News / Events

Peer Review Panel to Evaluate Farmton's Comprehensive Plan Amendment

Glenn Storch

May 19, 2009

Deland, Fla., May 2009—On April 3, Miami Corporation resubmitted a revised Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Volusia County for its 49,000 acres in Volusia at the site of the Farmton Tree Farm. On May 19, Miami Corporation filed a similar plan for its adjoining 11,000 acres in Brevard County.

In order to refine and improve the Farmton Plan, Miami Corporation has invited the Center for Environmental and Urban Solutions (CUES) at Florida Atlantic University and the Collins Center for Public Policy to co-convene a Peer Review Panel. The panel’s role is to evaluate the Farmton Plan and serve as independent reviewers, providing guidance on best practices and lessons learned from other places.

The Panel will be chaired by James Murley of Florida Atlantic University and Steve Seibert of the Collins Center, both former Secretaries of the Florida Department of Community Affairs. Panel members include nationally recognized experts in the fields of sustainability and design including senior level representatives of The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund.

The Peer Review Panel will be meeting on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at Daytona State College’s New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater Campus. The meeting is open to the public and is part of the Farmton team’s ongoing and proactive efforts to gather input and make continued improvements to the Plan.

For more information about the Peer Review process and Panel Members bios click here.

About Farmton
Farmton, also known as the Farmton Tract, consists of approximately 59,000 acres in southeast Volusia and northern Brevard Counties. The Farmton tract extends from the SR 442 interchange to south of the SR 5A interchange of Interstate 95. The City of Edgewater borders the property to the north; Interstate 95 is to the east; Buck Lake and the St John’s River are to the south; and Pell Road is to the west. Maytown Road traverses the center of Farmton providing an east west connection between US1 and State Road 415.

Over the last several decades, Farmton has been an active forestry operation, producing timber for pulp and wood products. Farmton lands are also leased as range for cattle as well as hunting. In addition, Farmtom operates a wetland mitigation bank under permit from St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and Army Corps of Engineers.

About the Farmton Plan
The Farmton Plan is an innovative, new land use designation and flexible land use planning tool. The Plan is different from conventional land use planning methods because it uses 'greenprinting' - a relatively new planning method based on sound science, and comprehensive on-the-ground analysis of the natural surroundings. This 'green infrastructure' is identified at the onset so that no development is planned there. Through conservation easements and other guarantees these natural lands -- including wildlife corridors, landscape linkages, conservation areas, restoration sites, and open space - can then be permanently protected.

The Farmton Plan also designates "Sustainable Development Areas" designated for future innovative residential and economic development which will adhere to very high standards of sustainability. These areas will be reviewed through the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process, complying with financial feasibility and infrastructure requirements. At this point in time, however, Miami Corporation has no plans for development of the Farmton Tract.

About Miami Corporation
Miami Corporation is a privately owned family investment company. It was incorporated in 1917 by descendants of the same family that participated in the founding of International Harvester, a world renowned farm implement company in its day. Several of the family members owned winter homes in the Miami, Florida area during the early 1900’s, and enjoying their time there, chose Miami as the name for their family investment company. Miami Corporation investments include lands in Oregon and Louisiana as well as Florida.

Miami Corporation and its affiliates have owned the Farmton Tract since the 1920’s and have managed the land for more than 80 years. Miami Corporation is the largest private landowner in Volusia County and one of the largest in Brevard County.

About the Peer Review Panel Members

  • James F. Murley, Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University and former Secretary of Florida Department of Community Affairs
  • Steven M. Seibert, Senior Vice President and Director of Policy at the Collins Center for Public Policy and former Secretary of Florida Department of Community Affairs
  • James Moore, National Director for Community Planning and Urban Design for HDR, a national architecture, engineering, and consulting company
  • Pierce Jones, Director of Program for Resource Efficient Communities at the University of Florida
  • Douglas R. Horne, President of D. R. Horne & Company, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. that advises on the planning, sustainable development, and management of properties with significant natural or historical elements
  • Tom Daniels, Professor of City and Regional Planning in the University of Pennsylvania's Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Richard Hilsenbeck, Associate Director of Protection for the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy
  • Tina Bernd-Cohen, a professional planning consultant in Florida and Montana
  • Elizabeth Dowdle, Vice President and Florida Director of The Conservation Fund

For more information visit