In 2018, Mayor Don Burnette and the Port Orange City Council hired out-of-town attorneys to bully a group of residents who questioned the need for the wasteful, dead-end, and unwanted Yorktowne Blvd extension that would have exposed hundreds of elementary school children to the traffic, noise, and pollution of a major highway. Current mayoral candidate Derek LaMontagne bravely challenged the City in court as they inexcusably tried to expel the citizens’ public health and traffic experts, and remove all mentions of “air quality,” “noise,” and “traffic” as areas of public consideration when building a road. Today we know that worsened air quality contributes to countless more deaths during a respiratory pandemic.
Current City Council wants to keep “air quality” unmonitored around school as it builds an unnecessary dead-end road . . .
Critical wetlands are quickly dwindling for the imperiled Spruce Creek waterbasin between Port Orange and New Smyrna Beach, FL. The St. Johns Water Management District has yet to deny a single permit in the area, and the most recent state water quality study (from 2008 by the FDEP) concluded that the water was impaired, and protections (a BMAP) need to be implemented immediately. However, neither the state, county, or city of Port Orange has complied and instituted stronger protections or funded updated studies, leaving Spruce Creek waterway to suffer.
Current City Council recklessly approves wetlands destruction of a vulnerable, unprotected, and impaired Spruce Creek.
Over the last decade, hundreds of acres of healthy forest and wetlands have been lost in Port Orange, and many of these areas in the worst ways imaginable — techniques known as “high-impact development.” Clear-cutting entire fields, dumping mountains of impervious fill-dirt, ignoring nesting animals, and burning any leftover debris is common practice under current City guidelines, but the city can do better. The City needs to improve its Land Development Code to demand low-impact development practices are followed, for the sake of our air, water, and future.
Bulldozers and man-made fires have raged in and around Port Orange as a “quick and dirty” fix to our tree “problem.”
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Keep our Creeks and Beaches healthy!