$200,000 RV cited in Volusia County code violation

Ormond Beach couple forced to move vehicle 43 miles away while others remain

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - An anonymous complaint to the Volusia County code enforcement board landed the owners of a $200,000 RV at the center of a battle they argue is not fair and “doesn’t make sense.”

Dennis and Cheryl Ross said boats, trucks and RVs as large as their 37-foot Challenger RV can be seen parked in front driveways a few streets over from their Ormond Beach neighborhood, yet code enforcement inspectors have never taken action against them.

“I was shocked, I thought what is this?” a frustrated Dennis Ross told News 6, “There’s one law for everyone, not just one or two people.”

Ross said his vehicle was parked in the front driveway since Jan. 26 without a single complaint from the neighbors on their one-way street.

According to records obtained by News 6, the first violation against them was posted Feb. 12.
News 6 has confirmed an anonymous phone complaint prompted the investigation.

Volusia County zoning compliance manager Chris Hutchinson said inspectors are not policing streets looking for code violations.

“There’s nothing I can do," Hutchinson said. “We take any complaint and we have to follow through on it.”

The code compliance website makes it clear the staff operates “primarily on a reactive basis.” 

Protocol calls for staff to “concentrate on responding to citizen complaints, rather than randomly searching for violations.”

The RV complaints have been steady.

Officials with Volusia County's Code Compliance Office said they have issued 110 citations for "improperly parked RV" in the past 12 months.

According to the county's communications chief, Pat Kuehn, each of these cases was “generated by a complaint from a member of the public.”

Dennis Ross spoke to county officials by telephone March 4 and indicated he would need more time to “find a place to store it.”

“They haven’t offered any solutions,” Cheryl Ross said. “Do you have a county lot we can park in?”

The couple said the challenge has been finding a “safe, secure” lot near Ormond Beach that can accommodate their 37-foot RV. Under Volusia County Sec.72-287, An RV may be parked in the driveway in the front yard for “trip preparations, loading, unloading and clean-up for a maximum of 36 hours.”

Long-term parking of mobile recreational shelters and vehicles may not be in the front portion of the property.

The Ross’ backyard is not an option because a pool takes up a major portion of the space.

On Wednesday, the code enforcement board dismissed the case because the couple found a storage lot roughly 43 miles from their home.

A county code inspector is going to meet with the couple next week to discuss the RV issue.
 

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