Letters to the Editor: Fears Cresswind will ruin beautiful natural trail on DeLand’s east side

PHOTO/FLYING CAT DRONEWORKS, ANTHONY DeFEO

CHANGE IS COMING — Trees line both sides of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway on the east side of DeLand. The crossing shown is the future intersection of the beltway with an eastward extension of Beresford Avenue. Supporters of Cresswind say the development will help bring about that extension, long planned and needed to relieve traffic congestion in the area. 

Editor, The Beacon:

I have been a resident in the unincorporated area of DeLand for more than 30 years. I live on what County Council Member Kelley labeled the dreaded Kepler Road.

I ride my bicycle from my house down Lake Ruby Road to Ridge Road, then all along Lake Winnemissett Drive toward the intersection of State Road 44, then turn around and ride to the old State Road 44 on the east side of the lake.

This is a beautiful natural trail that didn’t cost the city or county a penny. It is about to be ruined by the development of Cresswind DeLand.

Every day of the week, there are people who walk along this stretch of road for fresh air and exercise. This trail will no longer be a safe place to walk or ride once this development is approved. In fact, not too long ago, one person was killed on Ridge Road by a motor vehicle. You can visit the memorial along Ridge Road. On the weekends, there are many more people who ride their bicycles along this same path.

If you are not familiar with this area, I urge you to walk or ride this route to see what will be destroyed before you approve this development.

I realize that there is nothing I can say or do to prevent this development from happening. It is a foregone conclusion. 

What I will ask is that you require the developer to pay for a trail all along the 3.1-mile route I described that will keep people out of harm’s way. Perhaps you could also apply for ECHO funds for the trail.

Jim Shepherd

DeLand