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VGMC will decide Wednesday: to hear, or not to hear Farmton plan

By Pat Hatfield BEACON STAFF WRITER

February 9, 2010

Review postponed?— A scheduled Volusia Growth Management Commission hearing on a proposed comprehensive-plan amendment that would allow the Farmton development plan may be postponed from Wednesday, Feb. 10, to next month.

The Volusia Growth Management Commission (VGMC) may not conduct a scheduled hearing on a proposed comprehensive-plan amendment as scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. Nobody will know until the VGMC convenes on Feb. 10 and votes either to grant a continuance requested by Volusia County Chair Frank Bruno, or to proceed with the hearing as scheduled.

The special meeting to consider the Farmton local plan has been on the schedule for weeks. On Feb. 5, Bruno sent VGMC Chairman Gerald Brandon a letter asking for a continuance until the VGMC's regular meeting on March 24.

Bruno said the county staff had been working to resolve issues, and wanted more time to gather additional data and analysis before the review.

However, Farmton will remain on the County Council's meeting agenda for Thursday, Feb. 18. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Bruno said it should not cause a problem for the matter to go to the County Council for a vote before it goes to the VGMC.

The VGMC reviews changes to local jurisdictions' comprehensive plans, which provide the big picture for how development is allowed. The VGMC checks for consistency with neighboring jurisdictions, so that a development doesn't provide excessive traffic on nearby rural roads, for example.

Bruno said he expects objections from the Volusia County School Board and the City of Deltona to be completely resolved in the next few days. It was these objections that triggered a public VGMC hearing on the Farmton plan.

The plan would allow more than 23,000 residences on 47 acres in Southeast Volusia, plus more in Brevard County, on land that is now designated for agricultural, wetland and rural use.

An amendment to the county's comprehensive plan, plus an OK from the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA), will be needed to permit the Farmton plan.

Bruno said the Growth Management Commission will still have time to respond to the DCA before the state makes a final determination whether or not to allow the change. DCA has final say over land use within the state.

VGMC Chairman Brandon confirmed it will take a vote at the Feb. 10 meeting to delay the hearing until March. That is the only item on the agenda.

Both the 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, VGMC meeting and the 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, County Council meeting will take place in the County Council Chambers in the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center at 123 W. Indiana Ave. in DeLand. Both meetings are open to the public, and provide time for public comment.

— pat@beacononlinenewscom

 


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