110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Dec 26, 2012 - 12:16:31pm
When the Volusia County Council voted unanimously in May to give Osteen residents the rezoning they wanted, it was a victory for Osteen locals, who want to keep the rural community rural.
Now comes another victory for Osteen: an award that shows the results a dedicated grass-roots movement can achieve.
Save Osteen Now, a citizen effort started by Osteen newcomer Sheryl Manche, took the initiative in working with Volusia County planning and zoning staff to develop new zoning for the rural community. That work resulted in an award from the local Surfcoast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association (FPZA).
The zoning developed by the county in cooperation with Save Osteen Now limits commercial and “big-box” growth in Osteen, which is the gateway to Volusia County from Seminole County, across the State Road 415 bridge. Osteen bumps up against Deltona.
The new zoning was necessary because of a joint-planning agreement between the county and the City of Deltona that began back in 2006. When the agreement was approved in 2008, the future land-use map needed updating to match it.
That meant changing the zoning classifications for around 350 properties in the Osteen area of just under 4,000 acres.
On March 10 this year, more than 100 community leaders, organized by Save Osteen Now, attended a public meeting with the county. The majority of them were “outraged over the proposed rezoning,” noted FPZA awards-committee chairwoman Wendy Hickey, who is a planner for Orange City in her day job.
They didn’t want S.R. 415 to become filled with strip malls, fast-food joints, and big-chain stores.
But Save Osteen Now members didn’t just get mad. They got themselves educated in zoning matters, ordinances and government, and worked with county planners.
They offered suggestions and alternatives, which the county planning staff, led by Becky Mendez, organized into a revised ordinance for County Council adoption. And County Council members adopted it unanimously May 3.
So, what began as a contentious community issue resulted in a well-thought-out plan for Osteen, and a true partnership, Hickey said.
Manche, for Save Osteen Now, and County Council Member Pat Northey, on behalf of the County of Volusia, accepted the award for outstanding public-private partnership during the Dec. 14 awards ceremony at Venetian Bay Golf Club in New Smyrna Beach.
Save Osteen Now has morphed into Preserve Rural Osteen. Manche is president; Vice President Ann Geisler attended the awards ceremony with her, as did member Janis Graves.
Others took home awards from the gala, as well:
• The award for outstanding planning study went to the City of Ormond Beach and Zev Cohen & Associates for the planning of Andy Romano Park.
• An award for outstanding development went to the City of South Daytona and Quentin L. Hampton Associates for the U.S. Highway 1 streetscape project in South Daytona.
• An award for outstanding development went to the City of Holly Hill for The Market of Holly Hill.
• The award for outstanding master plan went to the Farmton Local Plan, shared by the Miami Corp. and Ivey Planning Group.
• The chapter focus award, representing the Planning Association, went to Dr. Nancy Long, who’s been involved in rehabbing the historic Lilian Place in Daytona Beach.
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