Also: Reader is grateful for city tennis courts.
CANDO2 does not speak for all
I attended the Feb 19th meeting of the Ormond Beach City Commission, at which time lots of points and counterpoints were presented on both the car wash project on Granada Blvd. and the proposed changes to the election terms for the city.
It was very offensive to hear numerous CANDO2 and others opposed (to just about everything brought up) say that they “speak the word of Ormond Beach” or “the citizens of Ormond Beach have spoken.” While we live in a free country, these citizens do not speak for me or represent my opinion. They clearly do not even represent the majority of those who voted in the last elections, otherwise, their candidates would have been seated on the dais last night.
Definitely refreshing to see commissioners consider both sides of issues and take a vote based on practical approaches to decision making. If development that is approved based on existing rules and reviewed rationally (for example, the Commission voted not to get rid of the one tree at the development), the city as a whole will prosper and continue to become a very affordable place. My point is proven with the city audit report and facts presented last night by the CPA from James Moore & Co. Ultimately, no one is disregarding the environment; Mr. Holub can attest to that. However, again, I urge those that unilaterally oppose to development to come up with a rational approach — either we continue to absorb development based on existing ordinances and check-points or our city’s tax structure will have to change. I am certain the same people vying for no development would be the first to complain that the city taxes would need to be raised.
Lastly, I also urge the Commission to be very considerate of monetary donations or side-deals. The first that would have been considered on a west Ormond project several months back was not accepted and voted down as illicit. Then, last night, a $10,000 donation was approved as a condition of the vote. We are lucky to have a developer agree to an individual donation … but this should not have been included as a condition of the approval. Nothing against the Historical Trust but, in my opinion, approving as a condition sets a bad precedent.
Rafael A. Ramirez
Editor’s Note: The City Commission makes decisions based on existing ordinances but can revise ordinances and allow special exceptions.
Thanks for tennis
This is just a short note to let you know how much my wife, Marianne, and I have been enjoying tennis at the Ormond Beach Tennis Center under the leadership of Clay Robinson and the guidance of Coach Kevin Tierney. This program is such a God-send to us “snowbirds” who come down to your lovely city to get away from the harshness of our NJ winters. Not only do we get to enjoy your beaches, your restaurants and attractions … but we also get to improve our tennis game with fun and encouraging instruction.
These courts are pristine and very much utilized and appreciated by residents as well as us transients. Thank you for all that you do to make OB what it is today and what it will become tomorrow.
Waretown, New Jersey
Pardon me for being naïve and maybe a little politically uneducated, but isn't the Comprehensive Plan considered "law." Doesn't the "law" have to be changed (i.e., discussed and voted upon by the public) before you can make decisions on agenda items that affect the "Plan." There is something rotten in the state of Denmark. I think it is time to eliminate the Planning Department and the Planning Board as, obviously, their hard work and logic are no match for the machine that runs our town.
The developer and attorney were given untimed minutes before and after the residents' individual three-minute timed pleas were not allowed to go into "overtime seconds." One of the panel of four appeared to be reading a script to fortify his decision in favor. Another complained about residents' speeches inferring negative vibes about the developer. Yes, he has done some nice things for the city. But, I did not say anything that was not the truth! In fact, one gentleman afterward congratulated me on a "powerful talk peppered with the truth."
On top of all this, they want to lengthen their stays in office from two years to four years. Their claim is continuity. It is nothing more than securing control. Quoting George Orwell, "two years good, four years bad." In fact (in my opinion), in some cases two years is 730 days too long!
Editor’s note: The City Commission determined that the car wash would be a personal service and not automotive so would not conflict with the Comprehensive Plan.
OBO’s headline Feb. 21 should not be “Granada Pointe gets its car wash” so much as developer gets their money’s worth in pay back.
Aside from being as rude as possible to residents with their three-minute limits, the mayor allowed the developer to waste a packed chamber’s time for 32 minutes and then another 15 minutes crying and whining.
No further evidence is required to prove the malfeasance of the Commission and city management with their expensive phony politicking and horn blowing about resident participation and input, only for residents to be insulted and slighted in every way and whenever possible without any recognition of their position.
Please note that tree and car wash were not even on the agenda; city attorney apparently has no problem with that.
The four-year term referendum is a mystery, since no other questions are allowed on the resident paid mailing — such as term limits, contract city legal to outside law firm, eliminate or legalize grants and Main Street, pension rationalization, staffing review, audit of consultants, separation of public works and other city services accounts, new EOC/police station and cost-benefit of expensive airport — the same issues avoided with OB Life fiasco.
Enjoy your once again empty chamber, as I myself and I am sure others, prefer not to be insulted by this Commission’s dribble.
If this Commission represented the residents, you really should have called for a show of hands, but we all understand why you didn’t.
Granada Pointe a good-looking development
Granada Pointe is a very emotional issue for some people and you are not going to appease them no matter what is proposed. Maybe it was the method and visibility of clearing the land that caused people to dislike this project but they should not make that issue the key point in all their statements. I was not fully on board at the beginning but realized it was prime real estate for business, the trees were old and damaged and, prior to Granada Pointe, it was always approved to be developed. Preceding the clearing of this area, I walked through it numerous times and it was a dumping site and place for the homeless to reside. As with all plans, there have been numerous changes submitted. People state this development’s plans are constantly changing and this is a fact for any project of this type.
I was one of the individuals that supported the car wash at the council meeting and felt the article in the Observer dwelt more on the side of the people against it. I cannot disagree with the fact the city staff and planning board said “no” but there were reasons the City Commission felt otherwise that you did not fully identify. You did not list the distinction between this car wash and an open bay car wash. I am not saying either of these types are bad but they are vastly different in their nature and looks and provide a different service.
The planning board and city staff said no because of an old and outdated comprehensive plan which makes sense as there has not been policy or guidance before. They classified the car wash as “automotive” service so were against it and yet just a few hundred yards away is a Take 5, Boulevard Tire and Pep Boys. I would not want to see a full-service car wash or another automotive business in this location. This car wash will not perform work on cars; fully automated.
I do live behind this project and not miles away. Mr. Holub has planted more trees than required thus providing a better-looking project and trees for the future (isn’t that what people want?). It is a good-looking development and will be clean looking with less buildings than originally proposed. People are protesting and emotional decisions are made because of the “clear cutting” of this property; let’s not deny this project for the same reason.
Additional Comment: Mr. Holub stated he will continue to own most of the project and manage it. Is this not what we want in Ormond Beach? A developer that just doesn’t build a complex and leaves but remains involved in our City?
You can say my point of view is skewed toward the car wash and this development. I am not always for big business but I want what is best for MY neighborhood and want something that is sustainable, clean and will keep the noise and trash to a minimum.
Editor’s note: Not all of the Granada Pointe area was zoned for retail development. In January, 2016, the City Commission approved a land use change from residential to retail for 2.6 acres that borders Bennett Lane. Also, a six-acre site was rezoned from residential to open space/conservation so the retention pond could be built.