The Daytona Beach City Commission Oct. 6 went forward with forcing landlords to accept tenants no matter what their lawfully derived source is for rental payments.

After a lengthy discussion, the ordinance passed unanimously.

Commissioner Stacy Cantu agreed no one should be discriminated against because of their rental income.

But, Commissioner Cantu said, “I do have a few concerns. We’re protecting certain people out there, but I don’t think we are actually protecting the property owners as well. We need to protect everyone across the board. I think there needs to be a few tweaks in there.”

Trinity Kutschinski, public affairs director of the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando, was representing housing providers in Volusia County.

“This is a voluntary federal program that housing providers have the option or choice to participate in,” Ms. Kutschinski said. “Mainly the fair housing violations – that additional liability and risk that the housing provider are incurring in trying to comply both with the ordinance and potentially perhaps not participate in the housing choice voucher program or other public assistance program. Those are our main concerns.”

But Commissioner Danette Henry noted opposition to the ordinance was a bit of “poor shaming.”

Section 8 tenants are not horrible people, who are going to tear up a property, Commissioner Henry said. “The housing authority and Section 8 is so strenuous that even minor scrapes on the wall can make you lose your contract with them.”

Besides, she said, “Anybody can come in and tear up property.”

The housing choice voucher (HCV) program is the federal government’s primary program for assisting low-income residents, the elderly and persons with disabilities to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Landlords can charge the full rent regardless of who the tenant is. HCV tenants are bound by the terms of their rental agreements and are subject to evictions as is any non-HCV tenant. The landlord will not lose any of their rights under the lease.

The ordinance will not begin until Jan 1. The word delay is being added to the ordinance so landlords will not suffer penalties if waiting for an HCV or Section 8 tenant delays their ability to rent the unit.

In other business, commissioners voted 4-2 to initially approve rezoning 1.3 acres of land from single-family residential to planned development-general to allow construction of a 5300-square-foot building for orthodontist office and retail/restaurant space. The property is at 1113 W. International Speedway Blvd.

The commissioners also voted 4-2 to change the future land use map designation from office transition to low intensity commercial. A public hearing on the item will be conducted Oct. 20 where Mayor Derrick Henry stated he anticipates further discussion.

In a quasi-judicial hearing, commissioners approved a historic overlay zoning district for Peabody Auditorium at 600 Auditorium Boulevard.

Peabody opened in 1949 and was less than 50 years old when the city conducted the original historic overlay surveys and it was not eligible for classification as a contributing structure. Including it in an historic district provides additional protection for the property, which has had cultural significance to the city for more than 75 years.

Other project approvals included plan amendments and rezoning for Project Zeta and proportionate fair share agreements for Links Terrace, Williamson Crossing Lot 6 and the Legends Preserve.

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