Also, residents states why he believes moving the police station is a bad idea.
A park instead of more homes
As you may know the developer of Plantation Oaks, Parker Mitchenburg's business partner, recently passed away. I remember at the recent Ormond Beach Planning Board meeting Mr. Mitchenburg made some reference to both of them not having a lot of good years left in them. Mitchenberg and Bledsoe have been responsible for the bulk of the unwise and environment-damaging developments along that corridor and extending well into Flagler, so I think they have done enough damage. I would like to propose that Parker donate the buffer and closest unsold lots to the city to be redeveloped as a city park, and, demolish the atrocious entrance and wall at the Old Dixie entrance.
After removing the entrance pavement and wall with the ugly signs, a pedestrian and bike path could be installed. This would allow access to the public to the park and also allow him to advertise his property as access to the Loop, as I believe that is a big selling point for him. At the same time, he could establish his and his partner's legacy with the park as people who in the end cared about the community. When the traffic studies were done, I believe that they used outdated data and don't account for the fact that people 55 and older are living longer and are more active, and, would probably produce as much traffic as younger folks since they will still have yard, pest, pool, and property maintenance vehicles passing along Old Dixie. Amazon, UPS and meal delivery vehicles will still be a concern regardless of what population ends up buying the houses.
So, in my view the developer is trying to sell the rezone as a good thing for the public, but it is really that his business and sales senses tell him that he can make more money off stick-built houses. In my view the best solution at this point would be to close that entrance off to vehicle traffic to reduce that traffic and at the same time provide an animal parkway and park that everyone could enjoy.
If we can get this concession I don't care if he wants to name the park Bledsoe-Mitchenberg Park, so long as we can preserve what we have left of the Loop National Scenic Byway.
Editor's note: Tim Grigsby is a candidate in the Ormond Beach City Commission Zone 1 race.
Relocation of Ormond Beach Police Station
With a small fortune already paid to a consultant, the Ormond Beach city government continues to move ahead with plans to relocate the police station from West Granada Boulevard. There was no public mandate for the move, and we were told the 20 year-old building was obsolete and required a new air conditioning system. We were also told the site was flood-prone and unsuitable as a command center during weather emergencies. (The city once owned a converted RV mobile command center. Was it sold as surplus?)
The police station is far from becoming obsolete, with a state of the art indoor firing range and extra space that became available when we eliminated the dispatch center and hired the county to provide that service. The site has never flooded and all city buildings require regular upgrades of their HVC systems.
Not too long ago, in a radio interview, a city commissioner revealed a more probable reason for the relocation when he touted the site as a great opportunity for commercial development that would enhance the downtown. The police station generates almost zero traffic but a commercial center so close to U.S. 1 would add greatly to traffic at one of the most problematic intersections in the county.
Ormond Beach continues to divert citizen tax dollars to advance the agendas of commercial interests. Moving the police station is a costly, bad idea.
Mike McLarnanOrmond Beach Editor's note: About that RV mobile command center — the city still owns it, (it was purchased through a grant in the 1990s) but it is out of service due to its age, said city Public Information Officer Jenn Elston.