DELTONA, Fla. – As demand for housing across Central Florida continues to boom, one local city is pausing plans for construction of new subdivisions as leaders revamp zoning codes.
Deltona Mayor Heidi Herzberg said the city is booming.
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“We’re pretty much the largest city between Orlando and Jacksonville,” Herzberg said.
The city was incorporated nearly 30 years ago. The population has since doubled with 96,000 residents, and it’s still growing.
Herzberg said many families choose to settle down in Deltona because the city is close to Interstate 4.
“It’s a lot of opportunity for people to live in a city like Deltona, which is basically a residential community, and then go off to work somewhere else,” she said.
Like the rest of Central Florida, there is a need for housing in Deltona. The West Volusia Realtors Association told News 6 for the last five years, inventory has been low.
Despite demand, the city is pressing pause on building new subdivisions.
“Our zoning classifications haven’t changed since we were incorporated,” Herzberg said.
Effective July 1, the city commission passed a moratorium that pauses rezoning requests for single-family homes in planned subdivisions. Ron Paradise, the city’s community services director, said this temporarily freezes developers and keeps them from building higher density neighborhoods.
“The community was kind of concerned about this new growth and development and how it could and should be integrated into the existing neighborhoods and the city as a whole,” Paradise said.
Paradise said there aren’t any projects currently affected by the moratorium. He added that the moratorium doesn’t apply to any neighborhoods already approved. It also doesn’t impact multifamily requests or plans to build affordable housing.
Paradise said that during the pause, the city will host public scoping sessions to review current regulations and get input to help them modernize the city’s codes.
“These are dynamic documents, and they need to change to reflect changing attitudes and values within the community,” he said.
Herzberg said that by pausing the system, the city can rewrite new zoning codes that take into consideration property owners’ rights, as well as environmental needs and new smaller housing trends.
She added that their focus is on the future.
“We’re reimagining how we want our city to grow. We’re redeveloping by looking at the things that we want to provide for the neighborhoods that already exist and to work hand in hand with new, and we also want to have people discover Deltona in the way that it’s growing and how we’re being shaped now,” she said.
City officials plan to host the public scoping sessions in the coming months.
The moratorium is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2023. The city commission could vote to extend it an additional three months.
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