Casselberry to create new program to deal with code enforcement


The city of Casselberry is creating a special program to help deal with code enforcement cases.

The city has been trying to clean up the neighborhoods with strict code enforcement rules like no work vehicles allowed in driveways but some residents aren't happy with the rules.

Eddie Ortiz said he has to pull the company magnets from his work truck each time he parks in the driveway or risk getting fined.

"It's just too much of a hassle to have to do this every time," he said.

But if he doesn't cover up the logos on his work van, Ortiz could be fined $250 a day. He said he learned of the rule when he got a code enforcement notice a few weeks ago.

"It's not like we are Alaqua Lakes in Lake Mary in a gated community with $500,000 homes everywhere," said Ortiz. "It's an average working-class community."

The aggressive ordinance is part of the city's initiative to clean up its image and attract new businesses and homebuyers.

The city will create a special magistrate made up of lawyers to handle the case load, which they hope witll save them money and give them more legal power when needed.

But residents like Mike Hall fear it'll make it harder to fight against so-called violations.

Hall was forced to scrape the name of his business off his work van a month ago.

"I don't think it's fair. It's my advertising. It's my livelihood, you know, and it's free advertising," said Hall.

Last year, the city collected $200,000 in fines.

Documents show it could collect even more through the special magistrate program, but Ortiz said he won't be sticking around to find out.

"We wanted to stay in this area but we are moving because of things like this," he said.