There has been a lot of rhetoric concerning the proposed Avalon Park Daytona debacle in conjunction with the Hand Avenue Extension — the latter a violation of the wetlands and the sanity of Ormond Beach Residents. But, there are some missing links in the mix of all that discussion. Let's look at the problems (some existing, some futuristic), and possible solutions, to this potential destructive force trying to upend East Central Volusia.
1. Construction of 10,000 homes plus commercial on 2,600 acres; an overload of population and vehicles; the homes not of the same quality as neighboring Margaritaville, Mosaic, Breakaway Trails and Hunter's Ridge.
2. The $75 million bond to help the Avalon developer construct a road from Tymber Creek Road to Hand Avenue at Williamson Boulevard.
3. Tomoka River (LPGA) Bridge.
4. Traffic flow on LPGA Boulevard from I-95 to International Speedway Boulevard.
5. Preservation of the wetlands.
Avalon is to be constructed within the city limits of Daytona Beach. The leaders there have got to envision the impact that this mega mess will bring to an already burgeoning area. There are other alternatives to resolve the existing traffic problem and then, perhaps, look at sensible possibilities for that 2,600 acres. Developers should not dictate what should be built where — no matter how many enticing carrots they dangle out there. And county and city leaders should — no, must — listen to the residents. Why? Because there is a sense of mistrust already. Do not forget, this is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. So, let's examine some possible solutions.
1. Put the development of the 2,600 Avalon project on hold.
2. Void the request for a $75 million bond; positive by-products of this are the protection of the wetlands and no unnecessary Hand Avenue Extension.
3. The state, Volusia County and the city of Daytona Beach must immediately begin preparation for construction of a four-lane bridge over the Tomoka River and the widening of LPGA Boulevard from I-95 to International Speedway Boulevard.
4. If funds are needed for the aforementioned projects, hit up on the deadbeats that did not pay their property taxes (this lengthy list appeared in another newspaper).
5. If this Avalon/Hand Avenue Extension situation persists, it must be subject to public vote.
Simply put, it's about priorities. Growth does not pay for itself.