Volusia OK’s Deal To Vacate Ortona Park Beach Approach & Build New Walkover

By on February 20, 2018 in WNDB News

Volusia County, FL – At its Tuesday meeting, the Volusia County Council unanimously approved a measure for the County to vacate and abandon a portion of the Bellair beach approach in Ortona Park in Daytona Beach and allow for a new pedestrian beach walkover to be built off of A1A.

The beach approach at Ortona Park was constructed in 1959 and has not provided access to the beach for pedestrians or vehicles since 1985. Volusia County currently has jurisdiction over beach approaches and the authority to regulate beach access. A portion of the Ortona Park beach approach is currently being leased by the La Playa Hotel at 2500 North Atlantic Ave.

Council member Deborah Denys addressed concerns from the community that the resolution could cause the County to lose beach access. “Council is not closing access. We’re creating access,” explained Denys. “Should we agree to go forward with this, we have created a walkover access, we’re not giving up the beach, and we are still committed to opening up all the access ramps for vehicles and our citizens on the beach.”

Now that the resolution concerning the beach approach has been approved, the County will relinquish ownership of the southern 45 feet of the 50-foot wide beach approach to the La Playa if the hotel can meet certain conditions.

Within three years, the La Playa must give the County $300,000 for the County to use for public parking at another location on the beach side of A1A. The La Playa must also construct an ADA accessible public pedestrian beach walkover starting at the sidewalk on the northern County-owned boundary of the beach approach within three years. The walkover is estimated to cost at least $100,000 to build, and it will be conveyed to the County at no extra charge.

Council member Billie Wheeler said that she wants to see something more substantial than a five-foot walkway for a beach walkover. “If there were a platform at the top where people could sit on a bench, a place to put their bikes… make it something that’s of value to the community,” Wheeler said.

The County will only vacate and abandon the beach approach once all the conditions of the resolution are met.

Council member Joyce Cusack explained that this resolution is part of the County’s commitment to providing residents better beach access. “I don’t see this as something in a negative way. I see this as a positive way that we will be doing what we committed to the citizens of Volusia County that we would do,” said Cusack.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2018.


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