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Deltona approves growth blueprint

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Deltona approves growth blueprint

The city commits to affordable housing, responsible annexation and redevelopment.

By Lisa Emmerich | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted April 5, 2005

DELTONA -- Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to approve a growth-management policy that makes official a commitment to affordable housing, responsible annexation and redevelopment.

The 10-item policy list represents commissioners' efforts to dispel their reputation for lacking vision and direction for their city.

"We're constantly criticized that we have no plan, we don't know where we're going," Mayor John Masiarczyk said. "We decided we would try to put it into words. We have tried to put in writing what we're working toward."

Environmentalists have criticized city officials, calling them land-grabbers who are hungry to annex anything and everything to gain land for development.

The policy statement comes on the heels of a Volusia County decision to appeal a judge's ruling that a 5,000-acre annexation into the city should stand.

It goes along with a map recently adopted by the city that hems in the area where commissioners would like to annex land along the city's eastern border.

Under the plan, sustainable growth -- "responsible, well-balanced growth that will meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future residents" -- is to be the cornerstone of commissioners' plans for the city.

"The general gist of it is that the City Commission feels that growth is going to occur in the future, and we want to take steps to manage it," City Manager Fritz Behring said. "While there's a lot of people who say no growth is the best management, the City Commission doesn't believe that's true."

According to the statement, city officials will use annexation as a tool to meet the increased needs of a growing city. Officials plan to consider voluntary annexation requests that provide a benefit to the community. The benefit is to be determined through an independent study performed by an outside firm at the applicant's expense.

"I think it's [the statement] important because it addresses a lot of misstatements and misconceptions that others may have regarding our intentions," Commissioner David Santiago said. "It clearly puts in writing: Here's our vision; here's what we really want to do."

Also on Monday, commissioners voted to instruct staff members to look into purchasing a roller rink on Doyle Road for use as a community center.

Lisa Emmerich can be reached at [email protected] or 352-742-5926.

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