Volusia County Council approves off-beach parking lot

- The Volusia County Council on Thursday voted unanimously to approve an $825,000 plan for off-beach parking, which includes 100 parking spots.  

Council members say beach parking spots fill up fast, especially on holiday weekends like this past Memorial holiday so they want more off-beach parking.  "It’s very important to have of beach parking," said Council Member Josh Wagner.

Last year, the Council entered into a partnership with developers of the Westin Resort. They are turning the old Desert Inn into the resort which is set to be done early next year.  As part of the deal, the Council agreed to cut beach driving and parking on that beachfront property.  That cut out about 50 parking spots. 

The developers agreed to give the county half of the vacant lot next to the property for off-beach parking, but the county had to buy the other half.   The Council voted to turn the entire piece into a parking lot with 100 spots. 

Council Chairman, Jason Davis told FOX 35, "It’s a lot. There’s construction, asphalt, plumbing, you’ve got to rebuild the whole infrastructure.  Right now, it’s just a big weedy lot, so we got to break it down to the basics and start from ground zero."  He added that the price for the acreage involved is "quite reasonable."

Davis said the total cost with the purchase of the land and site design brings the price tag to $1.4 million.  For now the lot will be open 24 hours and free.  

The Council hopes to have the parking lot finished by May of next year, around the time the Westin is set to open.

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