“Crime is down for 2012 in DeLeon Springs” because of increased public participation in reporting suspicious activity, states this article by Beacon reporter Pat Andrews. However, VCSO deputies can’t be everywhere, so they need every one to do our part. If you see anything suspicious, call VCSO at 386 943 7866 to check it out. Or if you need a deputy right away, call 386 736 5999.
This was a very important day for DeLeon Springs and opens up some new opportunities and options for our business community.
For years, Don Malmborg has tried to explain that split zoning is a problem all over the county and has made it impossible for our commercial owners to expand their buildings and businesses. Most of us did not know or understand what he was talking about or how critical it was to eliminate.
Thanks to Don’s tenacity, we finally understood why it was important to address, and your DSCA, Inc. Board spent almost 2 years having meetings with County Staff, public meetings with the community, reviews before PLDRC and finally two readings before the County Council. Eliminating split zoning will not only help DeLeon Springs but it will help businesses throughout the County who have been constrained by this outdated zoning configuration.
The District Overlay relaxes standards for the commercial corridor and establishes a real ‘downtown’ for DeLeon Springs, a giant step in the right direction. It gives commercial property owners options to develop their land and expand their businesses that were not available to them before, and hopefully encourage new economic opportunities. With a District Overlay, although we are unincorporated, we can now use the word ‘downtown’ to accurately describe the collection of businesses along Highway 17 from Citra St. to Ponce DeLeon Blvd.
While this is an exciting day for DeLeon Springs, it is just the beginning for our commercial corridor, in our efforts to revitalize DeLeon Springs and help our business community provide more goods, services and jobs to our residents. We need everyone’s input and help “to make DeLeon Springs A Better Place to Live, Work and Play”.
And choose today’s date, then scroll down to Item 24.
When the Volusia County Council met May 17, members of the DeLeon Springs Community Association Don Malmborg, Dianne Hermanski and Amy Munizzi asked them for their help.
The business community in the little unincorporated area north of DeLand wants to make improvements that will help revitalize its run-down downtown.
County Council members said yes.
District 1 Council Member Andy Kelly, who represents the area, noted things in the works for two years are now coming to fruition.
First, Chair Frank Bruno said, the council will direct county staff to start work on a zoning overlay map that will direct the look, type and size of new development along the highway for consistency with the looks and uses the community wants.
This will correct some split-zoning problems along the corridor. Now, some businesses sit on property whose highway frontage is zoned commercial, but the rear of the property is zoned residential.
Council Member Joyce Cusack moved to make the first step toward an overlay district, setting up a community workshop, which met unanimous approval. County staff will set up a community workshop to discuss the district, and notify property owners of it.
Community Association members said that DeLeon Springs is groaning under the burden of gasoline contamination that's haunted the city for nearly 30 years. When U.S. Highway 17 through DeLeon Springs was widened years ago, a gas station's tank that was at the location of the current Valero station was buried and is still leaking. A plume of gasoline is moving westward toward DeLeon Springs.
And, because wells and septic systems put in so long ago are aging and are too close together to meet current health standards, getting water and sewage utilities will help solve a number of problems for the downtown.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered help, if a utilities district can be set up, and the DeLeon Springs Community Association has been working on that.
"We have collected to date the signatures of 45 property owners along the the Highway 17 corridor in support of forming a special utilities district to pay for these water and sewer improvements," Amy Munizzi said.
Now, it's up to the county to set up the special district.
Council Member Kelly said, "They need it, because they do have contamination," and the county is working with DeLand on plans for the utilities district.
DeLand is the designated utility provider for DeLeon Springs.
Also, staff will work with residents to create a brownfield area for economic development. Brownfields programs, coordinated through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, seek to clean up and revitalize areas that have been contaminated or where there's perceived contamination. Without help, these areas draw no interest from potential new businesses, and banks have no interest in financing them, because unexpected liabilities may appear.
The brownfield designation will make bank loans easier to get, and it will open doors for grants and low-interest government loans. It will put no additional cleanup responsibilities on property owners, and will even limit their liability for contamination on their property.
The DEP has cleaned up tons of soil around what is now the Valero station, and is using the latest technology to clean up property across the highway, on the west side of Highway 17. The cleanup is expected to continue for another couple of months.
The DEP plans to remove sections of the highway to find leaking gasoline tanks in a subsequent phase of cleanup.
In order to get assistance through the brownfields program, the governing body — in this case, the County Council — must approve the brownfield designation by resolution.
Deputy County Attorney Jamie Seaman noted there's apparent support for the brownfield district along DeLeon Springs' main corridor, and the district could go beyond that. Citizens will need to make an informed decision on the extent of the brownfield district.