The Plunder of Ormond-by-the-Sea

Something stinks in Ormond-by-the-Sea. . .

I don’t know about you, but anytime government officials say they “care” about something other than tightening their parasitic grip on our collective wallets, expanding the tax base or making life easier for political insiders, I get the queasy feeling we’re about to take it in the shorts. . .

Last year, the City of Ormond Beach began mysteriously morphing from a government entity that looked the other way as a speculative developer churned a beautiful hardwood hammock populated by majestic old growth oak trees into black muck to make way for another convenience store into the lone ecologically conscious conservator of the Halifax River.

That’s when city officials began ramping up efforts to convert homes in unincorporated Ormond-by-the-Sea from septic to municipal sewer in a multi-phase project which has now been dubbed a top priority by the majority of the Ormond Beach City Commission.

But why?

It’s not like residents of the north peninsula are exactly beating down the door at Ormond Beach City Hall – demanding access to municipal services – and begging to have thousands of dollars in still murky impact and availability fees levied on their properties, right?

The last time an annexation referendum was on the ballot, OBS residents overwhelmingly rejected the idea – and earlier this year, many on the north peninsula were openly skeptical of a strange Volusia County rezoning initiative which our doddering fool of a County Chair, Ed Kelley, described as a “slam dunk for the people.”

Well, according to Ormond Beach City Commissioner Dwight Selby – who also happens to be a prolific commercial real estate broker and developer – the city is doing us all a favor because north peninsula septic tanks are impacting the health of the Halifax River – and “There is nobody else who can do it.”

In a release to the Ormond Beach Observer last week, City Manager Joyce Shanahan no doubt did as she was told and bolstered Commissioner Selby’s horseshit, “The city’s sole goal is simply to improve water quality by reducing nutrients migrating from septic systems into the Halifax River from homes on the north peninsula.” 

Bullshit.

I don’t know about you, but I just lost a lot of respect for the normally upright Ms. Shanahan. . .

Citing a dubious 2013 report by the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County which deemed the north peninsula “unsuitable for septic systems” due to soil conditions and other factors, Mr. Selby and his cronies are suddenly transmogrifying from ravenous real estate speculators into some rabid faction of the Earth Liberation Front.

Never mind that the City of Ormond Beach continues to discharge millions of gallons of partially treated effluent into the Halifax River each week – or the fact the municipality has hundreds of homes currently on septic systems – with even more being permitted by Volusia County at the Vista Della Toscana subdivision being built on environmentally sensitive land off our threatened jewel known as The Loop.

Now, the Ormond Beach City Commission expects us to suspend reality and believe they give two-shits about water quality in the Halifax River?

My God.

In the first step of ramming their aggressive “master plan” down the throats of residents living totally outside their jurisdiction, Ormond Beach elected officials have put taxpayers on the hook for some $1.1 million to cover permitting and design costs for “phase 1” of the project which will initially convert some 700 homes in a swath from Plaza Drive to Longwood Drive.

With 10 phases planned – that’s an incredibly expensive proposition for everyone involved – except those who ultimately stand to benefit most. . .

Look, anyone with two synapses firing can see that the ultimate goal of Mr. Selby and his benefactors has nothing to do with improving water quality and everything to do with the annexation – and commercial development – of the north peninsula.

I’m told that an informational meeting held by District 4 Volusia County Councilwoman Heather Post last evening took a weird turn when Commissioner Selby showed up and began openly heckling Ms. Post while actively attempting to hijack her forum.

While I find Mr. Selby’s abject rudeness in attempting to suppress public dialog interesting – it’s not unexpected.

When you consider that Ms. Post’s every attempt to gain substantive information for her worried constituents have been met with Volusia County’s governmental Code of Omerta – it becomes increasingly clear that things are about to get very interesting for Ormond-by-the-Sea residents.

Trust me.  This is one to watch.

Residents of Volusia County and beyond are tired of being blamed for the ongoing pollution of our waterways – even as our elected officials continue to foul our own nest – rubber stamping massive development from Farmton to the Flagler County line and ignoring nutrient-laden runoff from residential and commercial developments – while continuing the practice of pumping wastewater containing phosphorus, nitrogen, pharmaceuticals and other contaminants directly into the Halifax River.

At the end of the day, it’s about greed.  Nothing more.

Anyone who cares about good governance in their own hometown should care about good governance everywhere – and this has the self-serving stench of wholesale commercial exploitation all over it.

Now, we are about to witness the coup de main of a quaint seaside community.

For more information on how residents are organizing to prevent Ormond Beach’s hostile invasion of the north peninsula, please visit the Ormond-by-the-Sea Association at www.obsassociation.org

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “The Plunder of Ormond-by-the-Sea

  1. Nothing we can do but combat future decisions with our vote.
    This shit pu. intended was rubber stamped beging closed doors years ago and being brought out into the light as needed now.

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    1. Mark, thanks for speaking on this issue. Yes, Ormond Beach’s Mayor and Comissoners should be focused on cleaning up our own house – septic tanks issues for properties within the City’s limits. Why isn’t the City Commision addressing the City’s dumping into the Halifax River and it’s run off dumpage from the Ormond Airport into the Tomoka River? Why are we spending $1.1 Million of OB’s taxpayers’ dollars to take the monkey off Ed Kelley’s and the County’s back and plan for septic-to-sewer in phases in OBS?

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  2. We own a house in obs but are not residents. We are planning on selling our Pennsylvania house and making obs our home. At this point we can’t vote there. Can the state reps. for our area be contacted for support?

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  3. Just because North Peninsula residents voted against this issue before doesn’t mean they were right. Many years ago they voted against allowing the state to add a third lane on A1A. I think that was a mistake. Let reasonable debate begin then put it on the ballot. I’m for it and also for joining Ormond Beach. I support Heather Post as well.

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    1. Problem is, they don’t have to put it on a ballot. They can force it. It will cost everyone, especially those in OBS. It about commercial development. You cannot have big condos without sewers.

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  4. As someone who stays and has owned in OBS, the tragic over
    building is heartbreaking. It is like they are trying to ruin Ormond Beach. The clear cutting of trees, the unnecessary building of Buffet’s “Margaritaville” is horrible. A square mile can only support so much traffic, people and use of public
    services. After that it becomes gridlock. Look at Long Island, Manhattan, and countless other areas that have been overbuilt. I have to believe, there are payoffs behind the scenes to public officials, because no one in their right mind would approve these things. Ruining Ormond is a crime. People living there need to protest, and vote down anyone who is in office, when these projects are passed. The whole thing is a disgrace.

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  5. Keep screaming about the idiotic obsession with replacing septic tanks. They’re on a bender about that over here too. All I can figure is that somebody’s brother-in-law is a plumber and stands to make 💰💰💰 off the replacements.

    The utilities are going to rake in a bundle as well—sewage around here runs about 3x the water bill. So connecting to the system means your bill quadruples.

    The impact fees are “murky” by design. My parents paid 5 figures 20+ years ago when their city extorted them into connecting (“If you wait til your tank fails, it will be twice as much and we won’t finance it!”)… NOT including the cost of the plumbing changes that were involved. Yes, homeowner, you pay that too.

    (No, you can’t just replace a failed tank after sewage comes in. Such work requires a permit, which would be denied. They made sure to mention that in the extortion letter. Remember that when they claim permits are for your protection.)

    And in case anybody missed it, over here in Seminole they were begging locals not to flush after Irma because the decrepit sewage system was overwhelmed. Being on septic, I flushed any damn time I wanted to. Which was a blessing, because who would want to smell an unflushed toilet in a stifling house for the TEN DAMN DAYS Duke left us in the dark?

    So let’s review:
    * Large expense to connect to service
    * Moderate expense to alter plumbing
    * Quadrupled water bills in perpetuity

    Tell me again whom this benefits? Pretty sure it’s not homeowners.

    Oh, and speaking of decrepit sewage—unless ditching septic tanks will make people crap less, I don’t get how it is supposed to be better for the environment. The only thing it will do is CONCENTRATE the damage at sewage release points. Call me crazy but that doesn’t seem like an improvement to me.

    Meanwhile, not a squeak is made about all the fertilizers that are slathered on lawns and golf courses. Don’t even TRY to come for my septic tank before that is addressed!

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  6. The same tactics are used again and again. Port Orange tried it with Wilbur by the Sea. Septic pollution as the segway to sewage piping. All in the name of saving the environment but they really have no scientific proof that septic systems pollute. Ask them for the studies they have for your municipality and you’ll hear crickets. The ultimate goal is massive developments and condominium growth. You can’t put condos on septic tanks.
    Wilbur by the Sea called their hand with their own Environmental Scientist Expert and asked them to show their proof our septic systems were polluting the river. They were stumped because they have no proof…none! They figure if they say it long enough and keep repeating it somehow becomes true.
    Don’t fall for the annexation trick either. Promises of this and that benefit are all soon forgotten before the ink dries. You’d be better off self annexing into Holly Hill. I’m sure they’d love to get their claws into beachside too.

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  7. I myself have written Selby and said to him the exact things you stated right here, Selby is a price of crap that has interests other than clean water. His business and the city are a conflict of interests and he needs to be stopped. We the North peninsula residents don’t want this turf bucket speaking for or representing us at all. He is a land scraping developer that only has dollar signs for pupils. How stupid it was for the residents of the city to allow this loud mouth scam the people real estate developer the seat in the first place. And like I said before, Ormond needs a new treatment plant and they want us up on the Oceanside north to pay for it. Just like Selby, it’s all a scam I tell ya, a big giant scam. And he calls himself a republican while letting his city dump millions of gallons of waste water in the river everyday and blame it on the citizens of the north penn

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  8. You are right on the money on this one. Curious that only the commercial real estate agent from the city commission showed up to the meeting. I have no doubt in my mind what the city wants to name, namely the ones that are backed by developers, attorneys and the like by donations. Wake up Ormond Beach, this is not YOUR city. Take it back!

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