Parking, storm water retention among the plans.
The Quality of Life Advisory Board saw a presentation by city staff Nov. 3 on the future plans for the New Britain Avenue area, bordered by West Granada Boulevard, North Beach Street, Lincoln Avenue and North Ridgewood Avenue.
The plan includes a widened New Britain Avenue with parking spaces and storm water retention to encourage development, such as a multistory, residential/commercial building on New Britain Avenue.
Called Downtown Drainage and Parking Improvements, the plan is part of the city’s overall master plan for the Community Redevelopment Area, which encompasses Granada Boulevard and adjoining streets. The master plan also calls for improving streets and sidewalks in the area.
The storm water part of the plan has been accomplished. A park on Lincoln Avenue, half a block from North Beach Street, has been constructed with pipes underneath for water retention, serving the entire block. This area would allow a developer to construct a building along New Britain Avenue without having to use part of the area for storm water retention.
City civil engineer Shawn Finley said this will take away a fear people sometimes have about development, that it will cause flooding. The water retention under the park will alleviate any flooding concerns.
City Manager Joyce Shanahan told the board that ideas the city has seen for New Britain Avenue show multistory buildings with commercial on the ground floor and residential above.
She added that there are no current plans for construction.
“Zoning will have to be amended,” she said. “We want to have the infrastructure in place.”
She said the property along New Britain Area is currently owned by only two or three property owners.
Another part of the plan is the widening of New Britain Avenue to add parking. The city would need to use right-of-way on the north side of the road.
Shawn Finley, civil engineer for the city, said this widening project could be initiated in a couple of years.
He said the overall idea is to have a walk-able downtown area that’s not really possible on Granada Boulevard with its heavy traffic.
“New Britain could be a ‘main street,’” he said. “We want to create a benefit for the public. This is an exciting project. I enjoy working on it.”
Increased parking in the area was accomplished recently by the parking lot that has been completed, except for lighting, on Lincoln Avenue to the west of Ormond Beach Riverside Church. The city purchased the land from the church for $68,000 and built the lot at a cost of $160,000.
The public parking allows parking for the Anderson-Price Memorial Building, church members or any members of the public visiting the area.
The money for the parking lot came from taxes collected in the Community Redevelopment Area. In a CRA, a portion of the property tax that would go to Volusia County is kept by the city to make improvements in that area.
“New Britain could be a ‘main street.’”
SHAWN FINLEY, civil engineer
In a Community Redevelopment Area, a portion of the property tax that would go to Volusia County is kept by the city to make improvements in that area.