Daytona Beach, FL – Smart Growth came up in conversation during last week’s Volusia County Council meeting. Yesterday, it was a major topic of discussion at the monthly Round Table of Volusia County Elected Officials.
Clay Ervin, the county’s Growth and Resource Management Director, was asked to give a presentation at the meeting. He says it’s evident that all 16 municipalities need to get together, take stock of what we have in regards to agreements for joint planning, service areas and water and sewer service areas. Also, identify conservation lands, areas that would be targeted for either water quality use or any kind of utility development or conservation purposes.
Basically, Ervin said, they need to gather all that information and pull it all together into a very distinct, very tight mission statement that can carry us through. He said it’s very clear that there are several things that need to be done. One thing is to make sure that everyone is on the same page, that there’s a clear understanding of what the growth management laws say, what projects the cities have planned and approved but not developed yet.
Once the information is gathered, Ervin said the next step would be a very strong education process where the information would be presented to the public, identify their concerns and determine what can be done to accomodate those concerns.
The vote for the half cent sales tax vote was on the meeting agenda. Ervin said while the tax and smart growth aren’t explicitly linked, they do have a connection. The loss of revenue due to the failure of the sales tax increase means that municipalities will need to find a different source for funds. Ervin said that there were positive things that came out of the half cent sales tax discussion with Ormond Beach Mayor Partington saying that at least we now know what our needs are.
Ervin said he will present the information he and his staff have gathered on Smart Growth at the September meeting of the Round Table.