CFOB hopes to make recommendations to the city next year.
Zoning, Land Development Code, Planned Business Development, Special Exception, Permitted Use.
These words were all used frequently last year on social media and in audience comments during City Commission meetings as the public discussed development of Ormond Beach, spurred by Granada Pointe on West Granada Boulevard.
Citizens For Ormond Beach, a non-profit civic group established 30 years ago, has waded into the complex world of city planning. On May 8, the group had a public meeting where Ormond Beach Planning Director Steven Spraker gave a presentation on the process, including zoning, the role of the Comprehensive Plan, flood plains, and other aspects of planning.
Liz Myers, CFOB president, called it an educational opportunity for the community to help city residents be more informed on the issues that affect the future of the city.
“There was such an uproar last year over clearing and development,” she said in a phone interview.
She said CFOB plans to form a committee to research and compare Ormond Beach ordinances and land use policies with other communities. As an example, they want to look into how other cities provide notifications to residents about public meetings on land use and zoning changes. Locally, signs on the property and newspaper ads are utilized.
A couple of years ago, CFOB extensively studied the problem of zombie housing (foreclosed properties that were in disrepair) and were successful in getting the city to revise codes and adopt policies to address the problem. Now, Myers said CFOB would like to work with the city on development rules and present recommendations to the city in 2020.
Before the meeting, Carol Johnson, not a CFOB member, said she wanted to learn how things are approved.
“I’m concerned about too much commercial development of Granada Boulevard,” she said. “Along with the traffic problem.”
CFOB member Susanne Steiner said doesn’t think citizens hear about proposed zoning changes.
“I don’t think people see the ads in the paper,” she said.
Spraker gave a crash course on city planning including the Comprehensive Plan, which is explained on the city’s website at https://www.ormondbeach.org/240/Comprehensive-Planning and the Land Development Code, found at https://www.ormondbeach.org/162/Land-Development-Code.
Topics covered by Spraker included three types of usages in the various zoning districts. Permitted uses, which are allowed “by right” without a hearing; Conditional, which means certain conditions must be met; and Special Exceptions, which require public hearings by the Planning Board and City Commission. He called a Planned Development a “negotiated zoning district” which also requires a public hearing process.
For example, in a B-8 Commercial District, and adult day care center is permitted, a bowling center is conditional and outdoor recreation is a special exception.
After the presentation, Myers told the audience that CFOB plans a Speaker Series this year.
CFOB has invited state elected officials Senator Travis Hutson, and Representatives Tom Leek and Elizabeth Fetterhoff to speak July 10. There will be a discussion about recycling Sept. 11, and the group tentatively plans a presentation on the city budget Nov. 13. The semi-annual Member’s Dinner will be Oct. 16, 2019, where their Citizen of the Year will be announced.