Weekend warriors may soon have a new place for mock combat.

Hearing no objections, the Volusia County Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission has approved a DeLand couple’s request to set up a place west of DeLand for the young and the young at heart to wage colorful and nonlethal war.

The planning panel Aug. 17 voted in favor of a special exception for a recreation area on 21 acres on the east side of Lakeview Drive, near the intersection with West Beresford Avenue. The land, which is zoned A-2 (Rural Agriculture) and A-3 (Transitional Agriculture), is within the Hontoon Island local planning area. The County Council will have the final decision on the request for the special exception.

“The northern portion is pasture, and the southern portion is heavily treed, and a Duke Energy easement runs straight through the property,” county Senior Planning Manager Patricia Smith said, adding there are wetlands on the parcel.

“There will be no activity allowed near the wetlands,” Smith added.

The owners of the property are Michael and Julie Kersey, who have a firm known as XPLEX Paintball LLC.

“We want to have a recreational area for kids, so they can drop their phones and get some exercise,” Michael Kersey told the PLDRC.

“There’s no place in Volusia County right now to do this,” Kersey added. “The closest place is Lake County, and there is one in Orange County.”

The site is to be opened for paintball shooters 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, but the Kerseys say they would also like to open the facility for special events, such as birthday celebrations, on weekdays, but such activities would be allowed no more than twice per month.

“The paintball facility will operate primarily through annual memberships, however, daily admission is available for the public to test out the facility,” the planning staff’s report reads.

The report advises “there will be three to six employees on site during operating hours,” depending on “the number of reservations made per day, and how many referees will be needed.”

“The number of people that will be on the site per day is estimated between 20 to 40, with approximately 10 to 20 people present during the PM peak hours.”

The Kerseys propose to set up five battle zones, or playing fields, on the land. Two buildings will be constructed on the land for equipment storage and restrooms.

County planners noted neighbors sent letters in support of XPLEX’s request.

“According to the applicant, the wetlands that are located in the wooded fields will be surrounded at the 25-foot buffer with a rope and ‘Do Not Enter’ signs to prevent the players from impacting the wetlands,” the planning staff’s report also notes. “There is a proposed main entrance from Lakeview Drive, starting at the south half of the western boundary extending north, running underneath the power utility easement, and ending at the three fields in the open pasture with proposed parking areas on either side. The applicants have received a conditional approval from Duke Energy for the proposed main entrance underneath the transmission lines.”

One of the conditions for the special exception is that the XPLEX site will be separated from homes on adjoining lots by a 6-foot wooden fence, and there will be “a 30-foot landscape buffer … along the full perimeter of the property.”

The eastern boundary of the XPLEX property is the CSX Railroad.

In addition, “there will be netting placed around every playing field no less than 20 feet in height … [to]ensure all biodegradable paintballs, jelly balls and BBs stay contained within the playing fields.”

The conceptual plan for the XPLEX facility calls for 50 parking spaces. At least two of those spaces must be reserved for people with disabilities to comply with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.


  1. As someone who has to currently commute an hour each way to Orlando and back when I want to play, this is welcome news!!!


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