News / Events

Volusia school officials OK with development revisions


February 10, 2010

A plan for the future of 59,000 acres straddling the Volusia/Brevard county line changes almost daily as it wends its way through local government reviews.

The Miami Corp., a Chicago-based family land trust, wants to change uses of its property in both counties. It proposes to permanently conserve at least 32,000 acres, and set the remainder aside for eventual construction of 25,000 homes and 4.7 million square feet of commercial space. The only construction proposed before 2025 is a 2,287-home development near Edgewater.

On Monday, Volusia County School District officials said recent revisions resolved their immediate concerns.

The school district was unwilling to sign off on more than 2,287 homes because of insufficient school capacity. The property is in an area designated by the county and district as a no new school zone for 18 years.

County and company representatives met with the district and rewrote several sections in the plan that talk about schools, said Saralee Morrissey, the district's intergovernmental coordinator. The latest version protects all the school district's interests, Morrissey said. It spells out specific site information. Before more than 2,287 homes could be constructed, the plan would have to be reviewed again by the district .

The district's chief legal counsel, Rich Kizma, said the discussions have allowed the district to be more deeply involved in the county's master planning process than ever before, "and that's a good thing."

Meanwhile, Volusia County asked to delay a hearing scheduled for today with the Volusia Growth Management Commission, an oversight board that reviews proposed land use changes to ensure they don't conflict with neighboring governments' rules.

The commission's staff initially declared the company's proposal inconsistent with county rules. However, company and county officials said that opinion was based on an outdated version. The county wants to move the discussion to the commission's March 24 meeting to allow time for all changes to be reviewed.

The commission review was triggered by a request from the city of Deltona. But, in a letter to the commission late last week, County Chairman Frank Bruno said the county met with Deltona officials and is revising the plan to resolve the city's concerns.

The Volusia County Council is scheduled to consider the plan at its Feb. 18 meeting.