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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017 2 years ago

Dune discussions continue

Officials have scheduled a community meeting for Ormond-by-the-Sea residents to discuss a variety of topics.
by: Jacque Estes Community Editor

Updated April 19, 2017

As Flagler County continues to go forward with their beach restoration, Ormond-by-the Sea in Volusia County hasn’t seen much action.

Ormond-by-the-Sea lost a considerable amount of sand to Hurricane Matthew. It is believed the sand is off the coast in the sea and the hope is, in time, Mother Nature will return it to the dunes. Time is the issue. As long as there are no major storms, State Road A1A and the beachside should be fine.

But as Flagler County learned two weeks ago, a heavy rain can cause washouts, and did in areas where A1A had been repaired.

“We’re worried about road eventually washing out because the dune diminishment in Ormond-by-the-Sea area,” District 4 Representative Heather Post said.

Post said there has been “active conversation” between the county, FDOT and the state. Part of the issue stems from which department has ultimate responsibility for the restoration of the dunes. 

According to Post and Deputy County Manager for Volusia George Recktenwald another factor is some of the dunes and walkovers are owned by private individuals and HomeownerAssociations. Of the 635 acres of dunes east of A1A, 87.5 % of the parcels are privately owned and make up 21.9% of the acreage. The rest is publicly owned including the area of North Peninsula State Park.

Recktenwald said historically there hasn’t been the need for much dune restoration in the past. While Flagler Beach has lost chunks of its section of A1A in past storms, Volusia has gone through the same storms with no problem. There were two “shark bites” or small sections of A1A in Ormond-by-the-Sea damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Both were quickly repaired by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Recktenwald said the county has to be concerned about paying for repairs that would disqualify them for state or federal funding and spending taxpayer dollars.

Adding to the damage are the tourists and residents walking on and climbing down the dunes to get to the beach. Recktenwald said the Volusia County Beach Patrol is watching for those taking a short cut instead of looking for an appropriate walkover.

The north beach guard tower in Ormond-by-the-Sea was left unusable by the storm, but the beach patrol officers are still working in the area.

“The process is painfully slow and we need to stay the course and maximize the tax payers’ money,” Recktenwald said. “We are definitely on top of it.”

 A community meeting for a variety of Ormond-by-the-Sea topics, not just dune renourishment, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25 at Riverside Methodist Church, 2253 John Anderson Drive.

 Post said residents need to “advocate with Rep. (Paul) Renner and Sen. (Travis) Hutson.”

“Whatever they are asking for we are trying to get to them,” Hutson said. “They need to be permitting these projects.”

“The state is taking care of other areas having the same issues,” Post said. “We’re not backing down because we are just as important. What’s good for one is good for the others and we need to fight for our county.”



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