City commissioners discussed potential heavy traffic increases on West Granada Boulevard at a recent brainstorming workshop.
While the message of the up and coming Latitude Margaritaville community is one of relaxation and peace of mind, for the Ormond Beach City Commissioner Rick Boehm, the new development will be anything but.
"It is not a matter of if but when the impact of 6,900 homes greatly increases the already heavy traffic on Granada."
RICK BOEHM, city commissioner
"It is not a matter of if but when the impact of 6,900 homes greatly increases the already heavy traffic on Granada," said the commissioner in an email. "Since the entire Margaritaville project is in Daytona (one of Ormond's worst days was when Consolidated-Tomoka asked Daytona to annex their land up to Granada because the Ormond City Commission at that time would not agree to work with them), there is nothing Ormond can do but have to deal with the eventual impact of that traffic."
Even though the development, which will open for sales later this year, is in Daytona Beach, it will share Ormond Beach's zip code of 32174. And according to City Planner Ric Goss, 80% of the 1,680 acres or 2,700 units are in a portion of the city’s wholesale sewer and service area. That means the city will be supplying between 750,000 and 800,000 gallons of water and wastewater service combined, per day. Goss said the city does have capacity to meet those needs.
The applicant for sewer and water will be required to provide the necessary infrastructure to connect and serve its development in accordance with the Interlocal Agreement approved by Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach.
But even Goss agrees that the real impact isn't water, but transportation. He said the Florida Department of Transportation completed a Project Development and Environmental Study of State Road 40 from Williamson Boulevard to Breakaway Trail and found that the intersection at Williamson and Granada boulevards would need double left-turns eastbound to southbound on Williamson and triple left-turns northbound on Williamson to westbound SR 40.
He also said that as the development is built from south to north to SR 40, Minto will be required to connect the Tymber Creek Road South extension to LPGA Boulevard and extend Tomoka Farms Road from the ending of Interchange Boulevard to LPGA.
During a recent brainstorming workshop, the rest of the city commissioners discussed their concerns with the possible traffic and how to prepare for it.
"What if we extended Hand Avenue over I-95?" proposed Commissioner Dwight Selby. "There's got to be alternative ways to go east. We can’t have every car on Granada."
"That's on the list, but we've got to find other ways before that," replied City Manager Joyce Shanahan. "It's an expensive project that's gonna be at least 20 years away."
"We're the fourth fastest growing area in the nation, according to Forbes," Selby said. "We need to beat that stuff and make stuff happen when they’re hot."
Mayor Bill Partington suggested that extending roads like Hand Avenue could ruin the small-town feel that residents like about Ormond Beach.
"Some people believe that if you don’t do anything, people will find alternate routes on their own," Partington said. "It'll keep our roads from turning into a Dunlawton in Port Orange. It's probably going to be 10 years before we feel the impact. And if you do an overpass on Hand, people who live near it will go to any length to protect it. They don't like speeding on that road."
According to the promotional blog at margaritaville.com, the new development will feature amenities such as a fitness center with an aerobics studio, an indoor lap pool, a spa, indoor and outdoor dining, arts and learning programs, a resort pool area, a band shell for live entertainment and a private beachfront club which residents can access via a continuous loop shuttle service. The Orlando Sentinal reported that the beachfront club will be located in Ormond Beach, but a Minto declined to comment on the exact location.