79ºF

DeBary homeowners neighborhood entrance is falling apart

City manager says it's not the city's responsibility

DeBARY, Fla. – Homeowners in a DeBary neighborhood say their entrance is falling apart and they want the city to pay to fix it. 

Marcia Carson describes the entrance to the Glen Abbey subdivision where she lives in three words.

"Terrible.  Derelict.  Disgusting," she said. "I cry sometimes coming by it."

The tall grass, weeds and overgrown bushes have angered her neighbors, too.

Linda Kane has lived in Glen Abbey for 17 years. She said the problem started when their "new" neighbor moved in.

"We did not want this Walmart," she said.

When Walmart was under construction, the company reworked the median at the entrance of the neighborhood to create a side entrance to the store, according to Carson.  Homeowners said they were under the impression Walmart would maintain it.

"Is Walmart to blame?" Kane asked.  "Partially, but I think the city needs to step up because the city agreed to let Walmart move in."

DeBary city manager Ron McLemore disagreed.

"It's not the city's responsibility," he said.  "We don't maintain any entrance ways to any subdivision in the city of DeBary."

The area of the entrance to Glen Abbey has multiple owners, which is part of the problem, according to McLemore.

Walmart owns one side, a private owner the other.  There are also city right-of-ways. 

They’re currently researching to find out who actually owns the gates, according to McLemore.

"The city was given $15,000 by Walmart to fix up that entrance," Kane said. "So fix it up for us."

McLemore admits Walmart did cut a $15,000 check.

However, he said using that for maintenance is a mistake, because when it runs out, the problem still remains.

McLemore suggested creating an assessment district, then the cost of maintenance would be divvied up between Walmart and each homeowner.

But a majority of residents would have to support it for City Council to pass it, according to McLemore

"We have a very easy solution, but we have to be able to work together with the people there to do it," he said.

The City Council is trying to establish a date for a public meeting to get more input from residents before moving forward, according to McLemore.


About the Author: