Ormond Beach residents fight to save scenic highway from development

Push to stop development along the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail

There is a growing push to stop planned development along a beloved scenic route in Volusia County, the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail.
There is a growing push to stop planned development along a beloved scenic route in Volusia County, the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail.

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – There is a growing push to stop planned development along a beloved scenic route in Volusia County, the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail.

A petition to stop the development has almost 70,000 signatures. Suzanne Scheiber, Founder of Dream Green Volusia, said she’s also handed out over 400 “Defend the Loop” signs.

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Those signs are in the yards of residents who are worried a portion of the west side of the highway will be developed as part of the Plantation Oaks subdivision.

“The public has stood very strong supporting this,” Scheiber said. “We met with the developer and we asked him if he would sell 76 of the lots which are behind his buffer.”

Scheiber was able to get the developer to strike a deal of selling the 76 lots, or 36 acres of land, for under $1 Million.

“It would be the first conservation on the west side of the road,” she said.

It’s on the county to buy it now, though.

“The loop is popular all over the state of Florida. We’ve even gotten emails from people out of the state that travel here,” said Jeff Brower, Chair of the Volusia County Council.

Brower said the historical significance of the land alone is worth more than the asking price. The county’s funds for the purchase have to be approved by the ECHO citizens committee.

The historic board presented that case to the committee on Tuesday.

“I’m really hopeful that they will approve it. Then it would come to the county council and then I believe council would approve it,” Brower said.

In the meantime, Schreiber is privately raising money, too, to help with the purchase.

“Since about the third week of February we’ve collected $15,000 between us and North Florida Land Trust,” she said.

The county’s ECHO board will vote April 1 on whether to approve the historical credit. Then, the county council will vote on purchasing the land at its meeting on April 20.


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