Dedicated to the protection of birds, other animals, and their habitats through education and activism
Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170; president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org
The Southeast Volusia Audubon Society opposes the Farmton project. There is
no demonstrable need for an additional 23,000 homes in and about the
Edgewater area. With Restoration nearing final approval, it will add homes
for 18,000 residents to the city of Edgewater. Additional housing will be
built within the current city limits of the city. And in 2017, when
Edgewater is again able to annex land and allow large residential
developments, who knows how many more houses will be built? It can easily
be assumed that the population of Edgewater will triple in the next fifteen
years assuming all the houses are sold and inhabited.
Florida’s Department of Community Affairs decried the development saying the
project's scale could harm habitat critical to black bears and other
protected species. They also warned that its location among wetlands, a
floodplain and a land bank could adversely impact the quantity and quality
of water and the habitat that depends on it. They also stated that Farmton's
homes, and the infrastructure needed to support them, aren't suitable
because of the critical role the area plays in sustaining wildlife such as
wood storks, scrub jays, gopher tortoises and possibly panthers.
The DCA also noted that the development is in a no-school zone designated by
Volusia County and found that Farmton didn't adequately address how roads
and utilities would support the new development. Yet the county staff and
council seem to be working hard to resolve these problems to the developer’s
Whereas Restoration underwent a rigorous DRI process, and was still denied
by the DCA until the city of Edgewater and the developers agreed to more
stringent DCA requirements, Farmton is attempting to get two counties and
perhaps several cities to change their comp plans based on a couple of
“stakeholder meetings” and a “fifty year vision”. We don't believe that this
nominal planning process should justify the DCA negotiating with the county
and Farmton to get a "better outcome." The only logical and plausible
outcome would be a resounding NO! To Farmton.
This development, or “fifty year legacy plan” as the Farmton people like to
call it, is nothing more than a blatant attempt to get grandfathered in case
Florida Hometown Democracy is approved by the voters in November. The
county’s apparent enthusiasm for this project provides ample justification
for the passage of Amendment 4.
The Southeast Volusia Audubon Society asks the Volusia County Growth
Management Commission to vote NO on Farmton.
Donald Picard, President
Southeast Volusia Audubon Society