PALM COAST, Fla. – New rules are now in effect for home builders in Palm Coast. The change comes after around 190 residents complained in recent months that their properties were getting flooded by new homes built next door at a higher elevation.
The city council approved the changes at its meeting on Tuesday.
Residents who have been fighting the city and flooding on their properties told News 6 they felt disappointed in the decision to change building rules and not pause building to find a solution.
“I don’t know that I believe the response. I would rather see action than words,” Kerri Forbes said.
Forbes said her neighbor’s elevation is causing so much flooding when it rains, it is now entering her home.
“The hill is so steep and the space between our homes is narrow, so it just comes, recedes away and then it comes right back and now it’s going into my master bedroom and bathroom,” she said.
Their fight was met by area home builders during the meeting.
With a 45-day moratorium at first on the line, many builders argued it would ruin livelihoods.
Once the council struck down the moratorium, they agreed to change the rules of building.
Now, homes cannot be built more than 22 inches above the crown of the road. Builders must also add gutters when appropriate, silt fencing, and have additional engineering review on drainage plans. The city will also create a citizens review committee.
The building association said they are on board.
“To have those changes right now and then knowing that there will be changes over the coming weeks and probably months, some of them require additional research, some of them are going to require consulting with the Florida building code,” Annamarie Long with the Flagler Home Builders Association said.
Residents, though, are still hesitant that this will fix the problem.
“We can’t tell. We don’t know yet. They should have fixed this a long time ago,” Dara Knotts said.
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