You have questions about the Automall. We understand. Here are some of the most common ones.
How big is the I-4 Automall?
The total acreage of assembled property is approximately 57 acres, however, the area used for auto dealerships is only a portion of that 57 acres located next to I-4. The west side of the 57 acres will be used for a gas station and for several retail locations including at least one sit-down restaurant.
Why Orange Camp Road instead of exits at SR44 or SR 472?
SR 472 has land available, but cannot be used due to restrictions on how close dealers can be located to other dealers of the same manufacturer. The farthest south the dealerships could be located would be Cassadaga Road. SR44 is not feasible due to two quadrants being controlled by government ownership and the other two quadrants having access and exposure issues.
Why didn’t community meetings take place before the application was submitted?
The request for zoning change that was gained attention through an article in the Beacon, and subsequently through social media was not an application for an auto mall. The request was limited to 9 acres of a 20 acre parcel on the west side of the 57 acres. If the PLDRC had recommended approval and the County Council voted to approve, it would have changed the zoning from B-6 to B-4 for that 9 acres only. The contract to purchase the 20 acres required the buyer (I-4 Automall) to diligently pursue approval for its intended use of selling cars. The rest of the 57 acres was not yet under contract at the time the application had to be submitted. The property came under contract several days before the article in the Beacon, making the hearing unnecessary, but before it was withdrawn or a continuance could be requested, the article ran in the Beacon and understandably caused confusion.
What types of restaurants or gas stations will be located on the property?
There are no contracts in place at this time, however, discussions are already taking place. We anticipate at least one “sit-down” restaurant, a gas station with large convenience store, and two other businesses, which may be restaurants or could be specialty retail. All architecture will be required to compliment the Victoria Park architectural scheme.
What happens if the application to allow the I-4 Automall is denied?
I-4 Automall, LLC has closed on the majority of the properties at the site while waiting for the necessary permissions to proceed. If the application is denied, I-4 Automall, LLC will either develop the 20 acres that are already zoned for commercial use (B-6), or sell the property to someone who will.
What types of businesses can be located in the current B-6 zoning today without any changes to zoning?
There are a number of uses that already exist as a matter of right. That means that PLDRC or County Council approval is not required. The owner only needs to submit an acceptable building permit in order to build and operate its proposed business. B-6 uses include, but are not limited to:
- Automobile rental agencies
- Automotive service stations, types A, B and C
- Bars as accessory uses to hotels and restaurants
- Barber and beauty shops
- Car washes
- Communication towers not exceeding 70 feet in height above ground level.
- Convenience stores with more than eight vehicular service positions per fuel dispenser island. Convenience stores, with or without fuel dispensers.
- Cultural art centers
- Laundry and dry-cleaning establishments
- Mobile recreational vehicle shelter sales and service
- Nightclubs. (Nightclub: Commercial premises where food, alcoholic beverages or other refreshments may be obtained for consumption on the premises and where floor shows or other forms of entertainment may be provided for the customers.)
- Outdoor entertainment event (Outdoor entertainment event: Any activity designed to attract 500 or more persons per day, for one or more days, for the purpose of listening to, viewing, and/or participating in outdoor entertainment, conducted in open spaces, outside of an enclosed building.)
- Restaurants, types A and B
- Retail specialty shops
- Tire sales
Permitted special exceptions:
- Communication towers exceeding 70 feet in height above ground level.
- Curb markets
- Excavations only for stormwater retention ponds for which a permit is required by this article
- Flea markets
- Mobile recreational vehicle and shelter parks
- Outdoor entertainment and recreational uses and structures
- Professional or trade schools related to permitted uses
- Truck stops and storage.
Will the B-6 uses still be allowed if the I-4 Automall PUD application is granted?
PUD’s are used to place specific restrictions and allowances on a property. Usually, there are fewer permitted uses than there would be in a straight zoning classification such as B-6. For instance, “truck stops” and “flea markets” and “nightclubs” could be eliminated, or the number of fast food restaurants with drive through windows could be limited. More detailed architectural requirements can be included in a PUD than would normally exist in regular zoning.
What will the affect be on traffic in the local area?
A traffic study, performed in accordance with industry standards is being performed. If the uses proposed will create a big enough increase in use, the developer may be required to make certain improvements to the surrounding roadways such as traffic lights or additional turn lanes. Auto dealerships do not typically have the same “peak hours” as traditional rush hours. The morning peak tends to be later, and the afternoon peak is more spread out. Weekends, when roadways are generally not as busy, tends to be a busier time for dealerships.
What will happen to the dealerships currently located on Woodland Blvd?
It is impossible to say for sure what will happen, however, as DeLand has grown, the demand for services such as national chain restaurants and specialty grocery stores has grown. The demand for upscale apartments has also grown. Right now, dealerships occupy a large amount of valuable real estate on S. Woodland. It is true that some of them might relocate to the I-4 Automall. If they do, it will create opportunity for new development on S. Woodland.