DeLand to change housing regulations amid affordable housing ‘crisis’

City commission may revise rules, allow more housing to be built

New single-family dwellings would be allowed downtown, and it would eliminate square footage requirements for multi-family units downtown.

DELAND, Fla. – City commissioners in DeLand have been searching for ways to help residents get affordable housing.

On Monday night, they will vote on a proposed ordinance to loosen regulations and bring in more housing options.

Mayor Bob Apgar called the proposal a “Band-Aid.” He said it’s not a complete solution, but he’s hopeful the commission will get more ideas coming in.

“It’s a number of things that will hopefully stimulate some development of affordable housing in our core city,” he said.

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Among the proposed revisions is reducing the minimum square footage for single-family dwellings down to 900 square feet. Apgar said he hopes it will help fill empty lots in the city that are too small to build on right now.

“That’s what this is aimed at — to make those marketable for affordable housing,” he said.

New single-family dwellings would be allowed downtown, and it would eliminate square footage requirements for multi-family units downtown.

“Some requirements in our core downtown that prohibited efficiencies or studios on minimum square footage — that’ll be removed. And it’ll be subject to building code,” he said.

Throughout city limits, the proposal would lower requirements for parking in multi-family units, and it would allow accessory dwelling units, or in-law suites, on single-family properties if they meet certain conditions.

“The notion of the accessory dwelling unit is not based any longer on the size of the lot,” Apgar said. “We are trying to do things that will accommodate and make it easier for Habitat for Humanity or other people that are interested in solving the crisis.”

The city commission meeting is Monday, May 16 at 7 p.m.


About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.