To the Volusia County Council,
I am a resident of and voter in Volusia County.
I agree with the Florida Department of Community Affair's (FDCA) Objections, Recommendations and Comments (ORC) Report recommending that the amendments to our county growth management plan, proposed by the Chicago based Miami Corporation, not be adopted by county council.
I agree with the FDCA that the site is not environmentally suitable for development.
The county and Miami Corporation have partnered and expended tax dollars to promote a new development of over 60,000 new residents along with new roads, and 4 million square feet of industrial, warehouse and retail to be built in forest the county has previously designated "poorly drained". Half of the area chosen for development lies with the 100-year floodplain. 24% are designated wetlands. Development will irreversibly affect the hydrology of the watershed.
The entire 47,000 acres lie within the county designated Natural Resource Management Area (NRMA) defined by our own growth management ordinance as an area growth shall be directed away from.
While Miami Corporation has pledged, at some point, to place land into permanent conservation, the fact that those lands would be impacted by the pollution of thousands of new residents and businesses and crossed by new roads makes the future value of the proposed conservation corridor negligible.
I find the county staff's promotion and council's endorsement of a development of this magnitude and in this location surprising because the present language of our growth management ordinance makes it unnecessary. In order to maximize it's development rights, Miami Corporation must cluster leaving approximately 45,000 acres and the entirety of the 100 year floodplain open for future forestry and as the existing mitigation bank.
I ask council to now choose to support the 71% of Volusia's voters who directed the county to keep urban growth out of the NRMA. Council members, please join the voters and the Florida Department of Community Affairs. Find the proposed amendments, in their entirety, unacceptable. Do not adopt.