While stories of changes in land uses and zoning for more — and often more dense — residential development frequently play out in sprawling cities, the unincorporated countryside often gets its share of such happenings.
After the Volusia County Council ultimately decided to join with DeLand to shield an unspoiled tract adjacent to Victoria Park from looking like its surroundings, the council Feb. 7 ultimately voted to rezone 28.5 acres west of DeLand for an urban-style neighborhood.
The pace of growth and development troubled County Chair Jeff Brower.
“The public’s clamoring for a moratorium,” he told his colleagues. “We don’t need a moratorium. We need a council that will follow through with responsible development. … I think we need a pause and slow down, … before we continue to approve development.”
The polygon located at the intersection of West Beresford and South Ridgewood avenues consisted of three parcels, each with a different zoning. One parcel was zoned Urban Single Family Residential (R-2), while another was zoned Transitional Agriculture (A-3), and the other piece was zoned Business Planned Unit Development (BPUD).
“This is a pasture, for the most part,” Michael Woods, attorney for the four property owners, said. “It is also high and dry.”
“We’re building on all this land, and covering the permeable land,” Brower said.
There is a clay borrow pit on the property, which may retain some of the stormwater from the proposed development.
The owners of the land requested — and got — a rezoning of Urban Single Family Residential (R-4). R-4 provides for smaller lot sizes than R-2, and in this instance the typical lot size will be 7,500 square feet, or less than 1/6 acre. The land is now destined to become a cluster of 70 new homes with streets and water and sewer services provided by the City of DeLand.
“Is this request consistent with our [comprehensive] plan?” Council Member David Santiago asked.
“Yes, sir,” replied Growth and Resource Management Director Clay Ervin.
The comprehensive plan is the state-mandated guide for how localities, counties and cities, are supposed to grow over time.
The County Council voted 6-1 for the rezoning. Brower cast the dissenting vote.
When the county’s Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission considered the request for the zoning change Nov. 17, the panel had voted 3-3. That tie vote was “technically a denial” of a recommendation for the rezoning, according to Ervin. Neighbors who spoke at the meeting opposed the zoning change and the likely change, citing concerns about more traffic and stormwater management.
County officials noted the new subdivision is approximately 1 1/2 miles from the site of the planned SunRail station, and is within the transit-oriented development area.
The usual suspects—-short-sighted elected officials and the Cobb Cole gang.
A lone voice crying in the wilderness and trying to be a responsible steward. The city and county rushing to see how fast over-development can create new problems that they will have to fix.