By Ken and Julie Sipes
CANDO 2 is not anti-development, as developer Paul Holub claimed in his Sept. 13 editorial. Rather, CANDO 2 has proposed a six-month moratorium on new commercial development in order to re-evaluate and install higher development standards.
We are for responsible low-impact development, a type of smart growth that simultaneously conserves green space and manages stormwater. Unlike traditional land-use designs, LID promotes natural stormwater management techniques that minimize runoff and helps prevent pollutants from getting into the runoff. The stormwater management techniques are definitely not natural at Granada Pointe.
It is important to preserve the unique aesthetic character, environment and quality of life of Ormond Beach. We would consider any development that incorporates these traits into their plans. Developers that welcome LID, preserving historic structures, incorporating green spaces, bike paths, etc., would be supported by CANDO 2.
It is true that in February Mr. Holub offered to do a presentation to our group, which was declined. It is important to note that during the last half of 2017, many in our group had already sat through Mr. Holub’s presentations at neighborhood meetings, Planning Board meetings, and City Commission meetings. Some presentations lasted at least 1 ½ to 2 hours. Mr. Holub has explained Granada Pointe and Ormond Central in many articles.
We know the plans, and no amount of presentation can justify or explain the rezoning in January 2016 of a portion of what would eventually be Granada Pointe from Residential to Open Space/Conservation and Commercial.
At this time, the only part of the property that was discussed by the Planning Board and directed to the citizens was the property closest to the residential neighborhood. Nothing was discussed in regard to what would be built on the front part of the property directly fronting Granada or that the conservation area would end up being a huge football-field-size retention pond. No one knew a special exception for a Wawa gas station or drive-thru restaurant would be approved through a Planned Business Development in July 2017.
Furthermore, the property set aside for conservation on the north side of Granada could not be developed and is deemed a wasteland/swamp. This swamp area is located behind the Moose Lodge and landlocked. (See Editor's Note.)
We can say with absolute surety that the leadership of CANDO 2 has never intentionally spread false information nor slandered Mr. Holub nor any of his family. While there are many people who identify with CANDO 2’s cause, and some, out of our control, might engage in such actions, this behavior is not condoned by CANDO 2 and was stated as such at our April 10 meeting with Mr. Holub present.
CANDO 2 has had our own problems with negative actions taken against us. There are at least two fake pages apparently designed to attack CANDO 2. Mr. Holub’s son, Bryan Shaffer, is an admin on the two fake pages, called “CANDO 2 Ormond Beach” and “CANDO Two Ormond.” (See Editor's Note.)
Several people have written letters to the editor in the Ormond Beach Observer without identifying themselves as being family members of Paul Holub. We understand Mr. Holub’s relatives’ desire to stand-up for their family member.
In the end, though, CANDO 2's beef is with the elected city officials who approved the Granada Pointe project and all the rezonings that preceded it. Ultimately, the buck stops with the mayor and the city commissioners.
CANDO 2 is merely serving as a vehicle for the citizens' voices that were not being heard or respected by their elected officials and realized it was time for change.
Five candidates came forward independently to present their own image for Ormond Beach that would be more in keeping with the vision many wanted. They agreed that they did not like clear-cutting that increases flooding risks. They also were not happy with excessive traffic, noise, and poorly planned development of the area. Reasonable people are allowed to differ on the issues, and the general public is allowed to vote for the candidates they think will make Ormond Beach a better place to live, work and play.
This election is bigger than any one person or even one group. It is about democracy and allowing the citizens of Ormond Beach to decide the direction of their city. Developers and elected officials will come and go, but Ormond Beach will be here for a long time, and people have a right to decide what kind of development and city they want in the future.
We endorse five candidates for change:
Mayor: Rob Bridger
Zone 1: Kathy Maloney Johnson
Zone 2: Joe Dugan
Zone 3: Sandy Kauffman
Zone 4: Barry du Moulin
We are endorsing these candidates that are running a grassroots campaign. Each of them is independently managing their own campaign and have received small donations from many citizens that have made it clear that they are supporting them because they like their stance on the issues.
CANDO 2 members feel the grassroots candidates will listen to them and try to make Ormond Beach the kind of city they would be happy to call home.
The incumbents have received large donations from powerful people in the city with deep pockets. They are supporting the incumbents because they believe the incumbents will make the city a place they want.
The question then becomes for the voter, Which campaign do you support, and which vision do you want for your city going forward? One where the average citizens have an influential voice, or where people of great wealth and power have an influential voice with the elected officials? We are willing to leave the decision to the citizens of Ormond Beach.
Ken and Julie Sipes are founders of CANDO 2.
Editor's Note: Although the Sipeses say the property that was set aside for conservation in Granada Pointe could not have been developed, that's not accurate. The land was zoned for development and had sufficient uplands to be developed.
Also, Bryan Schaffer says that the two CANDO 2-related Facebook pages are not "fake." They are, however, set up with similar names to CANDO 2's official Facebook page. The purpose, he wrote in a message to the Ormond Beach Observer, is to block CANDO from ultimately using those Facebook pages. Schaffer explained: "Their Facebook is Cando 2. Their website is candotwo.org. Should they ever want to be all under the same name (2 vs two), they can’t."