Also, resident says Tomoka Marathon event should be allowed a city permit.
Tomoka Marathon should be granted a city permit
It saddens me that an outdoor event — with a 5K, free kids’ fun run, half-marathon, and a Boston-qualifying full marathon, which also brings money and positive attention to the community and the Loop — hasn’t received a permit by the city of Ormond Beach. The course passes through Ormond Beach, Tomoka State Park and Volusia County. An event promoting health and recreational activists, which adds to qualify of life and adheres to COVID-19 safety protocols, should be allowed.
Editor's note: The city states that it did not deny Tomoka Marathon a permit and that the decision to cancel was made by the organizer due to COVID-19. The organizer posted on Facebook that the city's approval was postponed until the end of January, and as such the marathon was unable to finalize permitting in time to hold the race.
High-density housing: How much is too much?
Driving along Williamson or LPGA Boulevard, the residential skyline has dramatically changed with immense apartment projects. Woodlands have been cleared and leveled, replaced with huge multi-story apartment villages. Streets are being widened, stoplights added and other infrastructure installed in hopes of families moving in.
Similar growth is very likely to come to Ormond Beach with the Tymber Creek apartment project and the eventual extension of Tymber Creek southward to LPGA. Additionally, there is a huge project (Avalon Park Daytona) planned for west Granada that could bring thousands of new residents. Technically that will be in Daytona, but it’s the Ormond Beach residents that will feel the effects.
The Jaffe Corporation has plans well underway to build a 300-unit apartment complex plus a large commercial venture on over 30 acres located just to the northwest of the Walgreens at the intersection of Granada and Tymber Creek Road. Jaffee is a well-respected developer with experience in building large-scale properties in the area, and they are currently pushing through land use changes and other steps necessary to finalize their project.
In December, the City Commission voted 3-2 in favor of a land use change to allow high-density housing (30 units per acre) on a portion of the property. Meetings have been held with residents, City Commissioners and the developer. Our City Commission is trying to determine, based on resident feedback, if this project, as currently designed, is consistent with the long-term vision for Ormond Beach.
I am not against planned progress, so long as it is consistent with the long-term city vision and goals. Do they need to pack so many units per acre, or are there alternatives? Nearly 2,000 residents have signed the “Tymber Creek Apartments” petition on Change.org stating that the project does not meet their vision for Ormond Beach.
The developer has the right to a profitable project. He has asked what would make the project palatable to residents. My belief is the following three changes would go a long way in making the apartments acceptable to current residents: Limit construction to two-story buildings, reduce the number of planned units from 300 to 150 units, and place those 150 units closer to Granada, leaving a larger woodland barrier between existing homes.
Please voice your input on what would be best for Ormond Beach by contacting your City Commission.
Civil Discourse Part 2: Common Ground
This is an invitation to participate in a unique experiment in order for our community to come together, and find win-win actionable solutions.
This will involve the loosening of our grip on what we think we already know, and allowing for group creativity to emerge. We are well aware of the validity of opposing views on almost any subject and wish to create a conversation in which a group of unlike-minded people think together, listen carefully to one another, and enter into a dialogue out of which emerges a win/win solution for the development of our region, specifically Volusia County.
Linda Williams and Bill Denny, residents of Ormond Beach, developed Civil Discourse in response to the divisiveness of the community over local civic issues. Dissatisfied with the ability of citizens to engage in productive solutions with others of diverse interests as well as with government itself, the process led to the founding of Civil Discourse Part 2: Common Ground.
How it works: The above is accomplished by bringing together residents, government officials, professional experts, development and environmental interests, via Zoom meetings. Just such a diverse group met for three months prior to the first zoom meeting, in order to form itself and come up with the first and most pressing topic for the group that gathered.
Here is what the originating group came up with.
In light of the rejection of the half cent sales tax by the citizens of Volusia County for road infrastructure; the following question emerged: "What are we as a community willing to invest in, financially and otherwise, for transportation needs(roads, group transit, infrastructure), as we continue to grow and develop? Looking specifically at the area from Granada to US-92, and, west of I-95 at LPGA to Clyde Morris, since this is the area with the most intense development taking place.
What are citizens willing to support, and what do we as an entire community envision and create together?
The next zoom meeting is at 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11. Send your email to [email protected] to receive a zoom invitation.
Linda Williams and Bill Denny