Letter: Commission should push back on Tymber Creek Apartments proposal

What are your neighbors talking about this week?

  • By
  • | 3:00 p.m. May 30, 2023
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Opinion
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Tymber Creek Apartments

Dear Editor:

A brief history of the proposed Tymber Creek Apartments project: The developer’s initial request was for 299 units, which is the density granted with a PBD (Planned Business Development) waiver.  

Straight zoning would’ve been around 164 units.  

In December 2022, the Planning Board unanimously voted down the newly-proposed 270 units. In March of this year, the Florida Senate Bill 102 “Live Local Act” was signed into law, which basically overrides local decisions regarding rental properties if the property falls within certain “affordable” parameters. The law goes into effect on July 1.

Because of this law, the developer threatened to build even more apartments if the 270-unit project was not approved, claiming he could build over 500 units under the new law. On May 16, the commission approved the 270-unit project with a 4-1 vote.  

On Tuesday, June 6, there will be a second reading before final approval of the Tymber Creek Apartments proposal.

We realize that the state law has put the commission in a tight spot. However, most laws are tested in court before they can be enforced. This law will likely be challenged, and therefore we believe the commission should wait before giving in to the developer.  

Even lobbyist Jeff Sharkey, CEO of Capitol Alliance Group, Inc., admitted the law was an “experiment” and that Ormond is likely among the first municipal governments impacted by the law. He also acknowledged there would be pushback because the law “may not work in Community X, but it will in Community Y.”

There’s also a question of if the developer’s threat of 500 units would clear the concurrency requirements, anyway. Note that an affordable housing requirement involves nearby public transportation. We all know there is no Votran service west of I-95 in Ormond Beach, and that area will not see bus service for years to come. So technically, under the law, the applicant would not qualify for a higher density granted by the state.

People should write and come out expressing that the commission not approve the project until the law’s been tested. Most of us are aware of the multiple reasons apartments — whether they be 160, 270, or 500 — are wrong for this area.

Julie and Ken Sipes

Ormond Beach

Send letters up to 400 words to [email protected]. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


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