DELTONA, Fla. - A neighborhood in Deltona feels defeated after the city voted to move forward with a development near a flood zone against their wishes.
The vote was split 4 to 3 for the development along Lake Helen Osteen Rd. People in the surrounding neighborhoods wanted the project shutdown after their neighborhoods flooded during Hurricane Ian.
"This is all the water we still have sitting in our yard from Hurricane Ian," said Ray Prush. More than a few homes across the street from the new development are still soaked from the hurricane. Prush’s house still has a pool of water at the end of his driveway while some nearby streets are still covered in water.
"I said of course we don’t want that development taking over because we have those protected wetlands right next to it and then Deltona goes and approves this development of 16 acres," said Prush.
The city approved the Island Walk South development that will build 57-single family homes during a commission meeting held on November 7th. The city delayed the vote about a month while Planning & Development services reviewed the property and its impact on recent flooding in the area.
"The Island Walk South property has not resulted in the restricting of the convenience of water in the area," said Planning & Development Services Director Ron Paradise.
The City’s findings supported the developer’s plans. The city believes the new stormwater systems and retention ponds being built on the land will improve the flooding in the area.
"Our pond will not create any additional. They’re actually holding back water not creating any additional flows," said Starlight Homes Engineer Dave Holden.
Even though the new development is not in a flood zone, the surrounding areas are. Residents aren’t convinced that the next major storm won’t destroy the new homes.
"We just need a couple of really good storms back-to-back and that road will be flooded again," said one resident still underwater. "When you build on a swamp you’re going to get wet."