TREASURE ISLAND – The city came a step closer to allowing temporary housing in case of an emergency as a result of action taken at the Dec. 4 City Commission meeting.
If enacted, the measure would allow residents in case of an emergency to use recreational vehicles and trailers on their property to live in while their residences are being repaired.
This issue sprouted from a discussion brought to the commission at a November workshop by City Manager Reid Silverboard. At that time, Silverboard noted that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina along the northern Gulf Coast and Hurricane Charley which made landfall in Punta Gorda, affected communities have allowed local residents to live in recreational vehicles and trailers while their primary residence was being repaired.
But Silverboard emphasized this would be a temporary measure and that residents would only be allowed to use these types of temporary housing units for only a limited amount of time and only under emergencies such as the result of a tropical storm or a hurricane. Silverboard suggested a period of 18 months would be sufficient and if residents needed additional time, a provision could be worked out that the period a recreational vehicle could be parked on their property could be extended.
Silverboard also noted that the temporary housing would have to meet current zoning regulations in that the temporary housing could not abut other properties.
At the November meeting, the commission by and large thought the proposal was good. Commissioner Alan Bildz at the time noted that one reason for the delay in repairing residences in Punta Gorda was that residents had taken up the existing temporary housing in the area, such as hotels and motels and camp sites, so that there were few places available for workers to live in while rebuilding the community.
Silverboard’s proposal, if enacted, would also extend the limit as to using temporarily storage units, such as PODS. These temporary garages and storage units are only allowed for 72 hours on city residential property under current zoning laws.
On Dec. 4, the commission unanimously approved sending the proposal to the Planning and Zoning board to begin the process to enact an ordinance. Once the Planning and Zoning board approves the proposal, and there isn’t a set timeline on that, it will then come before the commission for the final steps on making the proposal an ordinance.