News / Events

Farmton provides benefits to Deltona for generations to come

By Glenn Storch

March 3, 2010

I saw Larry French’s letter suggesting that Deltona hang tough. Knowing Larry, I am certain that he has Deltona’s best interests at heart. However, he has been misinformed as to what the Farmton Local Plan does and as to the impact of the Plan on Deltona. The actual plan, adopted by the Volusia County Council on February 18th, is good for the County and is especially advantageous for the City of Deltona.

The Plan that the staff negotiated, the PLDRC endorsed unanimously, and the County Council ultimately approved was based on recommendations from Charles Lee of the Audubon Society; recommendations from Florida Fish and Wildlife, (which cited this as a model plan); resolutions of support from the City of Oak Hill and recommendations and input from hundreds of stakeholders during the stakeholders and peer review process this Plan has endured during the last four years. This process included input from three former DCA leaders. More important, their vote was based on the tremendous benefit this plan provides the citizens of Volusia County for generations to come. The plan provides the following benefits to the citizens of Volusia County and City of Deltona:

  1. Within one (1) year conservation easements and conservation covenants will be placed on approximately 40,000 acres of land, which is more than Volusia County has been able to buy in 15 years. This expands and protects the Conservation Corridor, which would be permanently protected from development, consistent with the Farmton Local Plan. The land will be maintained exactly as it is. These conservation easements would be at no cost to the County or to the citizens of Volusia County. The values of these lands have been estimated at close to a billion dollars;
     
  2. The ownership of over a thousand acres surrounding the Deep Creek ecosystem would be transferred to a Conservation Trust, which would have the ability to allow for public access by kayaking, canoes and for ecotourism;
     
  3. A bear habitat corridor that is approximately one (1) mile wide would be set aside to allow for bear range and habitat. This is the first bear habitat corridor ever set aside of this size;
     
  4. No competition for any homes now on the market. A building moratorium would be placed on approximately 46,000 acres of land (again without charge to the citizens of Volusia County) until no less than 2025 and potentially for more than fifty (50) years from today. Until then, only about 800 acres in the Edgewater Service Area is allowed to be used.
     
  5. Farmton would be required pay for all infrastructure costs, when and if any residential development is ever built. Contrary to Larry’s understanding, Deltona would not pay or be responsible for any of the Farmton infrastructure. In fact, Farmton would be required to totally rebuild Maytown Road as a hurricane evacuation route from Interstate 95 to State Road 415. Additionally, Farmton would be responsible at that time to pay for any impacts on other roads. There is a proposed provision in the Plan that specifically states that Deltona will not be responsible for such road improvement.
     
  6. Additional density is allowed in this area after 2025, but only if the landowner meets the following conditions:
    1. To achieve the permitted density in 50 years, the landowner must create 23,100 jobs in Farmton. This is the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to have good jobs that allow our kids to stay in our community;
    2. The landowner must provide for schools and an Interlocal Agreement between the parties to allow for schools in these areas;
    3. The landowner must go through a master DRI review for the entire project, which must by approved with consensus from the adjoining municipalities and governments. Then a second DRI review would be required for any construction within these areas and then another VGMC review would have to take place. Deltona will participate in every review.
    4. The landowner has provided for all infrastructure, at their costs, including the total reconstruction of Maytown Road and central water and sewer utilities. Individual septic tanks or wells are not permitted within Farmton.

In fact, water is a key issue. Right now, the Volusia County section of Farmton is subdivided into more than1700 ranchettes that do not allow for any habitat corridors, do not require any infrastructure improvements, including additional roads, and allow for individual wells and septic tanks on every lot. The current estimate for water usage under the ranchette plan in approximately 30 million gallons per day.

But Farmton, (even if totally built to the maximum allowed in 50 years), would only use approximately 6 million gallons a day. 70% less water usage than the current ranchette plan. This is based on the water conservation requirements built into the Farmton Local Plan. The PSC certified water utility, Farmton Water Resources LLC, would be responsible for supplying water to Farmton from wellfields or reservoirs within Farmton.

By the way, Larry misunderstood the water service areas. Farmton Water Resources service area does not overlap or interfere with Deltona’s 180 water service area or the Edgewater Service Area.

One additional advantage to Deltona is that major new water resources have been discovered within Farmton. The Water Resource has no impact on nearby springs, lakes or other areas of concerns. In fact, it appears that this resource could assist in resolving future water shortages, especially if Farmton has no need for the resource for decades to come due to the building moratorium built into the Farmton Local Plan. I believe that Farmton will be a valued partner in helping our West Volusia communities resolve these issues.

The bottom-line is that the area remaining out of the conservation easements will be the last piece of land utilized in Volusia County. This is a long-term conservation program that plans for a sustainable future for Farmton and Deltona and for children and grandchildren.

GLENN STORCH
420 S. NOVA RD
DAYTONA BEACH, FL

 


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