DeLand moves forward with controversial auto mall

City commissioners approve annexing part of site

DELAND, Fla. – City commissioners unanimously approved an agreement Monday night that moves a proposed auto mall a step closer to becoming a reality.

The proposed project would be built just west of Interstate 4 near Orange Camp Road, which is right next to the Victoria Park neighborhood.

At the meeting on Monday night, only a handful of residents turned out to see what was going to happen, but they still had concerns.

"We don’t feel bad. An auto dealership right next to a residential community is a nice match," said neighbor Ken Pedlow.

City commissioners voiced their concerns as well.

"It’s possible (there could be) noise coming from there," said commissioner Leigh Matusick. "Sounds of generators and turbines, especially late at night or early in the morning."

Noise, lights and traffic are issues commissioners agreed would have to be tackled as the project progresses but, on Monday, they agreed to annex part of the property on which the auto mall would be built upon.

The other part is expected to be annexed by the city of Lake Helen, which will meet for a similar vote on Thursday.

The auto mall was first proposed by Brendan Hurley, the owner of Hurley Chrysler, Jeep Dodge.

His developer attended the meeting on Monday, promising to work the cities of Deland and Lake Helen to make this project work.

Officials from both cities will meet later this year to discuss land use permits and other regulatory votes.

Commissioner Chris Cloudman said he knew Monday night's decision wasn't going to set well with the residents of Victoria Park.

"I know there will continue to be internet and social media trolling of how horrible we all are for allowing this to happen," he said. 

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