Welcome! I'm Michael Kolody, candidate for Zone 1 Commissioner

New Smyrna Beach

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My Blog

Since becoming a full time resident of New Smyrna Beach I have actively participated in our government from the audience side of  various public meetings including  Commission, Planning & Zoning Board and others . My professional experience and comments have mostly been ignored. It is for this reason I am now a candidate for New Smyrna Beach Commissioner in Zone 1

Donations

The charm of our seacoast city and our quality of Life must be protected

Policy Statements

I have ideas to stop the downward spiral caused by uncontrolled growth and wish to share them with you. We never want to be stagnant as a community  but we need to focus growth into areas that enhance our quality of life. Following sections detail my pledge to the community, campaign platform, issues, background, and plan of action. The policy statements that follow summarize what I will accomplish when elected.  No issue is greater than another. Statements are issued when the item is in public debate.

Direct contact is kolody2018@gmail.com


  1. CITY MANAGER - To maintain accountability and insure transparency the following changes must be made to our personal management system. a) Department heads annually  review those employees in their charge and report to the City Manager. b) City Manager review department heads and their reports/recommendations , then take action. City Manager to maintain a list of tasks assigned by the commission at meetings or offered in response to a public request or general discussion at meetings.  A so called "Promise or Action" list. d) All future contracts, (excepting union contracts) have a termination date with very limited termination incentives.   If elected I will fight for these changes.

2. CORONADO MARINE VILLAGE -  After a number of years this project collapsed under its own weight. The marina, restaurants, hotel and related improvements grew in scope, taxing the land to the point the only way to meet the financial obligations was to seed control to new partners who where hotel developers.If the Commissioners agreed to further delays, we as citizens would have been left with a 5 story hotel and a diminished marina.

A new plan must be prepared to move forward. If elected I would support a mixed use project. which would contain the following.  A.  An expansion of the boat parking area to relieve stress on the neighborhood. B. A riverside park, at least 75 feet in width along the waterfront on at least 50 % of the now open area. C. A commercial marina with docking facilities and perhaps a restaurant/ships store for residents and boaters.


3. DENSITY CALCULATIONS FOR NEW DEVELOPMENTS - At present, allowable density is calculated simply by multiplying the  total site area by the number of acres allowed by acre in the affected zone.  The calculation has been made blind to the physical attributes of the land despite the fact there is a provision in the code which states lands covered by waters should not be included in the calculation. 

An example - A 100 acres tract with a 10 acre pond and 20 acres of wetlands is now calculated to allow 500 homes at 5 units/acre. If the "covered with water" provision is applied only 450  homes would be allowed. Further reductions would be in order if wetlands were considered under water reducing the allowed number of homes to 350 homes.

The result would be a properly planned development by not allowing the development to simply cram the allowed number of homes into upland areas.


4.  IMPACT FEES - Transportation impact fees are assessed by the City on all new construction.  The fees were established on October 01, 2008 and have not been updated by Resolution of the City Commission on an annual or biannual basis. The fees are paid by the developer. The Consumer Price Index has risen 16.2% since then.  We all known the county had proposed a new sales tax which is a very bad deal and they (and the City) will study raising the impact fees to death before implementing a change. I propose a resolution be passed raising the impact fees for transportation now to reflect cost of living increase since 2008. Study future modifications to the method impact fees are collected next and update the Capital Improvement Plan to include improving our local road network and relieving our neighborhoods of the increasing pressure of overdevelopment

My Pledge

I believe in the professional approach to governing in New Smyrna Beach. We need leadership change.

Our Commission only approaches change after being assailed by the residents in public for months about their needs. We need a responsive governing body able see the voters needs quickly and act decisively in an open and transparent manner.


  I have over 45 years experience as an elected member of a governing body, an employee of municipal, county and state governments and as a licensed professional working with private developers appearing before government agencies.  I know both sides of the equation and how they function.

My Campaign Platform

Saving The Community

Mary Lou and I were drawn to New Smyrna Beach 34 years ago,  buying a timeshare immediately and purchasing our home 12 years later. The charm and small town spirit are what we wanted. Riverside Park-Our connection between land and water.We have been through recessions and boom times but have never been faced with the over-development and degradation of quality of life we now face.

Uniting behind a Common Goal

I believe the American flag to be our true symbol of democracy, especially when shown en masse.  I have very specific views on how to correct the misdirection our City Commission has taken but will work closely with other commissioners to promote a new direction. We must rein in the overdevelopment , yet promote responsible commercial growth west of Interstate 95 and along the US 1 and railroad corridors.

Get Involved

I can't win this race without your help.  This brown pelican certainly is doing ok by his (or her) self.  But, don't you normally see them flying in formation along the coast or, if you are on the water, pass their rookeries as they live together?  Strength in numbers. I want  and need your support. It's time to change our course politically and protect the charm of the Canal Street and Flagler Avenue districts.  We must grow our commercial tax base by working  together to reduce the burden on us.

Issues

The Natural Environment

What has brought most of us to New Smyrna Beach is the coastal aspect of the town.  Whether we are first or fifth generation residents,  it's the beach.  Unfortunately,  the constant growth has taken its toll.  The  pressure to accommodate visitors and residents alike stresses the Mosquito Lagoon, the river, the ground water supply and the forests. The photo shows how overdevelopment and lack of enforcement can lead to environmental havoc. See the sign? "Mangrove Conservation Area" Where is the enforcement?

The Residential Environment

There are 24 Neighborhoods within New Smyrna Beach, of which 20 are predominantly  residential.  Haphazard development has caused traffic problems, Infrastructure degradation has contributed to a gradual loss of quality of life. Some rural areas wish to remain that way but have development breathing down their necks. Some beachside neighborhoods are being inundated with increasing traffic as drivers try to find a way around crowded roads in commercial areas.

The Business Environment

Canal Street and Flagler Avenue business districts are flourishing with the steady flow of residents and visitors with the expanding economy. We must work with their business groups to buffer them in the event of an economic downturn.  The Route 1 and Route  44 districts are more secure due to the larger shopper base they have. Unless we solve the traffic, access and overdevelopment issues, they will suffer along with city residents who patronize them.  There are large un ,and under developed ares zoned for larger scale commercial use which we must push harder for development. These uses, away from our residential areas will help stabilize the tax rate without creating a large influx of traffic.

Planning & Zoning

The basis for all development in New Smyrna Beach is supposed to be managed by standards written into our City Codes. The State requires a  Comprehensive Plan and a Land Development Regulations Section. New Smyrna has enacted both. Prior to proceeding with development the applicant must meet the requirements of both. I believe the planning staff often is too liberal in determining compliance to the standards.

Planning & Zoning Board

I am a member of the Planning & Zoning Board. This board is now well rounded and makes decisions based on planning staff review, the applicants presentation and public comment.  In the past the board was mainly comprised of proponents of uncontrolled development who recommended approval of virtually all applications to the City Commission . That board was biased in favor of over development.   The composition of the board has changed with an unbiased view towards having development adhere to our current regulations. I have voted against the Tractor Supply Store, the Beacon Apartments , the Coastal Woods Apartments and Townhouses on the North Causeway. These denial recommendations  where overturned by the current Commission

Planned Unit Development (PUD)

Instead of having development guided by zoning and land development regulations,  PUD's are created having their own standards. Not only do they often vary from standards such as maximum building height, they lock in the development  for a period of years and forbid major changes to the conceptual plan. Since becoming a Planning and Zoning Board member I championed a change to limit the time period to 5 years  The  limit formerly set was  10 years. PUD approval results in a binding agreement with the city preserving the concept plan. Except for minor revisions the plan cannot be changed even if economic, social or environmental concerns lead residents to champion for major revisions. Even then the City cannot unilaterally cancel the PUD..


In my opinion they are nothing more than a license to overdevelop our city.

Background

Personal Information and Civic Endeavors

Florida History

Prior to becoming  permanent Florida residents Mary Lou and I were born and raised in New Jersey. We visited New Smyrna Beach first in 1984 staying at the Islander resort (and buying a timeshare unit) We purchased our home at 105 Via Capri in 1996 as a second home, then became permanent residents in 2004. We gradually scaled back our civil engineering, planning and land surveying business, closing  it in 2016.


Social Activities

  1. Weekly golfing at local courses
  2. Numerous visits to local restaurants (excellent)
  3. Boating on the Intercoastal
  4. Participation in Venezia neighborhood gatherings
  5. Cruising 
  6. Relaxing at our Georgia Cabin
  7. All the above (except golf) are with my constant companion , my wife Mary Lou

Prior Civic Involvement

  1. Member, Borough of North Plainfield NJ Planning Board
  2. Member and Chairman, Township of Stillwater NJ Planning Board
  3. Committeeperson (elected) Township of Stillwater NJ municipal government
  4. Founding member of the NSBCSG, a not for profic civic association involved in municipal matters in the City of New Smyrna Beach
  5. Member New Smyrna Beach Mayors Economic Development Advisory Board

Current Civic Involvement

  1. Member, Nature Conservancy Legacy Club and  Marine Discovery Center
  2. Member, East Coast Crusers Car Club
  3. Adopt a park volunteer
  4. Participant in public speaking at City Commission meetings on issues such as budget, planning & development and  related subjects
  5. Member, New Smyrna Beach Planning and Zoning Board

Educational and Professional Resume


I am a sole proprietor transacting business as Kolody Engineering and Surveying (retired).  All work related activities were conducted within the State of New Jersey.  There are, or were not any clients, projects or business activities within Florida.


Education, Training & Licenses

  1. Batchelor of Science degree received from Newark Colledge of Engineering in 1971
  2. Post-graduate courses in environmental engineering, planning and business management
  3. New Jersey Professional Engineering & Surveying license no. 20365 issued 07/01/1973 and active thru 04/30/2020 with continuing education.
  4. New Jersey Professional Planner license no 4205 issued 05/12/1989 and active thru 05/31/2020
  5. New Jersey Licensed Construction Official and Building Subcode Official (inactive)
  6. Qualified as an expert witness as a Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor in over 200 municipalities in New Jersey and as an expert in Planning by the City Commission of New Smyrna Beach

Work History

  1. Pre 1975 - Various positions in New Jersey State, County and Municipal governments in New Jersey
  2. 1975 to 1984 - Director of Public Works/ Municipal Engineer/Housing and Building Code Enforcement for the Borough of North Plainfield, New Jersey (population 24,000)
  3. 1984 to present - Principal, Kolody Engineering & Surveying

Fields of Expertise

  1. Municipal Engineering & Planning
  2. Dam Safety Engineering including  hydraulic design, wetlands and flood mapping
  3. Major subdivisions and site plan preparation, including infrastructure design
  4. Water quality management, mitigation plans, septic system design
  5. Environmental Permitting including wetlands, open waters, riparian, soil conservation and forest management

Website paid for Michael Kolody

  • All local photos have been taken by myself. They are to represent the individual topics in a general way and are not to depict either compliance or lack of compliance with rules and regulations.

My professional education and 40 years of municipal involvement give me the tools to make New Smyrna Beach meet the demands of our citizens required for continued economic growth.

Much is said for quality of life and maintaining the character of our coastal gem,  but we must include the controlled development of the west frontier in those plans.

Plan of Action

Construction Mitigation

The large scale development currently occurring in the west part of town is causing problems for our current residents. Other agencies, such as the Florida Department of Transportation and the St. Johns River Water Management District, do not adequately monitor (if at all) the approved projects within New Smyrna Beach. Why do we have errant open burning causing wildfires and dust storms off site when protection measures are not followed and nobody notices? Why do road & bridge improvement projects take forever? We need municipal oversight.  The recent fire and dust storms  were the result of lack of permits .

Traffic Containment

 Transportation issues are often created by lack of foresight.  Add 6,000 to 10,000 homes without increasing road capacity is a recipe for disaster. We live it now.  Lack of parking, both on and along the beach, in the Flagler Avenue and Canal Street areas and visitor parking zones cause paralysis. Route 44 backup - 1/4 mile-2 miles?

Budget and Administration

Both last year the millage rate was increased. WHY?  The increase in revenues from development more than adequately addressed our need regarding expenditures .  This millage rate increase will carry to all years forward unless a future Commission seriously looks to trim the budget. I will find the pork and cut it out. We are also trending to a user fee based budget. I will analyze impact fees and adjust them accordingly.

Environmental Protection

Mosquito Lagoon degradation, salt water creeping into our water supply wells, loss of wetlands from cookie cutter developments, soil erosion (dust storms) from clear cutting, are just some of the areas we are deficient in planning and enforcement.

Police, Firefighting and Emergency Services

Past economic downturns have left our professionals behind the times in terms of personnel deployment and protection, both for the general public and service personnel.  National scourges such as opioid addiction add complexity to their daily tasks. The recent upsurge in "on police" violence and school shootings require special training.

Beach and Intercoastal

The beach, after many decades of natural growth, is being compromised by repeated hurricanes over the past 13 years.  Emergency sand infill has mitigated the damage but dune degradation has also occurred.  Add to that the rising sea levels (for whatever the cause) which are reducing the beach width. Beach driving and parking are often restricted. The Smyrna Dunes Park is an example of a healthy seashore environment.