Volusia County Council to leave New Smyrna Beach CRAs alone - at least until mid-summer vote on controversial hotel

Show Me the Money Volusia County: Battle over CRAs / Headline Surfer®
Flagler Ave ramp in NSB one of the busiest in Volusia County, Fla / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® photos & videos /

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys won re-election to her district 3 seat in 2014, in part by pledging to convince her colleagues on the dais in DeLand to approve new Community Redevelopment Agencies for New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.

And soon after the election, she did just that, getting CRA passages for both cities in 6-1 votes with only County Chair Jason Davis dissenting each time.

Proposed hotel on NSB beachside threatens CRA / Headline Surfer®Graphic for Headline Surfer® / 

The County Council stopped short of rescinding New Smyrna Beach's two  CRAs -- an older one on Flagler Avenue that goes down the North Causeway Bridge to Canal Street and the Westside and then back across the South Causeway Bridge to Flagler. That CRA sunsets the end of this month and ends a 30-year run.

The newer CRA focuses on the entire stretch of U.S. 1 and includes side streets of Canal (but not Canal itself) as well as the Westside, plus a portion of State Road 44 up to the old K-Mart. It is scheduled to go for 20 years.

That is, perhaps, unless New Smyrna Beach fails to play ball with the County Council. 

New Smyrna Beach doodged a fatal bullet when its City Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday to rescind a plan to charge county residents $10 a day or $100 a year to park in off-beach municipal parks while allowing city residents to park in these locales for free.

"That shows an act of good faith on out part," New Smyrna Beach Mayor Jim Hathaway told Headline Surfer® the following morning. So we'll see what they do on Thursday."

Even after New Smyrna Beach's action Tuesday night, the County Council on Thursday wasn't so forgiving. Denys actually singled out Neww Smyrna Beach by name as a target for future punishment should it change its mind on the parking fees, but she backed off when Councilman Doug Daniels said such action was tantamount to the death penalty as punishment for committing a misdemeanor.




Editor's Note: This story is being updated frequently.
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.