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Palm Coast Council Rejects Latest Cypress Knoll Development Proposal

| February 7, 2012

Members of Palm Coast's planning staff, in suits, prepare to recommend approval of the Cypress Knoll settlement as the community center filled up with opponents, many of whom signed up to speak. (© FlaglerLive)

Note: the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday opted to continue negotiating the Cypress Knoll proposal rather than endorse the latest development ICI Homes and city staff worked out. Some 100 people packed the council meeting venue at the Palm Coast Community Center Tuesday evening, opposing the proposal. The story below, from the Palm Coast Planning Board’s original vote on Jan. 18, summarizes the issue.

As Throngs Oppose Cypress Knoll Development Proposal, Planning Board Rejects It 4-2

It was standing room only at the Palm Coast Community Center Wednesday evening (Jan. 18) as throngs of residents from Palm Coast’s E Section, west of Belle Terre, turned out to protest a planned high-intensity residential development in their backyards by ICI, the Volusia-based firm owned by Mori Hosseini.

The proposed development would go up on 21 acres in Cypress Knoll—west of Easthampton Boulevard and south of Eric Drive—and yield a potential development of 60 single-family homes of up to 3,000 square feet each on that acreage. The proposal involves a land swap between ICI and the city, which overwhelmingly favors ICI in terms of the quality of land being swapped: ICI would get buildable uplands from the city, and give up unbuildable wetlands. Without the swap, development would have been far more challenging. In other words, the city would be enabling the planned development rather than controlling it.

A long file of opponents alternately criticized, ridiculed and denounced the proposal before the Palm Coast Planning Board, which then took a 4-2 vote rejecting ICI’s application for the rezoning necessary to enable the development.

“The swap as far as I’m concerned is a very poor business deal,” Stan Bozza, a resident of Eric Drive, told the planning board. “Basically ICI wants to give us twice as much acreage than we’re giving, but it’s useless to a builder. That part of the land is unbuildable.” He termed it a “fantasy” that as previously owned before the swap, ICI could have built even 80 homes. “You couldn’t build 20 homes on that property without spending a lot of money in site preparation. So it’s a fallacy to think that we’re giving up so much for the property that’s buildable. The part of the property the city owns right now is buildable. That’s far more valuable than swamp land, unless you want to build an alligator farm.”

Fred Williams, who built his house in the neighborhood in 1999, said: “I’ve been in sales and marketing all my life. This is the best selling job I’ve heard— ” he was interrupted by laughter and applause. He projected the day when the influx of homes and people would force another opening into the neighborhood, including one from what residents there dread most: from State Road 100 to the south. Yet another resident who’s lived in Cypress Knoll for 10 years said he’d moved away from New York “to get away from the city, and you’re building Queens.” That, too, got a roar of laughter and applause.

Some members of the planning board were troubled by the process that had led to what, in Planning Board member Michael Beebe’s assessment, favored ICI more than the city, whether in the quality of land being swapped or the city’s relinquishing former requirements. “Seems like a really good deal obviously for the developer. Not sure it serves the city’s best interest,” Beebe said.

The vote drew sustained and loud applause. But it’s not the end of the development, as ICI will almost certainly appeal the decision to the Palm Coast City Council.

On the northern property line, parallel to a utility easement, there would be some 90 feet of green, unbuilt land between the back of existing homes and the line of new development. There would be no such separation on the western side of the development, where its homes would essentially butt up to existing homes back-to-back as they often do in subdivisions. But the new homes themselves would be squeezed in much closer together than existing homes. The lowest buffer between structures on the westerly line could be as small as 13 feet. The neighborhood would allow up to 3,200-square foot homes on the small lots.

Small set-backs between properties—and clear disagreement over lot sizes residents thought would be allowed as opposed to what the developer and the city said would be in place—are in part what’s upsetting current residents, who are concerned about the density of new homes.

Click on the map to get a sense of the area in question.

ICI, represented at the community center by David Haas, its vice president (he was Flagler County’s administrator in the middle of the last decade), could not have been overly surprised: a community meeting on the matter was held at the African-American Cultural Society last April, and by some accounts drew an even larger crowd. City Manager Jim Landon’s description of the meeting to the council, in a memo, as “very positive” notwithstanding, the crowd was as opposed to the project then as it was Wednesday evening.

Bob Cuff, a planning board member, had questions about the swap and the lot sizes, but ended up voting to approve the developer’s application—that is, in dissent in the 4-2 vote. “I’ve been a resident of Palm Coast since 1983, and I’m a lawyer, so I know where Ms. Reischmann is coming from when she says this is part of a settlement of ongoing litigation and how difficult that type of agreement is to craft,” Cuff said, referring to Katie Reischmann, the planning board’s attorney. “The maxim that we lawyers use is that when you have a settlement, it’s only a good settlement if both parties feel they’re disappointed and feel they got the short end of the stick.”

The history of the project is complicated. In 2004 Palm Coast changed the land use designation of the area in question, lowering the allowable building density from up to three homes per acre down to one home per acre. The previous designation would have allowed building up to 86 homes. The new designation, in line with the city’s long-term projections of how sees itself (that is, in line with its “comprehensive plan”), would have allowed up to 28 homes. ICI sued. The two sides started negotiations in February 2006 and have been negotiating  on and off since—sometimes more off than on, compelling the Florida Department of Community Affairs, which reviews all local comprehensive plans, to force the two sides to come to an agreement or essentially close the books on the proposal. A dozen proposed settlements have been negotiated since between ICI and the city, according to ICI’s David Haas.

The city doesn’t want to stretch out litigation because it fears losing, in which case the property could revert back to allowing up to 12 units per acre, according to Ray Tyner, the city’s planning manager. A reversal of that magnitude is unlikely, given the history of the property’s designation: its possibility sensationalized the case rather than addressing it on its merits.

“We went into negotiations with the owner to try to come up with a fair, balanced approach for a master planned development,” Tyner said. That would provide for a maximum of 60 units in the development. The developer would also contribute $90,000 for sundry improvements to the neighborhood.

“When we met with the developer and discussed the ongoing issues, having reviewed two or three conceptual plans that had been submitted to the city over a period of two or three years, we really couldn’t come to any conclusion,” Senior Planner Larry Torino said. “The plans did not mean our comprehensive plan guidelines, which in essence is the bible by which we go by for development in the city. We finally realized that the best way to approach this development or potential for a development with this property was, as has been mentioned several times, through a master plans, which means an overall plan that addresses the entire site.”

The city came up with four goals: ensuring compatibility with surrounding land uses, promoting orderly residential growth, maintaining continuity in open space, and sustaining the properties’ wetlands. Then the city developed its compromise with ICI.

Voting to reject the proposal were planning board members Michael Beebe, Glenn Davis, Armando Mustiga and Linda Steggerda. Voting for the proposal were Bob Cuff and Ray Henderson.

Download the ICI-Cypress Knoll power-point

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25 Responses for “Palm Coast Council Rejects Latest Cypress Knoll Development Proposal”

  1. Steven Wood via Facebook says:

    There are 3 new homes starting up here in Flagler Beach and 4 new homes just finished up so I agree never did see a slump here at the beach.

    • Motor says:

      After years of study and consideration, I recently purchased a building lot in Cypress Knoll. I intend to build this year. If this deal happens, I will sell the lot and build elsewhere.

  2. palmcoaster says:

    Palm Coasters can’t let down the guard. I am glad the affected residents get involved. Now I wonder when before 2004, was that the maybe county after ITT left, changed the land use designation from one home per acre to three? or was a combination of County and ITT before they took of and without notifying the existing residents? Good question for still one left sitting commissioner of back then, George Hanns. Or maybe the designation was always 3 homes per acre…which I doubt? Where was the written notice to the surrounding residents notifying a proposed change to the land development code and when was done before 2004? Big old mighty $$ Mori Housini will harass anyone on his way with lawsuits, legal team, etc. He is well connected in many influential Boards in Volusia Cty like Halifax Hospital, Daytona Beach College and more and as such used to get His way.Don’t let yourselves to be intimidated and will succeed. We did it East of 95 with the Old Hammock proposal. The parcel off Club House Drive adjacent to the Golf Course, that I believe is in foreclosure now. Too bad that we were not that prepare when they sold us the shameful Palm Coast Resort tale ….switched by a bunch of brand new high rise condos and 300 jobs lost in the demolished “our beloved event gathering hotel” and many centenary Oaks uprooted by Centex. Now we enjoy a barren vacant land where a pooland lush tropical landscape use to be. Don’t give in to the local government lawyers ill advise, as they are in Florida at least, all intertwined with developers.

  3. says:

    Is this hosseini person related to the one on the daytona college board?

  4. palmcoastpioneers says:

    ‘…..density of 2.7 per acre…less than that of Beverly Hills…’

    FR; ‘An Approach to a New City: Palm Coast’ by Dr. J. Norman Young and Dr. Stanley Dea , 1972, p. 144 & 145, 1972.
    Psychosocial Pollution

    At Palm Coast we persist in a design that is almost a fiat: 2.7 dwelling units per acre. Thus, as was earlier stated, we will have a city larger than Detroit or Philadelphia, with the density of , say, a Beverly Hills, California, rather than the malignant densities characteristic of the asphalt and concrete jungle. Why? Because ultra high density is cancerous. We are sure that many will quarrel with this statement, citing locales here and there where satisfaction exists in spite of ostensible crowding. Maybe it is as Deeevy points out, ‘the mass of man, although increasingly affected with mental discomfort, do not see themselves as overcrowded.’ It is better to state that we deal with probability of sociopathic behavior. ( It is similar to the tendentious arguments about the facts of cigarette smoking induced cancer–there is always that irritation ‘Oh, my Uncle Louie has been smoking for ninety years and is as healthy as a horse.”) In any case, the preponderance of psychological , statistical, research and lay observations leaves us with the same funereal conclusion’ crowding is an excrescence that society can ill-afford.

    The psychological results of density–how does one begin analyzing them? The senior author is now engaged in a monograph on the subject. ( Stochastic Processes and Density-Induced Deviant Behavior), and therefore is aware that the subject is broad and that he can present in this medium only a few of the references. It has been in the literature a long. time. For example, shall we begin the disquisition with Sir R. W. Rawson’s 1839 (circa) seminal paper published by the Journal of the Statistical Society of London? Or, jump about a century to R.D. McKenzies’ “The ecological Approach to the Study of the Human Community” 7 published in 1925 , which formed the basis of the Elliott and Merrill chapter
    Page 145
    called “Ecological Aspects of Community Disorganization” (1941). 8 In that span of a hundred years, the observations consistently led to what is still a fundamental inference–that there is correlation between socially undesirable behavior and urban concentration. This “ancient history’ has much to recommend it, for these authors’ tocsins about the intensity of compression in the city served as prolegomena to recent much quoted experiments on the same subject.

    First, we take the physiological side. We have Dr. Hans Delye’s 9 pioneer findings on the stress of crowding leading to endocrine system changes and enlargement of the adrenal glands. The findings of Ratcliffe and Snyder 11 are pertinent, too, inasmuch as in their mammalian studies they discovered that stress from overcrowding could subject the individual to high blood pressure and heart and circulatory diseases. No doubt the symptoms on both studies are related. In any case, the organic squeal of crowding have a firm experimental base. Of course, under not so controlled conditions, observations are made by physicians in vivo , where they readily connect physical breakdown with urban -complex pressures.

    If crowding pressures are pathogonomonic in the physiological sense, what are they in the psychological or, better said, psychological sense? Here again lay observations are buttressed by science. For those of us who grew up in slums, there were always to many people in the hallway; to many people in tenement apartment, too many people bumping each other running down the steps; too many people in the sidewalks, jostling each other, even crossing the street; too many children playing ball in the gutter; playgrounds so crowded…that your team might wait hours to play. Or worse. Four overlapping baseball diamonds, with outfielders from each running into each other. a world of fighting for turf! A world of open air shut-ins! When we were later schooled in the well-known psychological theories of frustration-aggression and frustration-regression, 11 we learned only what we knew already; that if you frustrate the expansion of a person’s space world, it will lead either to a form of attack behavior or to patterns appropriate to infantile character. Under attack behavior we often noticed family fights, gang wars, irrational arguments in retail stores, overt purposeful subway harassment , taxi harangues, etc. Infantile behavior was worse, if at times less identifiable: start insulation, unintelligible silences, easy crying, furtive hiding, almost catatonic responses. A world of the depersonalized. Lonely crowds
    Page 146

  5. palmcoastpioneers says:

    @PalmCoaster – check the MAP required to be given to all prospective buyers for Palm Coast, Inc.
    ‘…Reserved Parcel…’ a.k.a. ‘Blue Lands’.
    For the newer arrivals ‘ Reserved Parcels’ were those many large tracts of acreage ‘Set Aside’ for the needs of each ‘Community of Palm Coast’ as they reached ‘Build Out’….so that there would be areas for 1. Neighborhood Parks, 2. Schools, 3, Firehouses, 4 Cemetaries, 5. Churches & Temples, etc. There are at least THREE State of Florida Department of Community Affairs ‘Agreements’ regarding all the many ‘Reserved Parcels’ / ‘Blue Lands’.
    Additionally, the Federal Trade Commissions’ ‘Consent Agreement’ requires….’…significant areas of conservation…’, ‘…significant areas of preservation..’ and ‘…significant areas of Recreations..’. for the entire 93,000 acres of ‘The Palm Coast Project’.
    It can be seen at the Federal Trade Commissions’ website under Docket # C-2854, ( there is also a federally ordered ‘Compliance Report’ tho’ that is not there but can be acquired by a FOIA ( Freedom of Information Act ) request to the F.T.C. It is massive and lists most of the Federally ordered ‘Compliance ‘ for such things they listed as our Palm Coasts’ 64′ Observation Tower’ at 69 Clubhouse Drive, the Palm Coast Resort #2 a.k.a. the Marina Complex on the Intracoastal, etc. Most are listed in Exhibits A and Exhibitss B of the Federally ordered ‘Compliance Report’.

    @ PalmCoaster – does that look like one of the many ‘Reserved Parcels’ a.k.a. ‘Blue Lands’ on the Federally Ordered ‘MAP’ to you or what do you think?

    @ Palm Coaster – that acreage ‘Old Hammock Cove’ and ‘Sesame Island’ area – that acreage allegedly is designated and recorded as ‘…Country Club Place…’, ‘Cambridge Court’….and ‘Cypress Court’. Additionally, at /around ‘Sesame Island is a birthing place for Manatees and also has the endangered ‘Black Mangrove’ trees there.

    Thank you very much.

  6. palmcoastpioneers says:

    @PalmCoaster – Remember when we had this:

    Palm Coast

    Architectural Committee

    Presented to all Purchasers, copy dated June 16, 1972


    To establish, maintain and approve architectural standards of excellence for all individual homes, multi-dwelling establishments, commercial and industrial buildings and complexes, as well as schools, churches, public building, amenities, parks, and all elements related to the construction and aesthetics of Palm Coast.
    No structure of any kinds shall be erected nor shall any work be commenced or performed ( other than landscaping ) which may result in a change to the exterior appearance of a structure or property until detailed plans and specifications showing the nature and location of such proposed construction or change shall have been approved in writing by the Committee. The Committee, in its discretion, may reject or approve without incurring any liability whatsoever, any such proposed work based upon aesthetic or other considerations such as quality or workmanship, nature of materials, harmony of external design with existing structures, choice of colors, change in topography, grade elevations and/or drainage, factors of public health or safety and the effect of such proposed change or work on the use, enjoyment or value of any of the other neighboring properties. After construction, such structure shall be maintained in strict conformity with the plans and specifications so approved.
    1. Application for Architectural Committee approval shall be in writing and submitted by certified or registered mail or presented by the property owner himself, upon any member of the Architectural Committee at its office.
    2. Application must be accompanied by a complete set of plans and specifications showing any proposed topographical changes, all exterior and structural details and the relationship of the proposed work to existing structures and to property lines. In the case of a proposed topographical or grade change, the application must include the written agreement of the property owner proposing such change in topography or grad, to indemnify and hold harmless the Architectural Committee, and ITT Community Development Corporation, its agents, servants and/or employees from any claim or cause of action whatsoever, whether justifiable or not, from any liability resulting or which might result from its approval of such topographical or grade change.
    1. The Architectural Committee shall be composed of three (3) individuals designated by the Board of Directors of ITT Community Development Corporation.
    2. The affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the Architectural Committee personally present at a meeting or giving its consent in writing shall be required in order to adopt or promulgate any rule or regulation, or make any findings or issue any permits, authorization or approval.
    .1. Approval of any decision of the Architectural Committee shall be final and binding.
    2. a. In the event the Architectural Committee fails to approve or disapprove any plans and specifications within forty-five (45) days after submission, same shall be deemed to have been approved as submitted and no further action shall be required.
    b. Disapproval or approval based upon modification shall entitle the applicant within ten (10) days after mailing of written notice of any such adverse decision to file with the Committee at its office a written request to have the matter in question reviewed and reconsidered by the full Architectural Committee.
    c. On the filing of any such request, the matter shall be reviewed and reconsidered within forth-five (45) days by the Architectural committee.
    3. Upon approval of any plans and specifications submitted, copy of such plans and specifications shall be deposited with the Architectural Committee for its permanent record; such approval shall in no way imply that the structure contemplated to be built is safe and structurally sound. No deviation shall be permitted from the plans and specifications so approved, without further independent submission to and approval of such changes by the Architectural Committee.
    4. If requested , the Architectural Committee or any member thereof shall make reasonable efforts to assist and advise the applicant in order that an acceptable proposal can be prepared and submitted for approval.
    5. Should any work be commenced without approval, then upon written notice from the Committee, any such work may be removed and any use thereof shall be terminated. Failure to do so within ten (10 ) days after such written notice shall entitle the committee to take such steps as may be necessary to extinguish said violation and the cost thereof shall be personal obligation of such owner as well as a lien upon the property in question.
    6. The approval of the Architectural Committee for use on any lot of any plans or specifications submitted for approval, shall not be deemed to be a waiver by the Committee of its right to object to any of the features or elements embodies in such plans or specifications, if and when the same features or elements are embodied in any subsequent plans and specifications submitted for approval for use on other lots.
    The Architectural Committee shall have the right to disapprove any plans and specifications submitted because of any of the following;
    1. Failure to include information in such plans and specifications as may have been requested.
    2. Failure of such plans or specifications to comply with the Covenants and Restrictions.3. Objection to the exterior design, appearance or materials of any proposed structure.
    4. incompatibility of any proposed structure or of the proposed structure’s use to any existing structures.
    5. Objection to a location of any proposed structure with reference to other lots or structures in the vicinity.
    6. Objection to the grading plans for any lot.
    7. Objection to the color scheme, finish, proportions, style or architecture, height, bulk or appropriateness of any proposed structure.
    8. Objection to parking areas proposed for any lot on the grounds of incompatibility to proposed uses or insufficiency of the size of the parking area.
    9. The failure of the plans and specifications to adhere to the Southern Standard Building Code, 1969 Edition, published by Southern Building Code Congress, 1116 Brown-Marx Building , Birmingham , Alabama 32503.
    10. Any other matter which, in the judgment of the Architectural Committee would render the proposed structure or uses inharmonious with the general plan of improvement of the property or with structure or uses located upon other lots in the vicinity.
    11. The Committee may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations regarding the preservation of trees and other natural resources and wildlife upon the property. If it shall deem it appropriate, such Committee may mark certain trees regardless of size as not removable without its authorization.
    1. Any member of the Architectural Committee may at reasonable times enter upon and inspect the property and any improvements thereon for the purpose of ascertaining whether the maintenance, construction or operation of the structures thereon are in compliance with the provisions hereof; and neither the Committee nor any member thereof, nor its duly authorized agent shall be deemed to have committed a trespass or other wrongful act by reason of such entry and inspection.
    2. The Architectural Committee may promulgate rules governing the form and content of plans to be submitted for approval including, without limitation, exterior lighting and planting of trees and may issue statements of policy with respect to approval or disapproval of the architectural styles or details. Such rules and statements of policy may be amended or revoked at any time.
    4. The Architectural Committee, shall, without incurring any liability, have the right to prepare change orders and order minor changes while the approved work is in progress.
    1. No member of the Committee nor its designated representatives shall be entitled to any compensation for services performed, except that architectural consultants may be hired, or surveys or reports paid for in order to assist the Committee in formulating its decision.
    2. The Architectural Committee nor any of its members shall not be responsible for:
    a. construction, means, methods, techniques, sequences or procedures of the safety precautions;
    c. the acts of omissions of the contractors, subcontractors or any of their agents or employees performing any of the work.
    3. ITT community Development Corporation, the Committee, its agents, servants, employees or other assignees, shall be held harmless from any and all claims, damages, losses, and expenses, including attorney’s fees arising out of its actions or decisions.
    Invalidation or removal of any of these rules and regulations by judgment, decree, court order, stature, ordinance, or amendment by the developer, its successors or assigns, shall be in nowise affect any of the other provisions which shall remain in full force and effect.
    DATED : JUNE 16, 1972

    • Linda H. says:

      I think this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, but it is suffering from real neglect now and that is because of the economy. Too many of the original ITT designs and approved sites are gone now and those were the things which drew people to invest in Palm Coast, our very unique and natural community which was to be built to protect the environment in which we live and to maintain its natural beauty, design and integrity. Little by little, they are being replaced with developer driven structures, not neighborhood related.

      Money should not have the upper hand, the neighborhood should. Too often community redevelopment plans are changed at the whim of a profit driven developer who moves on and leaves the site in decay and disarray. That is very costly to a community. The owner of this property would not live with such a structure in his neighborhood, why should others?

      Why would you want to force a development like this on a community who so obviously doesn’t want it? Does the rich man have more clout than those who live there? The answer is yes, but it needn’t be the case.

      Beauty and a natural setting is what brought many of us here. Now suddenly we are building for high density in the midst of this beauty. Concrete ugliness is going up when we have thousands of empty homes already here. What is to become of them? Many have been standing closed up and empty for several YEARS now.

      Why are we continuing to build empty neighborhoods and high density concrete structures? We already know we have no jobs here, a very small population, so why are we doing this?

      One way or the other, you have removed that orginal and beautiful design now and replaced it with profit. I wonder what will happen to Palm Harbor Shopping Center which is struggling. Will it be bulldozed in the name of profit and replaced with something beneficial to the owner and developer? Something monstrous in the name of profit? Something you will try to tell us is “good for us”, putting more people out of business and jobs?

      It seems we approve willy nilly now and then disaster happens. We clear out all the greenery and are left with nothing but weeds. Centex raped us and then moved on. The old hotel is an example. It was a central gathering place and major employer. Profit became more important than jobs and beauty. And now we are left with an empty monument. That is just one of many examples.

      Very sad. I would like to see us take better care of what we have. And more than anything, I’d love to see another structure there, maybe another resort, open to everybody and not just the select few who can afford Intracoastal waterfront living.

      That’s how you draw people, visitors and business to Palm Coast.

  7. palmcoaster says:

    In 2005 also Hosseini finally sold to the county land worth 2 million, for 3.5 million needed for the overpass of Matanzas Parkway. Greedy, naaah.
    He is also listed in a PAC:
    And involved in tug of war with former DBC President:

  8. Coulter Wood via Facebook says:

    Its the beach…

  9. JR says:

    Mori Hosseini is not on the Daytona State College Board of Trustees, his wife Forough Hosseini is.

  10. palmcoaster says:

    Dear Pioneer I remember correct what your presented. When ITT left, we were under the county government jurisdiction and our Architectural Committee became just a quasi non functional entity. Once the City of Palm Coast incorporated in 1999 the Architectural Committee was transferred with its personnel to the City and today Barbara Grossman works very well, in our City Code Enforcement department as she did in the former Architectural Committee. I think that the parcelin question could be one of the Blue Lands reserved by ITT and if so, how come was sold to Hosseini and when and by whom? What I am wondering is when all these land development code that affect density, were modified and if the affected existing home owners in those areas were properly notified of the changes proposed, in order to approve or disapprove. I see all these multifamily high density proposals by these developers popping up all around us.

    • Linda H. says:

      Ironically, this sort of thing is why we moved here from northern Virginia. Our density plan there was changed and we were told to expect “smart growth’. I watched established, well cared for neighborhoods such as Arlington and Alexandria all the way out through Fairfax to Tysons Corner fall under the bulldozer. We were told the Tysons Corner area, already a mixed use area, was going to be bulldozed and rebuilt to resemble downtown Chicago, a mix of residential and commercial highrises

      The project was being pushed, rammed through by our Chairman of Fairfax County Supervisors, Gerry Connolly in the name of “sustainable development” and “smart growth”. We were told we had to make room for over a million new residents within the next few years. (From WHAT PLANET?) Boss Connolly is now in Congress. Ironically, many of the world’s corporate headquarters have now moved to the Washington area so they won’t have to travel so far to meet with Members of Congress.

      You might be interested to know that Connolly worked as a community liason for a company called SAIC, on salary, at the same time that he was the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County. SAIC was busy buying up much of that land, as was Centex, only nobody was aware of it except for the County. The Washington Post tried in vain to find something illegal, but never could prove it. Property values in the DC area skyrocketed overnight because of developers buying up entire neighborhoods. Homes that should have been worth $100,000 or less were going for half a million dollars and upwards.

      We had beautiful old neighborhoods, lots of trees and forests, and it was all cleared so quickly it caused major flood damage during rains because there was no place left for the water to be absorbed. My County Commissioner came up with the brillant idea of “roof gardens” and had just arranged for a grant to put one on the roof of a local fire station. The creeks in the area became overwhelmed by the loss of all the trees and soil. And all that water then began seeping into neighborhoods and homes. You see, we had no curbs, no gutters. I came home one night in a driving rain, opened my basement door and 2 inches of water flowed into my basement, which already had sump pumps at each end of the house.

      Right down the street from where I lived, entire neighborhoods were cleared and 9 eight story highrises replaced them, with no parking. It was supposed to be a “mixed use” community and it was done in spite of the protests of hundreds of homeowner associations during weeks of County Commission hearings which went late into the nights. It feel on deaf ears, we were wasting our time.
      The area corporations and developers won.

      It was a done deal and guess who the developer was? Centex. Now Pulte has moved into the region. It you are lucky enough not to have to live in a high rise there, single family homes are being torn down and McMansions are going up almost overnight.

      I moved here because of the low density and natural setting and walked right back into “smart growth”.

      For whom? I’ve learned the hard way that’s a term used by politicans and developers to make things sound good. If you fight it, there must be something wrong with you….who in his right mind would be against “smart growth”.

      Just follow the money to the politicans.

  11. palmcoaster says:

    Thanks for the clarification JR. You are correct…anyway probably Mori’s influence is exercised via wife.

  12. palmcoastpioneers says:

    Dear PalmCoaster – did you check the MAPS to see if you think that parcel is one of the ‘Reserved Parcels’ a.k.a. ‘Blue Lands’ as in the Third Amending Agreement below. Also if checking see what you think about another one of the many Land Parcels, this one with
    in the Palm Coast Community of Matanzas Woods, a.k.a. sawgrass parcel.
    Yes, it is very perplexing that there are so very many parcels now for Hi Density Multi-Family popping up all around us, when, the Public Offering Statement recorded with H.U.D. clearly states.’…all single family and all multi-family areas have been identified and recorded…’
    Another instance is the single family designated and recorded at the Clerk of the Court – Country Club Place, Cambridge Court, and Cypress Court – the area you refer to as Old Hammock thing – which is the area used by Manatees for birthing and also Sesame Island Adjacent which contains the endangered ‘Black Mangrove’. The State of Florida referenced us to Carol Keiper – Bennett, at the City since that area is an Ecosystem now in decline and the ‘Black Mangrove’ may be compromised, but she has been non responsive to us; perhaps she is busy . Also, the State wants feedback because if we can identify Palm Coasts’ / Flaglers Willows, which the State does not have a ‘Champion ‘ for , the State says they will come here to crown our Willows, but, again, non-responsive or busy. Other Florida Counties have ‘Champions’, yet, Flagler doesn’t have any at all.
    It is all very perplexing.
    Third Amending Agreement

    This Third Amending Agreement is entered into this 9th day of October, 1990, between ITT Community Development Corporation on behalf of itself and its subsidiaries successors and assigns, ( The Company ) and the Department of Community Affairs, State of Florida, on behlaf of itself, its predecessor agencies and its successors ( The Agency).

    Whereas, the parties entered into an Agreement ( dated April 10, 1974), a Division of State Planning Amending Agreement ( dated August 10, 1977), and a Clarification of the Division of State Palnning Agreement Amending Agreement of August 10. 1977 ( dated June 28, 1989), regarding Palm Coast, Florida and

    Whereas, The Company and the Agency have resolved the status under Sections 380.06 and 380.0651(4) Florida Statutes, of all lands in the ‘RESERVED’ or undesignated parcels within Palm Coast adressed in Paragraph 16 of the Agreement of April 10, 1974, and Paragraph 11 of the Amending Agreement of August 10, 1977, and depicted in the color blue on Exhibit “A” ( Copy Attached) to the Amending Agreement of August 10, 1977 ( Blue Lands )

    Can anyone help to identiy the locations of Flagler / Palm Coasts ‘ Willows so we can forward the information onto the ‘Champion’ Program of the State of Florida ? Thank you very much.

  13. palmcoaster says:

    Dear Pioneer; I guess when you refer to Champion Program, as the Florida State preservation of their oldest trees designated Champions for preservation due to their age and size;
    Maybe if there is a Willows tree (if that is what you referred to) location is Palm Coast, the forest service and help to locate it. I found nothing so far.
    So far I found the following information regarding the Graham Swamp Preservation are that is very informative and very lengthy with good maps and all;
    News form back when ICDC started Palm Coast:
    So far in my research was not able to find yet the development plans of PC prior to the city incorporation but I came thru this yeae 2000 Flagler County Commission meeting minutes, with the only Commissioner seating today remaining, George Hanns. He knows very well what was proposed and voted on, he knows about the reserved parcels. The Hammock Dunes Bridge ITT obligation was discussed here and by reading the extensive minutes, just confirms to me that with now and again County Attorney Hadeed advise of few weeks ago, ITT-ICDC Admiral Corp was let go of it obligation too early and cheap for ITT. By the way ITT said here that The Dunes Corporation should pay maintenance of the bridge with the toll revenues. Also is mentioned that any decision of back then, will dump unfairly the final cost of the bridge maintenance or widening, into the Palm Coast taxpayers, as it did. What about the Dunes Corp obligations as well?
    I am still searching for the document about when our land density development code was changed before the incorporation of Palm Coast,if so would be from 1997-98 to 2000. Very time consuming search….Maybe finally I will find it and then be able to see about the Blue Land aka reserved parcels.
    Because if that was a Blue Land reserved in the original plan…how come was sold to Mori Hosseini?

  14. Linda H. says:

    My apologies for all the typos, was working fast, I know better.

    This is an issue which I feel very strongly about. Very glad to see Palmcoaster bringing it up. Why are we building for high density development here?

    Be VERY suspicious of this one. People move here for nature, NOT high density development. We already have empty affordable housing here. A unit at European Village just sold for $37,000.

  15. palmcoaster says:

    @Linda .I do not care at all about typos, but content and I really enjoy your realistic comment above and thank you for posting it. I could have not described any better the saga we Palm Coasters have endured since ITT left us.
    What Centex was allowed to do to us by demolishing our beloved gathering place “The Palm Coast ITT Sheraton later Palm Coast Resort and uprooting our beloved centenary Oaks Hammock, was just a real back stabbing to us, all trustworthy residents and was done thanks to the cheers and # one fan the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce. The same one that is hijacking our campaign elections. It is sad that we can’t let down the guard when we elect our representatives in office and then they look elsewhere. This time looks like Developer Mr. Housseini forgets that the goodness of Americans placed him where he is now and just for that, he should have some compassion and do not send his lawyers against that same people that made him successful to defend a greedy high density development, where we do not even have in place the infrastructure or water to serve his project.
    Instead with his wealth Mr. Mori Housseni should collaborate to create jobs in other fields as there are plenty out there. Go open factories to build again appliances and other items in the USA, that now we import from China, instead to try and profit from the over burdened American taxpayers. C’mon Mr Housseini you are already very wealthy. When enough is enough?

  16. JP says:


  17. Ralph Belcher says:

    I think that high and low density can coexist, if planned out in an acceptable fashion… to a degree.

    • Linda H. says:

      Mr. Belcher, are you a developer, a builder? We have EMPTY homes here in Palm Coast due to the devastation of the housing market. Property values have never been lower. They will STAY low until this inventory is sold.

      The only people who benefit from high density development in a situation like this are the politicans and the builders.

      Please explain to me why those who bought lots and built homes in a planned community must now be forced to accept a high rise development in their neighborhood? Because the builder owns the land and can do what he wishes?

      NOT good enough, Mr. Belcher, expecially when you have so much cheap land for sale around here.

      Smart growth? For whom?

  18. palmcoaster says:

    Please some of you here, do not accuse some of us of winning or being against our local government or and their agencies. We are only against the corrupt ones or their corrupt lobby for greedy developers very costly to all.

  19. palmcoaster says:

    Keep in mind that David Haas now representing the developer was the Flagler County Administrator for many years and involved in redevelopment plans in this county. Conflict of interest here..? Some of his activities while being a Flagler County Administrator, can be found in several reports on link below;,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=c564f89143e67f09&biw=1280&bih=696

  20. palmcoaster says:
    I will suggest the adjacent owners and neighbors affected by this issue to go back and request the documents “when before 1999 Palm Coast incorporation”, the seating County Commissioners changed the original ITT land development with more density and if the adjacent resident owners were properly notified by written notice to approve or oppose. If that was illegally done to favor ICI the purchase of that land in question today, may prove the whole matter illegal and then ICI’s Houseinni will have to let go.
    Seating Commissioner George Hanns, Frank Meeker, David Haas Flagler County Administrator of back then, know very well when and in which manner that land code density was changed and “when” ICI bought this land. In the original ITT development plan filed with the FTC in Atlanta, were shown parcels of land around that area as preserves for green community parks etc. Maybe this parcel was one of those.
    Calls my attention as well that ICI Houseinni showed up out of the blue as owner of the Matanzas Parkway parcel that was needed and we (county) had to buy from him for about 3.25 million (I think was) to build the Matanzas overpass. When did ICI buy that land from ITT? Just before city incorporated as well? Why adjacent residents were not notified if so of the strategic land being sold that will be so costly to recoup after a short while, to build the needed Matanzas overpass? Palmcoasters have been duped big time for the benefit of these developers. David Haas knows very well about all the above, as he was the County Adminsitrator about that time. ICI Houseinni lobby’s hard in Flagler County.

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