Letter: We need to think about Nova Road traffic needs when considering development

What are your neighbors talking about this week?

  • By
  • | 2:00 p.m. June 18, 2024
Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Opinion
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Density versus road concerns

Dear Editor:

The June 6 Observer included an article highlighting deadly traffic statistics compiled by Smart Growth America, which publishes the report “Dangerous by Design” ranking 101 metro areas regarding pedestrian deaths. In 2022, our metro area (Ormond Beach-Daytona Beach-Deltona) ranked as the number one most deadly in the U.S. for pedestrian fatalities. Their 2024 report has us tied for fifth place.

Fortunately, Ormond Beach is aware of our dangerous roads. As Mayor Partington acknowledged in the Observer’s article, the Florida Department of Transportation recently completed several pedestrian safety projects and will be implementing more. One project, still in the design stage, is safety improvements for Nova between Granada and US 1. My neighborhood, Tomoka Oaks, will be directly impacted since our neighborhood’s primary entrance intersects with Nova at the area under review.

I initially found out about this Nova Road safety project from our Zone 3 Commissioner Susan Persis when seeking her input for the April 2023 issue of the Tomoka Oaks Times newsletter. The April newsletter focused on how the proposed Tomoka Reserve residential development of the Tomoka Oaks golf course property presents traffic safety issues for our neighborhood. It detailed multiple Nova fatalities and provided testimony from homeowners regarding legitimate traffic concerns if a new neighborhood is developed within the center of Tomoka Oaks.

Commissioner Persis provided information regarding the “Nova Road Project Visioning Team” partnering with FDOT to address Nova’s dangerous traffic hazards between Granada and US 1. This further validated that Nova is deadly in its current configuration. And now there is the potential for multiple traffic sources to converge on Nova during the same timeframe: Tomoka Oaks and Escondido Condo vehicles, Nova Road improvement construction trucks, and Tomoka Reserve new home construction trucks and equipment if any development is approved. 

In 2006 the City approved a Planned Residential Development limiting residential density on the golf course property to 119 multifamily units and three estate homes while preserving the golf course green space in perpetuity. Comparing 2006 traffic needs to today’s traffic needs is like comparing apples to oranges. And a density acceptable in 2006 may prove too high a density for 2024.

The Ormond Beach mayor and commission recently denied the developer’s application to rezone the golf course property from PRD to R-2 "Single Family Low Density." Residents thank our city leaders for their recognition that an R-2 density would have devastating impacts on traffic and pedestrian safety.

Carolyn Davis

Ormond Beach

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