Orange County tries to tackle affordable housing solutions

Several proposals were discussed including online permitting and electronic plans review

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Lucian Conte lives off of Spring Lite Way, not far from Donnybrook Park. He said what used to be a wooded area behind his home is now under development.

It’s a multi-story building designated for housing.

Orange County commissioners discussed developments Tuesday, like that one, as they tackled the issue of affordable housing.

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Included in the proposal are things like streamlining the development process, for example, looking at updated technologies like online permitting and electronic plans review. Also, fast tracking help desk support, improving operating procedures and looking at the process for waivers.

News 6 spoke with District 3 Commissioner Mayra Uribe, who said they need to make changes to help with road blocks that are delaying projects.

Uribe said another concern she had when tackling affordable housing is the environmental impact of development.

She mentioned a specific project as an example that she said flooded during Hurricane Ian.

“They’re going to try and build 41 apartments; that entire ground without anything on it was under water, so what’s going to happen when it’s built,” Uribe said.

It’s a concern Conte said he’s already seeing with the units going up in their neighborhood’s backyard.

“I bought my home about 20 something years ago when it was not declared a flood zone, and now you’re putting a lot of tarmac, a lot of asphalt down, a lot of buildings, and I’m wondering where that rainfall is going behind my house. It’s supposed to be a dry pond, but that dry pond is now still wet and it’s probably about 2 or 3 feet deep.”

Lucian Conte

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About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.