Senior apartment complex planned

COLORFUL BUILDING — This rendering submitted for city approval shows the colors intended for Banyan Cove Apartments.

IMAGE COURTESY CITY OF DELAND

COLORFUL BUILDING — This rendering submitted for city approval shows the colors intended for Banyan Cove Apartments.

HOMELESS CAMP — This is some of the trash and debris left behind by homeless campers on property that will become the site of Banyan Cove Apartments, a 100-unit complex for senior citizens in north DeLand.

HOMELESS CAMP — This is some of the trash and debris left behind by homeless campers on property that will become the site of Banyan Cove Apartments, a 100-unit complex for senior citizens in north DeLand.

BEACON PHOTO/ERIKA WEBB

Plans are underway for building a 100-unit multifamily apartment complex for senior citizens in north DeLand.

The DeLand Planning Board Jan. 17 voted unanimously to recommend approval for Banyan Cove to the DeLand City Commission, which is expected to discuss the project possibly as soon as its Feb. 19 meeting.

The nearly 8-acre site, at the northeast corner of the intersection of North Street and North Clara Avenue, is behind Gateway Village Shopping Center and across from a fire station and Nordman Nursery on West International Speedway Boulevard.

Boca Raton-based Banyan Development Group proposes to construct a handicap-accessible complex with two four-story residential buildings, including 37 one-bedroom, 675-square-foot units; 16 one-bedroom, 754-square-foot units; and 47 two-bedroom, 914-square-foot apartments.

Two entrances, on the northern side on International Speedway Boulevard and on the southern side along North Street, are planned.

Planning Board member Buz Nesbit asked for more landscape buffering along the southern side, bordering North Street, where a number of single-family residences exist. He proposed creating fewer parking spaces.

Banyan provided a report to substantiate that the original number proposed, fewer than the standard 225 required, would more than accommodate the need generated by the project.

Ultimately, the Planning Board agreed to keep the 152-space configuration as proposed in order to retain the mature trees along the southern border.

The northeast corner of the site is located within a 100-year flood zone — defined as areas subject to a 1-percent annual chance of flooding — and will remain undisturbed, according to an engineering consultant.

It was determined there are no protected animal or plant species on the site, but Banyan’s proposal includes maintaining as many trees as possible and additional vegetation and landscaping to meet the city’s land development code.

Located behind commercial property and surrounded by a mixture of single-family, agricultural, civic and undeveloped properties, the heavily wooded parcel is designated for high-density future land-use, and zoned for multifamily use — permitting 16 units per acre.

Planning Board member Virginia Comella pointed to the land’s current, though not permitted, use as a homeless camp. She asked whether any provisions are being made for those who have been living on the property.

“I believe it’s a pretty substantial community there,” Comella said.

DeLand City Attorney Darren Elkind advised that the developer would not be responsible for mitigating trespassers.

Banyan, a real estate development company focused on retail development and real estate investment in the Florida marketplace, has developed more than 3 million square feet of retail, office, industrial and residential real estate, primarily in Boca Raton and Wellington, with new projects underway in Broward County, Delray Beach and Lake Worth, according to the company’s website.

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