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Editor, The Beacon:

I would like to respond to the article in the March 21-24 Beacon regarding the proposed subdivision on Plymouth Avenue in DeLand — Lincoln Oaks.

The article does not reflect the concerns of many citizens in the area who have been trying to get the city to rethink this project for many reasons for quite some time.

The builder is proposing to build 1,200-square-foot homes on 40-foot to 60-foot lots, resulting in 300 or more new homes.

They are asking the city to abandon Adelle Avenue, which is the access road to several large homes on acreage, and are telling these homeowners they will now have to drive through the Lincoln Oaks community to get home!

As residents of the surrounding area, we know change is inevitable, but we are asking that the City of DeLand take some things into consideration before rubber-stamping this new community:

1. According to statistics from the National Association of REALTORS, small homes of less than 1,500 square feet on small lots reduce the value of existing homes in the area, if the existing homes are significantly larger and on larger lots.

The proposed subdivision is less than 1mile from the historic district and Stetson University, and most homes in the area are on lots that are at least 75 feet to 100 feet, many on 2 to 2.5 acres.

2. Why would you want to build homes that would reduce the property-tax income for the city?

Homes that have more value above homesteaded amounts increase the tax collected per residence, and homes with values that are little more than the homestead amount make for less of a tax base for the city.

Small homes reduce the market value of the existing surrounding homes, they increase density and thereby overload infrastructure, and they make for a lower tax base for property taxes.

3. Build-to-rent community? With Stetson University so close, residents have to wonder if the underlying plan is to build lots of small homes that investors will buy to rent to students!

Even if the builder claims that that is not their intention, if they are approved to build under these guidelines, that is what will happen.

Would the HOA be willing to restrict rentals in the community?

This area of DeLand with Stetson University and our historic homes is one of the most treasured areas of the city. It deserves better than to be overbuilt, to over-stress our roads and devalue our properties just to pad the pockets of a builder who will build and be gone.

Debbie Smith

DeLand