Vineland Reserve

The builder is adding more houses to Vineland Reserve in Deltona.

When will more be enough?

That’s what some residents and commission members in Deltona are asking after the City Commission gave final approval, with a 5-2 vote March 6, to Vineland Reserve.

The new neighborhood will add another 279 houses and about 126 townhouses to Volusia County’s already most populated city.

Vineland Reserve is at 990 Peach Creek Drive off Doyle Road near Osteen. The houses will sit on 50- by 115-foot lots. According to homebuilder Lennar’s website, they will sell for $306,490 to $414,490.

The vote wasn’t a smooth one. Commissioners Dana McCool and Jody Lee voted no.

I’m really really sad about the way it was approved to go through prior to, the land was clear cut without regard … that’s just what we do in Deltona what we’ve done traditionally. I’m going to tell you that we’re not doing that any more. Clear cutting and raising property in Deltona, that needs to stop,” said Ms. McCool before voting.

She then expressed concerns about too many new students and not enough teachers.

I do believe that we do not have the correct information providing concurrency. I believe it’s our job as the City of Deltona to express our displeasure,” she said as she crumpled up the Volusia County School System’s concurrency determination letter that gave approval to the developer for the estimated number of students added by the new neighborhood.

Mr. Lee agreed with Ms. McCool on the added students. He also worried out loud about how the city will keep up with the growth.

We keep building and building and building and everything keeps gathering more and more money, but we need to talk about the fire department before long,” Mr. Lee said. “This just adds to the thing with more houses, more people, more kids, more emergency services needed. I mean, we need to really start paying attention to this and redo some of our land use and what we’re going to do.”

Residents then expressed concerns at the podium, talking about the relocation of gopher tortoises found on the property, traffic study issues and services already stretched too thin for current residents in need.

Amanda Weishaupt, a local real estate agent and Deltona resident, echoed the sentiments in a phone interview. She is an administrator on the MyDeltona Facebook page. She did not attend the commission meeting.

To be quite honest, I think (Deltona residents) have probably had enough. My husband and I lived in the Oviedo area for several years and we moved here about seven years ago to get away from that congestion and we feel like it followed us. It’s grown out here tremendously in the last six years,” Ms. Weishaupt said.

She explained that most already built houses in the area are sitting longer on the market due to interest rates. Buyers who call looking for newly built houses, especially houses above the median $300,000 range, are from out of state -- mostly California, New York, New Jersey or Illinois.

A lot of people need homes. So it’s good to see new homes available for people, but there’s a lot out here and I don’t feel like the schools and the roads can accommodate more,” Ms. Weishaupt said.

As a Deltona resident I worry about schools and roads because I do have children in the schools. And we all know too that Deltona doesn’t have a lot of restaurants and things like that, so to just kind of add more residents without those other amenities is going to put a toll on those roads, so that’s a concern,” she said.

Vineland Reserve has been in the planning stages since 2016. It’s been voted on and approved over the years by previous commissions for other stages of the development process. This recent vote gave final approval for phase 3 (127 houses) to be built. Phase 2 (152 houses) is already being built.

In other business, the commission voted unanimously to approve a one-year contract, effective March 6, for James Chisholm as city manager.

The city will continue to take applications in pursuit of a permanent city manager.

Mayor Santiago Avila Jr. said he wants to find a quality candidate so they can finally close the “revolving door” of city managers. 

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