By Paul Burdziakowski
The South Daytona City Council approved a special use permit to allow a church to locate in the long vacant building at 3109 S. Ridgewood Ave.
The property is owned by Zuma Development and will be leased on a monthly basis to the new occupant. The special use application to utilize the old Sandy Point Progressive Sports building at 3109 S. Ridgewood Ave. was filed by Beachside Calvary Break Inc., which is a non-denominational church. Beachside Calvary Break Inc. is headed by Pastor Jay Stapleton.
Pastor Stapleton would like to use the building for worship and youth group meetings during the week and on Sundays. The church currently provides services at the R. J. Longstreet Elementary School, which is located two miles north of Dunlawton Avenue along South Peninsula Drive in Daytona Beach Shores.
The proposed special use was presented to the Land Development Regulation Board on Feb. 20 and was unanimously approved by the City Council.
At Tuesday's meeting the Council felt the applicant met the requirements for a special use for the current site configuration and location.
The existing zoning in the South Ridgewood Avenue area was changed from a planned unit development to a mixed-use zone in Tuesday's meeting. The applicant, Mr. Stapleton, met all the requirements, codes and guidelines for the new mixed use ordinance. The facility will be inspected again by the Chief Building Official and the City Fire Inspector to ensure the facilities are in proper working order and meet all applicable codes, prior to issuing a Business Tax Receipt for this use.
"The new zoning change from planned unit development to mixed use zone allows for a lot of flexibility for the fair amount of empty lots along South Ridgewood Avenue," said Community Development Director John Dillard.
According to Mr. Dillard, the city had several large condominium complexes approved for development, but when the economy took a nose dive there was no longer a demand for them.
"While the vacant lots pay county property taxes, the city gets the most tax benefit from developed condominiums which are in use," Mr. Dillard said.
Churches are not required to pay property taxes so the biggest benefit the city will get from the approved special use of the church facility is the property will be less likely to be vandalized and inhabited by homeless individuals, he said.
The previous owner of the building was Sandy Point Progressive Sports. The recreational oriented business, which originated in Holly Hill in 1983, sells and rents water sporting equipment such as kayaks, canoes and sail boats. Sandy Point was at the 3109 S. Ridgewood location since 1991, after moving there from Holly Hill. Sandy Point sold the building to a property developer and in April 2007 relocated to a larger building across the street. The building has been vacant since that time.
The prolonged period of vacancy has led to the building being intermittently inhabited by homeless individuals. The proposed special use to Beachside Calvary Break should help eliminate that type of activity in the future and help generate a positive influence and growth in the area, according to city officials.