Business Encroachment in Port Orange Residential Areas

RE: Business encroachment in Port Orange residential area      January 24, 2014 8:15 AM
Bob_Ford_20082-150x150From:   “Bob Ford” <>
To:   “Cynthia Rivera” <>
>Cc:  “Robin Fenwick” <> “Greg Kisela” <> “Shannon Lewis” <slewis@port-
Responding to your email, I asked the City to answer a series  of questions most of which you had raised. I want to assure you that the answers you received only provide a starting point in what is going to be a much longer discussion. I went out to the site about a year ago with our last City Manager Ken Parker, and he admitted that there were serious problems with the canal, and that the City would need to address them.
Over this past year there has been continued discussion of the drainage problems along this corridor, one of which is the stricture in this canal.
Don’t consider the answers you have just received final, each answer is going to be reviewed, the source documentation checked. Will talk to Code enforcement and the City Manager. Plan also to meet with County staff. Will be out to the site in the next couple of days to review the latest changes. You are being heard.
best, Bob Ford

From: Rivera, Cynthia
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 4:44 PM
To:; City Council
Cc: Fenwick, Robin; Kisela, Greg; Lewis, Shannon; Steinebach, Donna; Donahue, Kent; Clark, Wayne; Leston, Kristine; Yarborough, Jason; Anderson, Mary; Lovallo, Susan
Subject: Business encroachment in Port Orange residential area
Ms. Cooper,
Please see below regarding your inquiry.
Thank you,
Cindy  Rivera
Cindy Rivera
Executive Assistant to the City Manager
City of Port Orange
1000 City Center Circle
Port Orange, FL 32129

[Description: Description: PO email]
From: Clark, Wayne
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 4:39 PM
To: Rivera, Cynthia
Subject: FW: Business encroachment in Port Orange residential area
Here is information related to some of the questions below:
Use of the Property:
The Masci construction yard is located in the Ridgewood Development (RD) Zoning District.  Construction contractor’s yard and storage was a permitted use in the RD Zoning District at the time the site plans were approved.
Site Plan Approval:
A site plan for the construction yard was approved in July 2010 and the site plan was modified in January 2011.  The site did not receive any variances from the requirements of the Land Development Code.
Fence and Buffer along Dubois Ave.:
The Land Development Code requires the storage area to be enclosed by an opaque wall, fence or landscaping of sufficient maturity, density and height to screen the storage area from the public right-of-way or adjoining property. A 10’ chain-link fence with opaque screening and landscaping were installed along Dubois Ave. The site plan required an additional 20 Red Cedar trees to be planted adjacent to the fence. A 20’ landscape buffer was required and installed along the rear property line (Dubois Ave.).
Filling of the B23 Canal
The B23 Canal is a Volusia County maintained conveyance system.  Masci Construction obtained a Volusia County Use Permit (#2010-P-USE-0263/Issued 03-24-2010) to install twin 48” culverts and fill the canal within the boundary of their property.  The canal bottom was demucked prior to the installation of the culverts.  Volusia County inspections were performed during construction and the City received inspection reports and confirmation that the completed work was accepted by Volusia County.  Other permits associated with this work include:
·         Army Corp of Engineers Nationwide Permit (NWP) Number 39/Issued 04-22-2010
·         St. Johns River Water Management District General Permit Number 40-127-123865-1/Issued 10-21-2010
Flow and Drainage
The canal in question is connected to the Farmbrook stormwater pond.  This pond is a City owned and maintained stormwater pond that has a water control structure which controls water flow of the pond and canal.  Water does not normally flow through the water control structure unless there has been a runoff generating rain event which causes the pond and canal water level to rise above the water control elevation.  This canal was once tidally influenced, however, the tidal influence ended when the Farmbrook pond modifications were implemented.
Compliance with Site Plan:
Commercial properties are inspected by Code Enforcement staff on an ongoing basis for compliance with their approved site development plan.  If there are any violations found, the property owner is issued a report outlining the violations and is directed to correct them.  Some of the deficiencies identified in the most recent inspection of the Masci site include maintenance of landscaping materials along the fence perimeters and relocation of material stored in the required buffer inside the fenced area.
Noise Complaints:
To report noise complaints: During the hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday – Friday call the Code Enforcement Hotline (386) 506-5604 and after hours call the Police non-emergency number (386) 248-1777.

From: Barbara Cooper []
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2014 12:49 PM
To: Ford, Bob; Green, Allen
Cc: Burnette, Don; Bastian, Drew; Kennedy, Dennis; Fenwick, Robin; Kisela, Greg; Lewis, Shannon; Steinebach, Donna; Donahue, Kent; Clark, Wayne; Leston, Kristine; Yarborough, Jason; Anderson, Mary; Lovallo, Susan
Subject: Business encroachment in Port Orange residential area
Good Morning, Mr. Ford . . .
It has been quite a long time since we last communicated. Unfortunately, the cause of this communication is the same as before, and I find myself wondering if there will ever be an end to the problem.
We have been dealing with, and complaining about, Masci Construction for the better part of four years now. Masci was given a zoning variance, allowing his construction company to encroach on an established residential area. He has been allowed, with no supervision of any kind, to fill in the drainage canal that used to separate the commercially zoned U.S.-1 frontage from this residential area. There is no wall or sound buffer between his business and our residential area.
I don’t believe there are many neighborhoods in Port Orange where this is the case.
Mr. Masci has continuously disturbed our quiet neighborhood. He has had his construction workers out as early as 4:00 am loading their trucks (we are awakened by the beep-beep of the trucks’ reverse warnings), then working full on from 7:00 am until 9:30 pm, most often on the weekends (when, I suppose he is aware, no one with the power to stop him is paying attention.) They even worked most of the afternoon this past Easter Sunday.
I must respectfully point out that it is unlikely workers in your own neighborhood would be able to get away with that particular disruption.
Masci has now contracted workers to tamp down additional fill over the no-longer-draining canal — the vibration of which has caused not only a disturbing deep sound permeating the entire day, but has caused some of my neighbors actual nausea and migraine headaches.
Again, I am not picking a fight here, but I am pretty sure this would be unacceptable in most areas of Port Orange — particularly those in which many of your own peers reside.
All of this is not even addressing the destruction of what used to be a relatively clean offshoot of Rose Bay — a canal where a three to four foot tidal change was enjoyed.
Masci’s filling in of his section of a county and/or city owned piece of property has ended any and all flow and drainage, leaving us with a very smelly, murky swamp. I suspect it is, or will soon be, the cause of some health concerns. I have no doubt that it will overflow its banks with the first heavy rainstorm, spreading its filth into our yards and homes.
The city of Port Orange has built a reputation on being green and caring about the environment. The city’s website says: “Planned by choice, not by chance, Port Orange blends beauty and opportunity within its 28 square miles. From its tree-lined streets to its parks, this community is the pride of Volusia County.”
It is nice that the city spends so much effort on parks and pleasant median strips, but sad that it lets an area like this fall by the wayside. An area, in fact, only a stone’s throw away from the well-travelled U.S.-1. This is not a situation worthy of pride.
Mr. Oby Walker has been the only resident with the perseverance to complain about this intrusion consistently. It is unfortunate that we have not all bombarded you with emails and phone calls, but of course, regular life often gets in the way of those tasks we find somewhat objectionable.
Please understand that his concerns are ours, and that there is an entire residential area that is being affected by Mr. Masci’s “development”.
I realize that up to this point I have only complained, and not offered any solutions or actual requests. I will address that now . . .
1.       Make Mr. Masci follow the rules other businesses must follow. Ensure that he only works those hours that he is legally allowed to, and have someone accost the workers early weekend mornings and late weekend evenings if necessary in order to make them stop. Use the laws that are on the books to limit his encroachment on our lives.
2.       Insist that a privacy wall/fence/structure that has sound buffering properties be erected between his business and our neighborhood. I believe that is also a law for incoming businesses. If Mr. Masci has found a way around that law, eliminate the loophole.
3.       Approach the drainage problem from a management perspective. Seek professional input and work out a solution, before the next hurricane causes an enormous amount of property damage.
4.       Look into dredging the canal. Most of the homeowners would be happy to allow moderate sized equipment into our back yards to make this possible. Many years of neglect have left this intolerable mess, and sooner or later it will have to be addressed. We might find the canal drains rather well once the muck and garbage is removed. We don’t know because it has never been tried.
I have to add a note here . . . every couple of years a handful of city employees are sent out for to spray poison on or cut down the Brazilian pepper trees on the US-1 side of the canal. They spray a little and chop a little, and leave their mess behind. Much of the muck and garbage below the water line is this abandoned vegetation. Added to Mr. Masci’s blockage, it is no wonder the canal no longer flows.
5.       Hire a company (there are several) or delegate city employees to maintain the proper pH in the canal water. If it won’t drain, treat it as a retention pond and maintain it as such.
In the future we will take turns contacting you, however often we find it necessary in order to get results.
I am copying everyone I think might have a stake in the outcome of this concern.
Barbara Cooper
5388 Turton Lane
Port Orange, Florida 32127

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