The volunteer citizen group strives to preserve Ormond Beach's character.
Updated at 3:44 p.m. on March 9 accurately state Alice Jaeger's city of residence.
Updated at 9:34 a.m. on March 12 for numerical accuracy and also to reflect that CANDO 2 stands for "Citizens and Neighbors Dedicated to Ormond. The original CANDO stood for "Citizens and Neighbors Devoted to Ormond."
Recently-formed volunteer group CANDO 2 held its first official meeting on Thursday, March 8 — a make or break moment that resulted in about 110 residents, including a congressional candidate and local real-estate investor, filling the auditorium at the Ormond Beach Public Library. This solidified that the group will indeed continue to move forward.
“We all have to do this together," said Jeff Boyle, one of CANDO 2 founders. "It will take every one of us."
CANDO 2, Citizens and Neighbors Dedicated to Ormond, was dependent on citizen support to move forward with its purpose of bridging what Boyle and other CANDO 2 founders call a disconnect between local government and residents. In attendance at the meeting was Congressional Candidate John Upchurch, Daytona Beach environmentalist Jenny Nazak and Rolf Gardey, real-estate investor and owner of the Coral Sands.
The group was formed by nine citizens after the forested area along West Granada Boulevard and Tomoka Avenue was cleared for the upcoming Granada Pointe development, creating resident outrage.
The first CANDO group accomplished to restrict building heights for condos in Ormond Beach in 2006. Unlike its predecessor, CANDO 2 is not a political organization, neither will it support or oppose electoral candidates. However, the group encourages citizen involvement in the elections.
Boyle said CANDO 2 will work toward educating the City Commission on the public wants, and if that doesn't work, individual residents have the choice to vote the current commissioners out of office.
"I'm just shocked that our city has discontinued these incredible rules that protected our city and made it special."
Alice Jaeger, Holly Hill resident
According to the mission statement handed out to all who attended CANDO 2's meeting, it strives to make sure citizens are informed on all issues related to growth and development, work with city government to find solutions and to preserve the aesthetic character, environment and quality of life in Ormond,
"We see that suddenly being eroded all at once," Boyle said.
Gardey stood up and spoke during the meeting, saying he's probably the longest-living realtor in town, having lived in Ormond since 1961. He said killing trees is not a profitable situation in the county because tourists don't come for the shopping centers.
"You come for the clean air, for the water, for the original North Florida vegetation," Gardey said. "And that's being taken away for gas stations?"
CANDO 2's goals include creating an email data base for communication with city officials, restoring all development and wetlands rules removed since 2009, establish a citizen review of new development applications early in the process and strengthen tree preservation codes and replacement requirements.
Many residents of the local area were on board with these goals.
"I'm just shocked that our city has discontinued these incredible rules that protected our city and made it special," Holly Hill resident Alice Jaeger said.
Moving forward, CANDO 2 will be focusing on the vacant parcels in the city. Its next meeting will take place on April 10.