The change from R-4 to R-5 is meant to help the residents with permitting, county staff said.
The first hearing for the rezoning of 1,940 homes in Ormond-by-the-Sea reached the Volusia County Council at its meeting on Tuesday, July 2, an action that once approved, is meant to bring the residences into compliance.
The homes in question are located on 365 acres north of Sandcastle Drive, south of Michael Crotty Bicentennial Park and bordered on the east and west by John Anderson Drive and A1A. The county is seeking to rezone the home from urban single-family residential R-4 to urban single-family residential R-5, with the difference between the two being zoning dimensions — specifically lot width, area and setbacks.
Clay Ervin, county director of Growth and Resource Management, said that the area was originally part of the North Ormond Peninsula Zoning District created in 1953, and since then, the requirements have changed.
“This has created the problem we have here," Ervin said.
The problem is that citizens wishing to make modifications to their homes in that area are met with difficulties acquiring permits, he explained. They face having to acquire a variance, a process that can cost them upwards of $1,000 and delay them for over three months. Under the current zoning, citizens also aren't able to rebuild their homes to their original dimensions if they were to be destroyed in a storm or other disaster, he added.
Ervin also addressed concerns raised by north peninsula residents at the April 2 neighborhood meeting on the proposal. He promised the rezoning had nothing to do with forcing a septic to sewer conversion on the residents, or getting them to annex into the city of Ormond Beach.
Some residents were also worried the rezoning was a result of a developer eyeing the north peninsula for a project, but Ervin also said this wasn't true.
County Councilwoman Heather Post said the neighborhood meeting was beneficial for clarifying these doubts and work on rebuilding relationships with constituents. She said she received feedback from the public on the meeting saying they were grateful.
No one spoke against the rezoning at the meeting.
County Council Chair Ed Kelley said there were people affected by previous storms who faced problems fixing their homes, as well as insurance and financing issues because their homes don't conform with the existing zoning.
“To me, this is a slam dunk for the people," Kelley said.
The second public hearing on the issue is scheduled for July 16, the next County Council meeting.