Proposed Rural Area Special Exceptions Brings Out Opposition At VCC Meeting

By on August 20, 2019 in WNDB News

DeLand, FL – Two property owners, one in Oak Hill and one in Ormond Beach, are both asking for special exceptions to build rural event centers on their respective properties. Residents from both areas were at yesterday’s Volusia County Council meeting, mostly to express their opposition to the rural event centers.

The owner of what is already an operating rural event center on County Line Road in Oak Hill is asking for the special exception in order to come into compliance with the zoning code. Both County staff and the Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission recommended approval. An Oak Hill resident spoke during the public discussion, saying he lives about a mile away from the property on County Line Road and can hear the music. He went on to say that the statute states that sound should not be heard by adjacent property owners. The man went on to say the event center will not be able to comply with the exceptions required. He asked the county to deny the special exception. The owner of the property in question, Steve Sprague, was also at the meeting and was given his turn to speak on the subject. Commissioner Deb Denys made the argument that the owner of the event center has done the proper due diligence to qualify for the special exception and made the motion to approve. After further discussion, a unanimous vote was given for the special exception to be granted. If the owner of the property violates the recommended conditions for the special exception, it could be revoked.

The other request for a special exception for a rural event center is a very different situation. At this time, the property, located on the north side of S.R. 40 about five and a half miles west of I-95, is undeveloped. While county staff recommends approval of the special exception for this property, it also has a list with several reasons for denial of the special exception. Several residents of the area, also known as Rima Ridge, spoke about their reasons for not wanting the event center. In this case, Volusia County Commissioners went against staff recommendations and the land planning commission and denied the proposal.

An issue that did receive unanimous approval is the Hidden Heroes Resolution in Support of County of Volusia’s Military and Veteran Caregivers commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.

An aquifer recharge project in western Volusia County was presented by Water Resources and Utilities Director Mike Ulrich. Dr. Ann Shortelle, St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle said that the Department of Environmental Protection has already declared the project as confirmed for approval for multi-year funding. Items approved were the County contributing $200,000 towards an implementation agreement with the cities of DeLand, Deltona, and Orange City. The next is a joint participation agreement with St. Johns Water Management District to purchase a borrow pit for the project and thirdly, a contract task assignment was approved for the Volusia Spring recharge site load test.

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