News / Events
Farmton plan preserves land
BY GLENN STORCH, NEW SMYRNA BEACH
June 5, 2011
I saw that someone supported the continued challenge to the Farmton Local Plan in the May 31 letters to the editor. Although Farmton received tremendous support during the hearing process from citizens, staff and environmental advocates, such as Audubon, I recognize that you can't please everyone. However, it is important for even opponents of Farmton to recognize the facts:
- Over 40,000 acres of land will be preserved forever, without cost to the taxpayers, because of the actions of Volusia and Brevard counties and approval by the state Department of Community Affairs. No one sued in Brevard County; therefore, conservation easements removing development rights on approximately 75 percent of the Miami Corp. holdings in Brevard County will be recorded this year. Unfortunately, as long as any opponent continues a legal challenge, conservation easements are unable to be placed on the Volusia property.
- There is no remaining funding for land acquisition by the state of Florida or Volusia County. Without the Farmton Local Plan, the property would eventually be divided and sold for other uses.
- There are no developers. The Farmton Local Plan is a planning vision that requires approximately 75 percent of the 94 square miles to be preserved within one year of the effective date of adoption, with the potential that one day, after 2025, it may be possible to build a community in the 25 percent of the property allowed to be used. In the meantime, probably for decades to come, the Farmton tract will be maintained, as it has been, for agricultural use.
Is this a benefit to me? You bet. Except for those who make money from conflict, the preservation of this land, and substitution of better planning for the thousands of ranchettes permitted, will be better for me and for everyone in Volusia County.