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Volusia County to study its growth management, environmental impacts

DELAND – The complex balance of new development, environmental preservation and property rights took center stage inside County Council chambers Tuesday, drawing dozens of residents who took turns venting their worries and sharing their hopes.

“We have developed before our infrastructure has been in place,” said Suzanne Scheiber, Founder of Dream Green Volusia and an Ormond Beach resident. “In plain English, growth is not paying for itself. … The land use changes through the years have diminished our quality of life and raised our taxes.”

Scheiber rattled off a list of recommendations from Dream Green Volusia that include implementing low-impact development, increasing impact fees, halting density expansion and establishing larger buffers around environmentally sensitive land.

She was one of about three dozen people who took turns broaching the thorny intersection of construction and nature. For nearly two hours, residents stepped up to the microphone one after another to share their thoughts and suggestions.

“The greed must stop,” said Daytona Beach resident Chris Daun. “It’s ruining our community and our quality of life.”

Some at Tuesday’s meeting said the individual property rights of landowners in Volusia County need to remain a priority, too. Some growth control measures could infringe on their rights, they said.

“I have my rights, too,” said Wendell Dallarosa, a fifth-generation Floridian who owns thousands of acres in Volusia County. “This seems to me like mob rule. … I think you should slow this train down.”

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