BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON
HELP FOR HOMEOWNERS — A Deltona home is threatened by floodwaters in October. At its Tuesday, Jan. 17, meeting, the Deltona City Commission will consider an ordinance that would allow Deltonans who are waiting for flood-damage repairs to live on their property in RVs and travel trailers.

When it meets Tuesday evening, Jan. 17, the Deltona City Commission will consider an ordinance allowing people to live on their property in RVs and travel trailers, if their homes were damaged by hurricanes Ian and Nicole.

It’s already happening in some cases, city officials said. The ordinance will make it temporarily legal, and forestall the chance that Deltona’s code-enforcement department might take action against the beleaguered residents.

In spite of the ongoing state of emergency, the City Commission postponed action on the ordinance at its Jan. 3 meeting.

More than three months after Hurricane Ian lashed the city and the region with punishing winds and rains, followed by lesser storm conditions brought by Hurricane Nicole, some Deltonans have not been able to repair and restore their homes. 

“This will allow RV or travel trailers for temporary living arrangements,” Deltona Community Services Director Ron Paradise told commissioners. “The location of the temporary living unit will be determined by the site-specific conditions.”

Those conditions may include damage to the dwelling from flooding or high-velocity winds; water that may make having electrical connections dangerous or deadly; or standing water that makes a septic tank or sewer connection unusable. 

The proposed measure would waive, for the time being, some of the city’s setbacks that dictate how far temporary dwellings must be from property lines and public rights of way.

City officials said Ian caused 920 incidents of damage, including about 150 that included flooding. An estimated 200 or so structures were damaged.

Paradise said the ordinance, which, if enacted, would be in effect for one year, would “allow flexibility … and people can live on site while their homes are being repaired.”

Although the draft emergency ordinance would require that electrical connections and water and sewage-disposal connections be approved by city regulators, commissioners raised concerns at the Jan. 3 meeting.

“Table it ’til the next meeting,” City Commissioner Jody Lee Storozuk urged.

That motion passed on a 5-1 vote. Commissioner Maritza Avila-Vazquez dissented.

The City Commission will take up the emergency ordinance again at its meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Deltona City Hall, 2345 Providence Blvd. The meeting is open to the public.

The Deltona City Commission normally convenes in regular session on the first and third Mondays of each month, but both the first and third Mondays of January are federal holidays, and each of the January meetings was delayed until the following Tuesday evening.

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