The City Appears to be Pretty Well Informed About the Wiles Project

Jack Wiles/Atlantic Marine specifics     December 29, 2013 8:47 PM
From:  “Mike Gardner” <>
To: “Bob Ford” <>
Cc: “Greg Kisela” <> “Wayne Clark” <> “Tim Burman” <> “Allen Green” <>
to:   Councilman Ford,
We reside at, and own, the property at 618 Ruth St in District 1 of Port Orange.  Our property and that of others in our neighborhood abuts several parcels of land being called the Atlantic Marine PCD with Jack Wiles as principal in the development.  As our elected representative to the City Council we are requesting that you ensure we receive answers to some specific questions and that you take a few minutes to review those answers with neighborhood residents.
1.  The City appears to be pretty well informed about the Wiles project since talks regarding a recently approved City Cost Participation Agreement for underground utilities have been going on for some time.

  • How did the City arrive at that agreement?
  • Have any pre-development meetings been held?  If so, on what dates?  Who was in attendance?  What was discussed?
  • Has the Atlantic Marine project been reviewed by the Planning Commission?  If so, what was the result?
  • Have any construction plans been submitted?  If so, have those plans been reviewed and approved?
  • Has a site plan been approved for this project.  If so, please provide a copy.
  • If no plans have been approved, where does the project stand in terms of submissions and approvals.
  • Have any other meetings between the City and developer taken place?  If so, on what dates?  Who was in attendance?  What was discussed?

2.  Jack Wiles had a survey of the PCD prepared by Kuhar Surveying and Mapping (dated 04/19/2013) that shows an area of Lot 3–Block 0 as “WOODED.”  This area was in fact so heavily wooded that it was almost impossible to walk through.  It is now scraped clean to the ground.  With respect to Lot 3–Block 0:

  • What activity does the City understand was undertaken by Wiles starting in August 2013?
  • Was a clearing permit required in connection with that activity?
  • When are clearing permits required?
  • Was a silt fence required in connection with that activity?
  • When are silt fences required?
  • Were any permits issued or inspections made in connection with the activity undertaken by Wiles in August 2013?

3.  On 9/24/13 the City received a hand-drawn sketch and Application for Tree Removal Permit–Commercial that reference a 9/23 site visit by staff and contains several hand-written notations.  The Application for Permit contains the boxed notation:
This application must be accompanied by a sketch or survey showing all trees to be removed.  This
    information will be compared to the approved Site Plan and other City records to determine if the
    proposed removal can be permitted, and what replacement, if any, is required by City Code.  On
    older properties where records are not complete, additional information may be required.

  • Did the City receive a sketch or survey showing all trees to be removed.  If so, please provide a copy.
  • Was this sketch or survey compared to the approved Site Plan?
  • What other City records was this sketch or survey compared to?
  • Was any additional information required for this application?
  • What is the authority for the notation contained on the sketch submitted “No removal of trees approved within the rear 50′ of the property?”  (The area adjoining the properties on Ruth St.)
  • Should that notation have also applied to the side boundary adjoining the properties on Powers Av?
  • Was the purpose of that notation to provide a 50′ buffer between the Wiles PCD and adjoining residential properties?  If yes, what was the authority to remove the natural vegetation in that area?
  • What was the purpose of that 50′ notation?

4.  On 10/10/13 the City subsequently issued a *******CONSTRUCTION PERMIT******* for Tree Removal (Commercial).

  • Why did it take 18 days to issue the Tree Removal Permit?
  • Did the Wiles application go through a review process?
  • What did the review process consist of?
  • Were any staff review comments generated in the course of that review process?  If yes, please provide a copy.

5.  The first 7 or 8 feet of the Atlantic Marine PCD property east of the properties on Ruth St contains a very old drainage swale that has periodically been maintained by Volusia County.

  • What is the status of this swale in terms of the Site Plan for this project?
  • Will it remain operational for its entire length and not be blocked or filled?
  • What assurances do we have that the Wiles project will be engineered such that it will not introduce any additional water into this drainage swale?

6.  Finally, does the approved Site Plan for the Wiles project prohibit exiting the PCD property on Lemon St for purposes of looping around on Powers Av to exit westbound on Dunlawton via either Powers Av or Ruth St?
Thank you,
Mike and Dianne Gardner
618 Ruth St
Port Orange FL  32127
386-527-1959 (Mike)
386-527-1641 (Dianne)

Councilman Ford,
I’m told that you are the Councilman for the area that I live in, Powers Ave., off Dunlawton.  If this is incorrect please let me know.  I have written to and copied to you on several  occasions but have never heard back from you.
I would like to ask you some questions and if you are unable to answer or are not the right person to be writing to, would you please forward them to whomever should be answering them for me.
Our property backs up to the land that has been purchased by Atlantic Marine.   Along with a property line dispute that is ongoing, I would like to know the following:
1. Has the Wiles project been reviewed by the Planning Committee and if so when was that done and are there any records or minutes of that meeting, if so we would like to request copies of them.
2. I understand that the City has approved underground utilities to be done at a 50/50 cost to the city and Jack Wiles.  Shouldn’t this be done AFTER the zoning change is approved and the Planning Committee approves of everything?
3.  There has been a great deal of tree removal and underbrush removed from the subject property, when was the removal approved, by whom, and did they specify what trees were to be removed and what was to be saved.  I would like to have copies of all paperwork involved in the tree removal and clearing of this property.  In said approval, it supposedly stated that no removal of trees was to be within 50′ of the rear of the Ruth Street properties, why wasn’t this done and why weren’t the properties on Powers Avenue included in this provision?
4. This property and the surrounding area is zoned Neighborhood Preservation.  Why would this be changed?  Some of the buildings in this area are, I’m told, historical buildings, an original Port Orange Elementary School and the Railroad Station that had been moved from Herebert Street.  There is no reason to change the zoning to comply for a business that has no business being in this area.  The location is going to affect other existing businesses and the residential areas in general.
5.  What provisions are being made to assure the surrounding properties that we will not be subject to flooding from this property change?  If they do any more filling and leveling it will put many of our properties lower than his and we are afraid we will have problems resulting from it.
6.  Finally, what assurances do we have that the customers of Atlantic Marine that want to go West on Dunlawton are not going to leave by going down Powers and/or Ruth Street to exit on Dunlawton.  Also, what provisions are made for the many trucks and semi’s that deliver to the other established businesses on Lemon Street.  They are going to be forced to us Powers and Ruth Streets.
In closing, I would strongly suggest that the City of Port Orange reconsider this operation.  There are many more suitable locations for boat sales  and storage.
I sincerely hope that I receive a reply from someone regarding these matters.  We have had no communication with the city with the exception of Tim Burman.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Fred & Kela Lindsay
509 Powers Ave

11 thoughts on “The City Appears to be Pretty Well Informed About the Wiles Project

  • December 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Councilman Ford,
    We also live in your District on Powers Ave. We were copied on emails regarding the Atlantic Marine Project sent to you yesterday from Kela and Fred Lindsey and Dianne and Mike Gardner. We would also like answers to those questions and request that we be kept informed of any meetings and copied on any responses to those emails or any other discussions regarding the Atlantic Marine Project.
    Dru & Fred Urquhart
    511 & 513 Powers Ave.

  • December 31, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    because Jack Wiles is a city official – I am betting that we will soon find out that someone in the planning office told Jack Wiles to clear the proposed development plot before obtaining any city permits or they would be required to prohibit him from clearing the 50 foot perimeter adjacent to all residents on the block once the permit application was submitted to the city as required by the code Mabey it is time for the FBI to check thisone out

    • January 5, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Yep..we get this one…forgiveness..easier, faster..and in this case way cheaper than permission…permits after the fact……why didn’t I think of that???….. Or to quote a city representative…”he is deemed to be in compliance”

  • December 31, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Check this one out……. you mean add it to the list.
    The FBI should have had their own office at Port Orange city hall for at least the last 2 years now..

  • January 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I am sorry but i cant take hearing this anymore. If you dont like progress in this town and the way the city is run it is real simple MOVE. That lot looks alot better now then it did the whole 20 + years you people lived there. Can only imagine how much better its going to look once they finish the project. I mean seriously if you really cared about that lot why have it look like a junk yard all this time. Why not buy the lot yourself to ensure no one would build. Is it because you are loosing some thing you recievied for free this whole time now you are loosing it? Lets be honest this is not because of the trees.

    • January 4, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Well yes… it actually is about the trees and how this development will change the nature of this quiet residential community…..and about the city not following its own Land Development Code and not doing things in a stepped procedure according to its own laws.
      Its very easy to be cavalier about someone else’s situation when your neighborhood or you personally are not being damaged. You apparently have not been wronged by this city…. yet …or perhaps you have another agenda to follow.
      And no, we should not have to move because the city is acting in a lawless manner. Everyone in this city should be concerned when there is blantant favoritism given to a city insider and he is not required to follow the same codes/ordinances/laws as the rest of us. We are all diminished and threatened by government when these kinds of events occur.
      Years ago my husband, Mike Gardner, and I asked the previous owner of the property for the right of first refusal should he ever sell and we would have gladly bought the property for the $75K Jack Wiles paid for it. We would have purchased it for the good of the neighborhood had we known it was being sold. And for our own good. We loved that forest. Jack got a heck of a deal. We would have kept the land for purposes of our privacy and that of the neighborhood. And make no mistake, this was a dense forest behind Powers Avenue and Ruth Street. We have pictures to document that. The forest was cleared. Now it is an open field.
      I purchased this home in 1979 because this neighborhood was essentially a forest and we especially liked the forest behind our home at 618 Ruth Street and were confident it would be maintained because of its zoning which was and is Neighborhood Preservation. That would be the same zoning as Jack Wiles’ home on the river …Neighborhood Preservation. I am betting no boat sales/repair and storage is going in behind or next to his home. We have no problem with progress..we just want all laws to be followed as the city moves toward progress.
      Before you comment about this issue and make some incorrect judgments, you really might want to walk around this neighborhood and talk to us. Find out who we are. We are a neighborhood of people of social worth, solid taxpayers, and law abiding homeowners and many of us are elderly or verging on that. … and we deserve far better treatment from our city than we are getting. These are our homes. We cannot get in our cars and drive somewhere else at night. We live here.
      Further, there will be commercial traffic on our little residential streets of Powers and Ruth because that property will have no safe access to Dunlawton Avenue. This will affect us in terms of safety, noise and again will change our neighborhood into something quite different than what it is now.
      So “Fed Up”, I suggest you get both sides of the story before you make a judgment and realize that at some point you might need help with some action the city is taking that you know is not lawful. I am certain you will not want to be told that your only answer is “move if you do not like it”. .
      Dianne Templeton Gardner
      618 Ruth Street
      Port Orange, Florida 32127

  • January 4, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I have been following these comments as an interested resident of Port Orange and decided to do some digging on what was being said based on what is available in public records. I haven’t been able to find that Jack Wiles holds any position as a city official?? The document that Atlantic Marine and the city provided seemed to address the initial questions and in a more detailed manor than a simple yes/no format. (Also, not all of the questions were yes/no questions which made the rebuttal confusing).
    Under the property appraisers website the lot in question is and has been zoned as Industrial/Commercial. As soon as I was able to find this much information that contradicted the points made by the resident(s), I’m basically chalking this up to some very emotional people who are less concerned with adding jobs to the city of Port Orange than with slandering a business owner (who has yet to defend themselves in anything other than a professional and informative way.)
    As a homeowner myself, buying any property next to, in front of, or behind an empty lot, I understand that I assume the risk of that property being built on. Seems like this project is legal guys, maybe take up a hobby?

  • January 4, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Finally, someone has had enough of this as much as I have. Thank you FED UP!
    It seems that if the concerned parties are so worried about what happens on property bordering their houses, they would have bought the property themselves. This doesn’t seem to be a City of Port Orange issue, it seems to me like it’s a control issue on the part of those who are speaking up. I do not know any city in which you can sit back and complain and try to determine what someone else does with property that you do not own. You mention that you asked for right of first refusal from the previous owner, well guess what, the owner didn’t give it to you. You win some and you lose some, but that doesn’t mean you have the power to control what happens on that property. You didn’t buy it, Jack Wiles did. You say Jack got a heck of a deal, good for him. You can’t fault someone for getting a good deal. As far as this ‘forest’ thing goes. Don’t you know you should never buy property for a view that you don’t own? You had to have known that things would change over time. Be happy you got to enjoy the forest for 34 years. You cannot honestly tell me that the fact that you are so upset is because this property was ‘cleared.’ Look around, it was CLEANED up, it was not CLEARED. Your property value probably went up by getting that junk out of there. If you are so worried about the appearance of your surrounding area, maybe you should talk to some of your neighbors, and I don’t mean Jack Wiles. Look around, you know what I’m referring to. Walk around the neighborhood and talk to the neighbors? Did you do that when you wanted to change something on your property? Did you get permission and approval from all of the neighbors when you wanted to add on to your house? Did you get permits for all the work that you have done? Based on my research on this dispute, Jack has applied for permits.
    I am happy to know that you are a neighborhood of people of social worth, solid taxpayers, and law abiding homeowners. I am not questioning that, but what I can say is that Jack Wiles and those involved with Atlantic Marine are as well. In fact, Jack was my basketball, softball, and soccer coach for over 10 years. I can tell you that you aren’t going to win anything by questioning his character or implying that there is any form of cronyism involved. He is one of the most genuine and hardworking men I have ever come across. He has volunteered countless hours to this city for the past 25 years. I know this to be true, because I also am a resident of Port Orange. To anyone else, his service would be recognized as something good, but because he is involved with a project that you don’t approve of, you are going to try to call it ‘cronyism.’ That’s a joke.
    If you have so much time on your hands to devote to this non-issue, why don’t you sit on one of the city boards? Or go coach a team? Or volunteer? Seems like you have a lot of opinions and from my research it doesn’t seem to just be about this. It’s always something that’s got you complaining. If you hate the way things are done in this City, move.
    I will not go back and forth on this issue with you or with anyone, but I will stand up for my City and for the names of the people that you are trying slander because the story that you have created is one-sided and in the best interest of you and you alone. As such a concerned citizen of Port Orange, it seems that you would look out for someone other than yourself.

  • January 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    For years now i have seen a for sale sign on that lot, it is hard to belive if your neighborhood had legit interest in that lot it would have made a purchase especially if it was such a good deal at the price Mr. Wiles received.Commenting on the move aspect i clearly dont expect some one to just pick up and move but at one point in time this whole town was a forrest, the city of port orange is becomming a top city in florida to live due to projects like Atlantic Marines,the new BJ’s shopping center (which also used to be a forrest) and the pavillion ETC….
    This city is changing for the better and i was simply stating if you want a forrest in your back yard Port Orange is not that city any more.
    I can not comment on the city acting in a lawless manor as i dont have the facts or read anything in the news about it. all the facts I have are comming from face books and this blog which in my eyes is just some ones opinion

  • January 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I am just expressing my opinion on this matter good luck to you and your neighborhood

    • January 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Dear Fed Up,
      We would love to talk with any concerned person about this. Call us anytime for a face to face meeting at our house or on the phone. We are not in any way anti-development. We are capitalists in favor of development and have owned boats all our lives. My husband used to fish all the tournament’s before he got too old…a young man’s sport he said after the last one. We loved to go out to the Gulf Stream anne see the deep blue water past the 26th fathom mark.
      But we believe laws/codes exist for the good of all of us. And yes, I am accountable to my neighbors. We all are. What we want is for the land development code followed , an approved site plan to be in place, permitting done properly and a restoration of legally proscribed buffers per the city’s LDC. That’s it.
      We can be reached at 386-527-1959 Mike or 386-527-1641 Dianne.
      Or stop by at 618 Ruth Street. We are civil folks and want to understand and be understood!


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