News / Events

Miami Corporation Submits Farmton Comprehensive Plan Amendment Application to Volusia County

Glenn Storch

January 29, 2009

DELAND, FLORIDA, January 29, 2009 – Miami Corporation, the largest private landowner in Volusia County, today filed its Farmton-Greenkey Comprehensive Plan amendment with the County, creating an opportunity to preserve forever at least 30,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands and regional wildlife corridors if the amendment is approved.

Consisting of approximately 59,000 acres in southeast Volusia and northern Brevard Counties, the Farmton Tract has been under single ownership by Miami Corporation for more than 80 years and currently operates as a tree farm along with cattle grazing, hunting and mitigation bank activities. The face of east central Florida continues to change along with the economics of silviculture. Population growth, development of the land surrounding Farmton, and changes in domestic and international timber markets have all placed Farmton at a crossroads.

“Miami Corporation is committed to creating a long-term vision and plan for Farmton that ensures its economic success while continuing the Company’s legacy of thoughtful and long-term environmental stewardship of the land,” explained local attorney Glenn Storch who has worked with the family-run investment company for nearly two decades.

Farmton-Greenkey, as an innovative, new land use designation and flexible land use planning tool would assist Volusia County in meeting its smart growth goals and objectives and creates policies for future development designed to raise the bar for sustainability standards.

“Our amendment is fundamentally different than conventional land use planning methods because it is based on ‘greenprinting’ - a relatively new method that uses early identification of ‘green infrastructure.’ It is based on sound science, ground truthing and a complete analysis of the natural surroundings,” explained Storch. The purpose of greenprinting is to protect interconnected networks of green space such as wildlife corridors, landscape linkages, conservation areas, restoration sites, or open space by recognizing them at the onset and preserving them through permanent guarantees before any development is planned.

On December 4, 2008, the Volusia County Council adopted the Smart Growth Sub-element of its Comprehensive Plan. A key component of the amendment is an Environmental Core Overlay (ECO) map, identifying nearly 300,000 acres of "interconnected natural systems of environmentally sensitive lands" which have been characterized as the "must save" places in Volusia County. Miami Corporation is the largest single owner of ECO lands with over 11,000 acres in the overlay. Farmton-Greenkey could be a viable way to successfully protect these ECO lands and regionally significant interconnected wildlife corridors.

Through Farmton-Greenkey, "Sustainable Development Areas" will also be identified as places for future residential and economic development. 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, Miami Corporation has no plans for development of the Farmton Tract.

The proposed Farmton-GreenKey policies set new standards for land conservation and sustainable development. For the first time in Florida, GreenPrinting will be accomplished on a regional scale through stakeholder collaboration and landowner cooperation. The amendment includes important input from two stakeholder workshops and statewide environmental groups. The result will be protection of tens of thousands of acres of environmentally significant lands at no cost to the taxpayer. Areas reserved for future development will be planned at the highest levels of sustainability.

Today’s filing of the Farmton-Greenkey amendment begins a long and public review process including review and feedback from various state resource agencies. A similar application is also expected to be filed in Brevard County in early 2009. Following these reviews and recommendations, the amendment would then be considered by the Volusia County Council and Brevard Board of County Commissioners sometime later this year. Ultimately, the plan will be reviewed by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.

“Miami Corporation believes that the proposed plan is not only a "GreenPrint" but a lasting legacy of conservation that will be valued for generations to come. We see this as a winning proposition for everyone – the citizens, the environment and the landowner,” added Storch.

The full Farmton-Greenkey Comprehensive Plan Amendment application is available online at www.farmtontreefarm.com and on the Volusia County website at http://www.volusia.org/growth/CompiledDocument_Jan2009-2.pdf

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 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.

For more information visit www.farmtontreefarm.com.

 


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