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Volusia County Administration/Code Enforcement Corruption
Examples of misinformation/lack of code knowledge.

How Volusia County Code Enforcement employees disregard the Codes they are paid to enforce.
Allowing a 34 foot tall, 1,200 sqft accessory building (violation) to be rented out to tenants in single-family zone (violation).

Accessory building occupancy:
The accessory structure height/size violation is covered on its own, this page only pertains to the occupancy of the "garage apartment". When I bought my house, I assumed the structure was allowed by the County Codes. Later, the homeowner talked about passing code enforcement inspections. The homeowner also talked about previous tenants and lived in the rear unit himself when renting out the front house ($4,000 for Jan and Feb) over several years. Now I know how "Single Family" zoning makes that a violation. The life/safety issues and lack of property insurance coverage (illegal use) are also critical lapses allowed by the County employees involved.

When a tenant moved into the apartment in July 2017, I was told by inspector Hutchinson there is no occupancy allowed for any detached/accessory structure. I then saved 9 consecutive days of security video showing the tenant exiting each morning from the 2nd story balcony overlooking my house and visible from the street. I reporting it 7/19/17 and the inspectors Godfrey and Mazzola came out late that afternoon. I showed them some of the security videos (example below), copied to their flash drive and Godfrey requested a notorized affidavit for other occupancies I had witnessed. Inspector Godfrey and Mazzola then went into the apartment and reported the unit was being used for "storage only", but noting that the full bath was to be removed. The homeowner was probably alerted by a County employee and "vacated" or just moved some stuff around in the 4 hour gap. Closed as "not a code violation". I then sent a flash drive with copies of all 9 days directly to Mike Nelson asking him to intervene.

At this point I looked up information on the building's permitting issues. Nov 2000 Council hearing- appealing zoning rejection of building aa constructed, denied. Jan 2001 Board hearing- variance request, denied. I requested the written minutes and audio for each hearing. The County was unable to provide the audio file from the Nov 2000 Council hearing and the audio Jan 2001 Board hearing shows there is a lot missed in the Minutes. Both hearings included concerns by Council/Board members the full-story added could be used as a living space. The homeowner and his attorney repeatedly state the building would never be used as a residence.

Audio clips from Jan 2001 hearing- attorney Watts and homeowner Hendricks
responding to board member questions and concerns for potentional/intended use.
Last clip is previous homeowner of my property saying Hendricks intended to occupy unit at times.

Minutes from the 2000 and 2001 hearings.

The full audio from Jan 2001 hearing- PLDRC 01 09 2001x.mp3

Aug 17, 2017 I drove 40 miles to attend the County Council meeting with 15 pages of documentation (from Minutes and permit). During the public participation time, I spoke about the homeowner violating his previous statements/affidavits regarding usage, asking for the original case be re-addressed. The Council directed me to discuss with Mike Nelson and Clay Ervin who were present. We were joined in a confernce room by Chris Hutchinson who stated "there is no one living there now, there is no violation". I stated my concern for past and expected future occupancies. No action was taken.

Below is the audio (recorded off County web site) and poorly transcribed Minutes from the 8/17 Council meeting.

Jan 2018, Michelle Loncala moved into the unit after living in the main house (2nd bedroom) for 3 months. She had an altercation with the homeowner, her boyfriend knocking at my front door 6am asking for help. Below is the police report showing they were living in the rear unit. This was after the bathroom has presumably been removed after the 7/17 occupancy. This shows the homeowner's intent to continue use as a residence.

The apartment was then occupied by the homeowner in March, vacated after 4-5 nights.
Complaint 2018-106230 CRP shown as "Cancelled", no description logged by Enforcement.

The apartment was then occupied by a tenant in May.
Complaint 2018-113190 CRP shown as "Cancelled", no description logged by Enforcement.
Tenant lived there through July, openly allowed by County employees (see next section).

In June 2018, while on site, inspector Godfrey actually states (video below) there
was no Certificate of Occupancy needed and acknowledges awareness of the current tenant.

April 2019, a couple were living in the apartment, Complaint filed online 4/1/19.
See how it was handled below. The homeowner tells me he can have people there. Because County employees and Administration are now openly disregarding the single-family zoning code and life/safety issues, it re-enforces the ongoing violation by the homeowner who can claim Enforcement approved the occupancy. I have pointed out this potential liability directly to Robert Brown (County legal representative).

The Complaint filed online 4/1/19 for "occupancy of accessory building in back yard" was recorded by enforcement as "multiple principal structures". The structure size violation (1 building over 500sqft per lot) does apply but is separate from the occupancy/Single-Family zoning violation reported. Appears to have been dismissed as "not a code violation".

In this security video, taken from inside my living room after the homeowner heard about the complaint,
you can hear him claiming he "can put people up there" and examples of the verbal harassment
I have been enduring, even while inside my home, since Jan 2016.

The tenants no longer appear to be staying there every night.
But nothing prevents the homeowner from collecting money from someone willing to rent without a lease,
then if they have to vacant, telling them the the problem is the neighbor, not him renting it out.
And supposedly, there is still no bathroom...

12/23/20 same couple as 2019.
Multiple Complaints made including talking to County Manager George Recktenwald with no results.
Full bath reinstalled along with cooking space, bed, etc.
This occupancy is covered on separate page, detailing daily activity for two months.

Photos from initial occupancy, male/female tenants moving in household goods 12/23/20.