allow for more green space, including a dog park and a nature trail.
Hillpointe was also to have a 2,900-squarefoot clubhouse, an 1,820-square-foot exercise room and a swimming pool for its renters.
The PLDRC Nov. 17 voted 5-1 in favor of forwarding the Hillpointe proposal to the County Council for approval. Commissioner Stony Sixma cast the dissenting vote. The panel’s chair, Ronnie Mills, was absent from the meeting.
A graphic of the property shows the wetlands. Since the rains of hurricanes Ian and Nicole, standing water on the site visible from S.R. 472 has been slow to recede.