Tymber Creek Apartments won approval from the Ormond Beach City Commission despite being project “nobody.”

Nobody liked the density of 270 units on 19 acres at Granada Boulevard and Tymber Creek Road, which will impact already congested traffic and nature.

What everyone liked less is the possibility of an even larger apartment complex of as much as 525 units in the same spot with no say-so from the city. That’s the worst-case scenario of what might happen because of a new state law called Live Local taking effect July 1.

Live Local encourages affordable housing in areas zoned commercial, industrial and mixed-use by taking away powers from local government to say “no.” Projects reserving 40% of units for affordable housing for 30 years must be approved after meeting administrative requirements. Neither the Planning Board nor the City Commission would have a say.

The state law was on the minds not only of city commissioners, but residents.

“We’re not excited about 270 units, but we feel like we’re standing at the Alamo trying to get the women and children out with all the density,” John Dietz said.

Troy Railsback, representing the Indian Springs Home Owners Association, also noted the prospect of Live Local, although he complimented developer Tellus Partners for responding to resident concerns.

The developer agreed to reorient a building to prevent views into back yards of neighbors, removed one building, reduced the units from 300, added traffic controls and increased landscape buffers.

That wasn’t enough for Jim Mozo, who said, “The lesser of two evils is still evil.”

Commissioners reluctantly approved the zoning and development order on the first of two readings May 16. A preliminary plat is expected soon.

“It’s not as bad as it possibly could be,” Commissioner Harold Briley said. “I don’t necessarily like it.”

Commissioner Susan Persis, who previously said “nobody likes this project,” voted for approval after talking with residents who would rather see it than something possibly bigger.

While the rezoning was approved 5-0, the development order passed 4-1 with Commissioner Travis Sargent opposed. “I still don’t like the density,” he said.

Another development, RidgeHaven, received solid praise from commissioners as they unanimously approved zoning and a development order for it. Commissioners singled out engineer Parker Mynchenberg for praise.

“You should take this project and do a tour of the state saying ‘this is how to do development in Florida,’” Mayor Bill Partington said.

RidgeHaven is a 286-lot subdivision with a mixture of single-family houses, townhouses and duplexes on 103 acres south of Plantation Oaks Boulevard, east of Addison Drive, north of the Village of Pine Run and west of the Plantation Oaks subdivision.

The project exceeds city requirements for landscaped buffers and will preserve about 25% of the land in a natural state. Developers plan to plant 1,552 new trees.

Amenities will include two walking trails, a dog park, a cabana and an activity field.

Storm water collected in ponds will be used for irrigation. The project area has already been annexed into Ormond Beach and plans to use city water and sewage.

Storm water flow will be directed away from a neighboring project.

A final vote on the zoning and development order will be at the June 6 City Commission meeting.

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