Deland, the Volusia County seat positioned along Interstate 4 between Orlando and Daytona Beach, is seeing a growth spurt.
At the most recent City Commission meeting, two subdivision projects were on the agenda, totaling 768 lots. One project is proposed for the fast-growing eastern side of the city; the other for West DeLand.
The larger of the two, Park Lake Estates, is being proposed for 450 lots on 198 acres at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and County Road 4139.
The other development, Beresford Woods, would add 318 detached single-family homes to the city’s housing inventory. The subdivision is slated for 89.85 acres at South Spring Woods Avenue and West Beresford Woods Road.
The two developments are seeking a Planned Development zoning and received their first readings at a City Commission meeting last week.
There was some discussion at the meeting about the desire of residents near the Beresford Woods project and the city’s planning board to maintain the low-density, semi-rural character of the area, which contains many lakes and a wildlife corridor.
The great majority of the lots in the proposed subdivision would be 40- and 50-feet-wide. The planning board wanted a more diverse array of lot sizes.
But the sheer number of lots on the drawing board speaks to the growing demand for residential developments in DeLand, population 34,000. The city is between Orlando to the southwest and Daytona Beach to the northeast.
I-4 connects DeLand residents to those larger job centers where housing is more expensive.
“Growth is really happening on the east side, closer to the interstate,” said Steve Burley, the city’s economic development manager. “We’ve got a lot of developable land right along the interstate. People can afford a nice home and a yard here and then they can suck it up and commute down I-4.”
The developer of the larger of the two subdivisions, Park Lake Estates, is Design Develop Construct of Miamisburg, Ohio. Brian Martin, a partner at DDC, echoed Burley’s assessment of the potential for residential development on DeLand’s east side.
“I think the biggest driver for us at this location is the proximity to I-4,” Martin told GrowthSpotter. “It just can’t get any better than that.”
Martin said he thinks future residents of Park Lake Estates will be a mixture of Volusia County residents as well as people who had been looking for housing in more-expensive Seminole County.
“Residents there will be able to come right across the county line to something a bit more affordable,” Martin said. “Access to I-4 is the thing.”
The majority of the lots in Park Lake Estates will be 40- and 50-feet-wide, with some 65-foot lots adjacent to Lake Diamond. Martin said the development will have trails and “a lot of tree protection areas.”
“It really lends itself to a lot of open-space recreation,” he said.
The owner of the property is listed in city documents as Lake Park Estates LLC, a company managed by Elizabeth F. Williams and Earl W. Colvard. Colvard is the manager of Boulevard Tire Center in DeLand, and Williams is the manager of Pelham Square Investors LLC of DeLand.
The consulting engineer is Madden, Moorhead & Stokes and the planner is Geoffrey McNeill, principal at AGMCI LLC of Maitland.
Martin said DDC has the land under contract and should close sometime next summer. Once the company acquires the land, the development will start. Lots should be ready for sale to one or more home-building companies in early 2021, he said.
“There’s been a lot of interest but we’re not ready to talk to homebuilders yet,” Martin said. “We will probably talk to homebuilders at the beginning of next year.”
Beresford Woods is being developed by ZDA Land Investments LLC of Winter Park. ZDA principal Allan Goldberg declined to comment on the proposed subdivision because it is not far enough along in the city approval process.
The landowners are Tom and Katherine Stewart, according to city documents.
ZDA’s application for Planned Development zoning said about two-thirds of the lots in Beresford Woods will be 40-feet wide, with the remaining lots 50 feet. But the city staff, echoing concerns from the planning board, wanted more diversity of lot sizes, with fewer 40-foot lots, and incorporating 60-foot lots. The staff also wanted a tree protection area west of State Road 15A enlarged, and larger buffers on the development’s outskirts.
During a discussion at the City Commission meeting, attorney Michael Woods, representing the Stewarts, said they were open to incorporating some larger lots if city commissioners wanted them.
Madden, Moorhead & Stokes is the engineering consultant on the project.