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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Monday, May 10, 2021 1 month ago

3 letters: On the development of Tomoka Oaks Golf Course; traffic policing

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Also, reader says National Day of Prayer goes against separation of church and state.
by: Guest Writer

My two cents

Dear Editor:

I would love to see the Tomoka Oaks Golf Course survive as a golf course or public space. I live in Tomoka Oaks and have been connected to it for more than 50 years.

Unfortunately, the time has passed for that to occur. The acquisition cost is out of reach. The residents and the association should have been addressing this years ago when the golf course designation expired, and when the zoning changes for development were being done. We were asleep. 

The property is the best undeveloped tract of acreage in Ormond Beach. We should recognize that any developer wants to maximize their profit, limit the risk of failure, and loss of investment. 

At least two of the investors in this project have deep ties to Ormond Beach, so they have a vested interest that perhaps others would not have. This project will be part of their legacy. One of them has several businesses here that many of us support, and the businesses I am familiar with are all well done and well managed. So that gives me hope that this project will turn out better than some are projecting.

The traffic issue is not solvable, and will probably result in a traffic light at the entrance of Tomoka Oaks. Shunting traffic through the existing subdivision should not even be considered, as it would hurt property values, totally change the nature of the neighborhood, and be dangerous for children. 

The density of homes allowed is high, and would be out of character with the surrounding neighborhood. Are there scenarios hat would work that could reduce the homes per acre, and still allow the zoned number of living units?

What about using the clubhouse site and some of the land there for three-story townhomes or other forms of multifamily housing? How many multifamily units would it take to get the single family home density down to three per acre and still allow the total number of homes the parcel is zoned for? 

Would it be feasible to put utilities underground? This would protect trees and add value to property. Are there suitable areas with trees for small community green spaces that would protect some of the natural features? This would also add value.

The development should be part of the Tomoka Oaks subdivision.

These are the things we should be talking about.

J.R. Miller

Ormond Beach

National Day of Prayer

Dear Editor:

Americans don’t need the government to tell them when and how to pray through their National Day of Prayer. Unfortunately, our citizens are told to do just that on the first Thursday of May, every year. As a result, local governments cross the line and promote NDP religious events and lend their name to endorse them, clearly violating the First Amendment Clause of the separation of church and state. Religious freedom allows Americans to decide which religious prayers to say —if any — and when to say them. Take government influence out of our religious freedoms. Put an end to the NDP and its task force. 

Sheila Zinkerman

Ormond Beach

We need to shift focus to traffic policing

Dear Editor:

All this talk about development. I see it in carefully worded letters to the editor, walking the thin line between a developer’s entitlement to maximize his or her investment and the obvious negative impact it would have on traffic and infrastructure here in what was, when I moved here almost 10 years ago, a beautiful and laidback community.

Now Granada Boulevard, off which I live, is very much like Interstate 95. Sirens wail as police and emergency vehicles respond to accidents all day long. Speeding is routine, the norm. Go the speed limit and you are risking your life. Cars and trucks pass you, doing 60 or more. Obey traffic laws, signal lane shifts like the law requires, and you are daring cars and trucks to cut you off. And believe me, they do.

I thought traffic on Granada might ease up after the snowbirds left, but this isn’t the case.

We have allowed the mindset here in Ormond beach to devolve into one debate after another about rezoning and allowing further development. We are being played for fools by our City Commissioners, all bought and paid for by developers.

We have already lost the fight to overdevelopment, my fellow citizens. It’s time to shift the entire conversation away from further traffic-adding consequences to our lost cause and towards the necessary costs it will take to improve policing and pedestrian safety, especially traffic policing. 

Bob Baumer

Ormond Beach

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