everyone knows by now, there is a big (with a capital B) development in
the works West of I-95 and North of US 442 in Edgewater called
“Restoration”. It will be on a four mile by five mile
tract of land and will contain homes for 15-18000 new residents of
Edgewater, doubling its current population in just one
development. This is in addition to the 900 acre development
South of US442 called “Reflections” and all the other
developments which will be conceived and built during this time.
During the Audubon Academy in April, there was an opportunity for
question and answer with David Andersen. I wanted to speak about
the fact that it seems that AoF is too close to developers. Not
to be. No presentations allowed. I questioned David about
the fact that AoF was working behind the scenes with developers despite
the fact that local organizations might be against the developments.
Lee Bidgood and I had been fighting against the "Restoration"
development for two years, but AoF was working with the
developers without involving us. Until the recent Swallow-tailed
Kite survey in Restoration, we were not even aware that there had been
previous surveys, let alone being invited to participate. It
seems that West Volusia Audubon was the lead in these surveys despite
the fact that the surveys are in our back yard. David's sole
response to me was that "We are not going to stop development."
My only response, under my breath was: "Certainly not with that
attitude." I gave David this letter
which would have been my presentation if I had the opportunity to give it.
The Southeast Volusia Audubon Society has been resisting Restoration
for the last two years based on its impacts on the quality of life of
current Edgewater residents as well as the wildlife habitat and wetlands
loss that will ensue. However, it is apparent that it will
occur. This is our policy statement
that will guide our
future actions. Watch this space for future updates.
of the 'features' of Restoration is that there will be a 'Conservation
Village' in the western portion of the development which will be in
closest proximity to the major wildlife, like bears. The
developers promise a program to educate potential residents about
living with bears and how to keep their homes bear safe. Kathy
sent a letter to the developers and to the City of Edgewater expressing
our concern about the Conservation Village in Phase I and asked that it
be removed totally, or at least moved to phase III. The August 9,
2008 edition of the Daytona News-Journal carries an article about, and
picture of a black bear at a deer feeder near I-95 and State Rd
442. So you don't have to go too far into the woods to find
bears. To read the letter, click here
As noted in the Aug 20 article
of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the Edgewater city council
unanimously voted to start the process of permitting the Restoration
development. Most people who spoke supported the development for
its ability to energize the city and about its new vision.
Kathy and I presented against the development but we were outnumbered.
Kathy focused on the fact that the wetlands altered by silviculture are
already in use by animals such as bears, deer and bobcats by the tracks
they saw. She also reiterated our request that the conservation
village be deleted or sent to phase III. I focused on the impacts of
the development on the current citizens of Edgewater.
Volusia County decided
to remove dogs from the boardwalks of Smyrna Dunes Park and require
that they and their owners walk on the trail adjacent to the
boardwalk. This decision was made after reports of dogs off
and several incidents of dogs on or off leash that nipped or bit other
users of the park.
At a recent NSB city council meeting, County Councilman Jack Hayman
presented the decision to the city. Several dog owners made
presentations against the county decision and made several compelling
points. The NSB deputy mayor, Randy Richenberg decided to
establish a committee of interested citizens to brainstorm the problem
and potential solutions in the hopes of revising the county
decision. Since we have a vested interest in the birds
and resting in NS Dunes Park, Nancy White volunteered to be our
representative on the committee. Kathy Booth will back her up
necessary. If you have any input or suggestion we encourage
to contact them. If you go to the park, bring a camera to
document any infractions against the bird nesting areas including dogs
After several meetings, there was no concensus between the dog owners
and the County. It was also apparent that we were the only ones
who cared about the unleashed dogs harassing the threatened and
endagered species in the park.