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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Mar. 16, 2020 3 weeks ago

What’s down the road for the city’s main entryway?

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North U.S. 1 is viewed as the site for future growth of the city.
by: Wayne Grant Real Estate Editor

While busy with motorcycle events during Bike Week, the North U.S. 1 corridor is seen as an important gateway for the city and the site of future commercial growth. The Planning Board heard a report on the North U.S. 1 corridor on March 12 from city staff, including planned improvements.

The vast majority of vacant residential and commercial land in the city is located along the corridor, according to documents provided at the workshop.

“This is where the growth will come,” said Shawn Finley, Public Works director.

Board member Al Jorszak suggested the city look at more medical or office/professional development, as opposed to industry, to better serve the growth of residential development.

The most recent growth is Plantation Oaks, a 1,577-unit manufactured home community, which opened last year. City leaders also hope Ormond Crossings development takes off. No housing has been started in the development, planned as a live/work/play area with homes, commercial and business areas. Entitlements include an elementary school.

Also attending the workshop was Peggy Farmer, chairwoman of the North U.S. 1 Coalition, a citizens group that has advocated for improvements to the road since 2014. She said the group is currently promoting the idea of the city offering grants to businesses for façade or landscaping improvements, similar to that done in the downtown (Granada Boulevard) district.

“That’s what is missing up there,” she said.

 

THE FREEWAY INTERCHANGE

 

The interchange of Interstate 95 and North U.S. 1 has long been a topic of discussion and now the Florida Department of Transportation has advertised for consultants to conduct a study and design for a new intersection. The study would begin this July and take a couple of years.

Ormond Beach leaders have discussed the need for a new interchange for many years.

“We’re finally seeing some progress,” Finley said.

Mike Scudiero, Planning Board member, said he first heard about needed improvements to the interchange in 2003, when he was a legislative aide in the Florida House of Representatives. Ormond Beach city leaders lobbied legislators for a new interchange at that time, saying it was needed for development of Ormond Crossings.

City Planning Director Steven Spraker noted that after the study there would be need to be funding appropriation and then construction, which could take several years.

 

ROAD UPGRADES

 

FDOT is preparing to advertise a project that will resurface U.S. 1 from Woodland Avenue to the Flagler County line. The work includes sidewalk additions and reconstruction, curb ramps reconstruction, drainage improvements, signing and pavement markings, traffic signal upgrades and pedestrian lighting improvements. It would also add bicycle keyholes, which are lanes that run between a through lane and a right-turn lane at the approach to intersections.

This project is scheduled to be advertised for contractors April 7.

 

MULTI-USE PATH

 

The city of Ormond Beach has applied for funding from the River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization to construct a 10-foot wide, mixed-use sidewalk along U.S. 1. The first phase would run from Wilmette Avenue to Airport Road, costing $1.6 million, and the second phase would continue to Broadway Avenue, costing $3.3 million dollars.

 

ORMOND CROSSINGS

 

A traffic light has been installed at Broadway Avenue, spurred by the completion last year of Security First, the first commercial building in Ormond Crossings. Intersection improvements and a permanent light will be installed by the end of this summer. The Ormond Crossings developer is paying half and the city is paying half of the $396,431.66 cost.

 

EXPANDED WATER, SEWER

 

The corridor is served by a single water line and a single sewer line on the west side to 1899 N. U.S. 1, the north city limits. Recent and

“Ormond Crossings could not go forward without this.”

SHAWN FINLEY, public works director, on new sewer and water lines

expected growth places a heavy demand on the capacity. The Public Works department is working on the bidding and construction of a new 12-inch waterline and 12-inch sewer line. It is expected that the project will be advertised in March 2020 and a completion date in March 2021.

The project will improve water pressure and reliability, according to city documents, and provide service to owners on both sides of the road, without the need for directional drilling. The total project cost is $3,570,000.

The project will be a catalyst for development, Finley said.

“Ormond Crossings could not go forward without this,” he said.

 

NEW CONSTRUCTION

 

A development is planned for 1670 N. U.S. 1, with about 17.45 acres for retail, convenience store/gas station and restaurants.

Under construction is a coffee shop at Dunkin Donuts, 1535 N. U.S. 1, with a drive-through window. Also, S.R. Perrott is being expanded, and RV and boat storage is being added at 99 Portland Ave. and 1345 N. U.S. 1.

 

LET THE MUSIC PLAY (OR NOT)

 

Residents in neighboring subdivisions issued complaints about music during Bike Week, but there’s apparent confusion about the rules.

Board member G.G. Galloway said at the Planning Board meeting that he received three calls about music during Bike Week.  They were complaining because the music continued past 10 p.m. Recently, Boot Hill Saloon received approval to have music until 10 p.m.

However, the music apparently came from other venues. Entertainment businesses that were annexed from the county have no restriction on hours, because they were grandfathered in.

“The city needs to do a better job of explaining to residents that some are grandfathered in,” Galloway said.

A representative from Boot Hill was at the workshop and said his business turned off the music promptly every night at 10 p.m.

However, all establishments must abide by a decibel limit. Spraker said that residents can call the nonemergency number for police to make a complaint: 386-248-1777.

Boot Hill was also recently given permission to have outdoor music four times per month on weekends 2-5 p.m. Some neighbors complained about having music every weekend, but city staff conducted a decibel level check that showed it should be no problem.

Most vacant commercial and residential land is in the North U.S. 1 area. Courtesy photo

 

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