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As Flagler Beach Sees a Fortune From Parking Fees, Locals See Only Alienated Tourists

| February 1, 2013

Flagler Beach sees dollar signs in every car. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler Beach sees dollar signs in every car. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler Beach wants to keep its taxes low but find new ways to generate money. The latest idea: lining city streets with parking meters and charging something like $1 an hour.

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The proposal, City Manager Bruce Campbell said during a Thursday evening Flagler Beach City Commission meeting on the matter, in language atwitter with dollar signs, “is a big, big opportunity for our city from a revenue generation standpoint.” He projects up to $3 million in new revenue over five years, not counting what meter-maids could bill, generated with the help of electronic kiosks whose upfront capital cost–$207,000—is high, but would be paid for readily.

But the proposal has the city and the commission divided. The split isn’t about to be immediately resolved, especially after what transpired Thursday evening, so commissioners decided to do what they usually do when faced with a controversial proposal and their own lack of consensus: they appointed a committee, with hopes that some results could be produced by May. But Thursday’s evening was an indication of the difficulty of the committee’s task, and past commission history is also an indication that the matter will eventually force the commission’s hand regardless of the commission’s findings. They gave a sense of where they stood Thursday evening.

Flagler Beach is in the middle of a contest—one of those many contests drummed up by magazines or organizations—that has readers voting on America’s “coolest small town.” Commission Chairman Jane Mealy seized on the contest to make her point.
“We’ve been asking everybody day by day by day to vote us the coolest town,” Mealy said. “Putting up parking meters to me kind of detracts from coolest town. I grew up in New York City. We had to walk around with dimes and quarters in your pocket. When you go to a restaurant and you see, is it time? Is it time? Is it time? That’s not fun.” She added, in response to Campbell’s and Commissioner Joy McGrew’s suggestion that Flagler Beach has evolved enough to be like other cities that do charge for parking: “We are not Myrtle Beach, we are not Jeckyll Island, we are not Cocoa Beach. We are not any of these places. That’s why I moved here instead of any of these other places, so let’s keep that in mind.”

Putting up with paid parking is also not why Dennis Bayer, a Flagler Beach attorney known for his lunchtime surfing, moved to town from Fort Lauderdale, or what Carolyn Marlow, for 21 years the owner of the Golden Lion restaurant on A1A, wants to contend with as she and her large staff depend on tourism to keep her business viable.

“I find it’s almost incongruent and surreal that we’re in the running for the coolest small town in the country, and we’re talking about a big city parking meter bureaucracy with meter maids and trolleys and trams,” Bayer said. “To me it just doesn’t match. It’s really not the image I think that most people think of when they think of Flagler Beach. And I really think, with all due respect to the city manager, that the lifespan for these electronic kiosks is going to be greatly reduced in the ocean environment.” He also cited his colleagues, all of whom work at his Flagler Beach firm but live elsewhere, so they would not qualify for the in-town discounts. They eat in town, they fill their car with in-town gas, but they’d end up paying $16,000 a year in parking. “It just doesn’t make sense,” Bayer said, describing it as a financial hardship for businesses that are already taxed at higher rates than residents.

Not much later Sandra Mason, a recent candidate for the commission with a particular interest in environmental issues, said: “As I listened to the folks speaking tonight, nobody wants to pay for parking, nobody wants to have their business have to build a parking lot, nobody wants their taxes to go up, and nobody wants to decreases services. So good luck with that one.” But she called the discussion on charging for parking an “excellent first step.”

Bruce Campbell (© FlaglerLive)

Bruce Campbell (© FlaglerLive)

The commission had no intentions of settling the matter Thursday night. It was a workshop, centered on a proposal developed by Campbell. The idea is to get people to park their cars in one spot then spend the rest of their time in town walking around. But it’s also about making money in a city strapped for cash. A $1-an-hour fee is by no means the only option. The city could charge a graduated fee based on where cars are parked, with spots nearer the beach costing more. It could give Flagler Beach residents a pass, or charge them less, or charge them none at all. It could involve merchants and vouchers. It could include a trolley or a tram to shuttle people from South Flagler Beach to downtown. Campbell wants to ensure that paid parking in one segment of the city doesn’t drive people to park their cars in rights-of-way elsewhere in the city. But the heart of the proposal is a metered system. (See Campbell’s full presentation below.)

“With the estimates that we made over the first five years we would bring in over a million and a half dollars in net revenue,” Campbell said. “If you add enforcement revenues with that over the first five years, it could be up to close to $3 million, $2.7 million in net revenue.” Acknowledging resistance to charging along A1A, he added: “I’m not trying to say that we should or we shouldn’t have paid parking up along A1A, but big, big revenue potential in terms of numbers and spots, and we all know that.” That would raise revenue up to $3 million without enforcement costs.

He continued: “Paid parking is a great revenue possibility for us. Yes we have to balance it with the balance community, yes we have to be fair to Flagler Beach residents, but very, very important from a revenue standpoint, particularly when we think about maintaining our beach, not to mention the needs we have to improve that beach area, particularly with our erosion conditions and that sort of thing. The other thing I’d throw out there that I’d be willing to bet, is that after we get some history with this revenue, we could probably bond those revenues if we wanted to do something along the beach maintenance standpoint.”


Mayor Linda Provencher had a list of questions, among them the difference in charging, say, Flagler Beach residents different from charging out of towners. And if Flagler Beach residents were to park free or at a reduced rate, that would significantly lower the estimates in revenue, although the city doesn’t have a clear understanding of who is parking where. The city is working on acquiring those numbers, to better understand how much it could rely on out-of-towner revenue.
City Commissioner Joy McGrew was characteristically blunt, and bluntly in favor of parking charges.

“I don’t want my taxes to go up,” she said. “A family from Ocala decides they want to come to the beach for a day. They pack their food, they pack everything they need, their animal, their alcohol, their kids and they drive over here and they go to our beach, and they have a blast, and I’m glad it’s there and I’m glad they can do that. But they leave their beach, they have their dog, they have their kids, they don’t necessarily eat in our restaurants, they didn’t fill up their car with gas in our town, but they do call our police of they need them, they do have our lifeguards there if they need them, but we’re paying to have that person from Ocala or Seminole or Marion or I don’t care where: they come to our beach and they enjoy our beach, and we’re glad they’re here. I don’t want my taxes to keep continue to go up and up and up and everybody gets a free ride. So that’s where I’m coming from. When I was looking at this and when I said that Flagler Beach has come of age to do that.”

Commissioner Steve Settle liked what he’d just heard from McGrew, but was adamant about one thing: “I don’t know about any of my colleagues, I in raising this question never, never perceived that Flagler Beach residents were going to have to pay for parking. Never thought about that. It’s always been assumed that the purpose of what we were doing was to equalize the free market. Flagler Beach taxpayers are already paying for that, so we’re just trying to bring some equilibrium to the free market system, that’s the purpose to even be thinking about this.”

Some 40 to 50 people showed up at the meeting, 18 of whom addressed the commission. They roughly broke down this way: eight were clearly opposed, five were clearly in favor, and the remaining five either had new suggestions or did not deem to fall on one side or the other. Among the suggestions (by Ted Johnson): move city hall to the old Food Lion shopping center, raze its current structure and erect a big, four-level parking lot in its place. “Yes it’s ugly, but it’s functional,” Johnson said, calling it a “futuristic” move.

Carolyn Marlow, owner of the Golden Lion restaurant on A1A for 21 years, remembered the days when Flagler Beach did away with its draw bridge to build the current “monstrosity,” as a bridge to beautification, too. That still hasn’t happened, Marlow said. “In my eyes, our business has been opened 21 years. Parking problem is brought on by the people sitting here, I’m sorry to say. We approve things, we have workshops, we talk about it over and over again and we let everybody do whatever they want to do, and now we have a problem. Now we’re trying to rectify that problem, but the first thing that shouldn’t go is tourism, because I don’t know about any of you, but that’s what pays my bills, it also pays my staff’s bills, it pays everybody’s bills in Flagler Beach because we’re a city of tourism.”

Marlow added: “Do we want to be red-light city, Palm Coast? Do we want to have it splattered all over the papers that we’re putting parking meters? I don’t think so. That will do more damage in one little idea that the commission and the city comes up with, than what we’ve been trying to do for the last 20 years, and that’s make this a viable place to live. We have one economy, and it’s tourism. We can splash in the paper that we’re going to make $600,000, but we’re really not going to make $600,000, and I don’t care, we haven’t done the math before Joy, it’s time we do the math on this. There are a lot of expenses that didn’t get talked about.”

Flagler Beach Parking Workshop Presentation

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62 Responses for “As Flagler Beach Sees a Fortune From Parking Fees, Locals See Only Alienated Tourists”

  1. glad fly says:

    i have a great idea for the flagler beach city commission,aka the city of drama… STOP TRYING TO SCREW THE PUBLIC.

    • stop projecting says:

      wow..i didn’t realize there was so much hate for PC from FB….Do you guys down there REALLY think you’ll survive WITHOUT PC people coming down there to spend money??? There is lots going on right now to get ready for a good summer…I see restaurants getting finished and some, like Ocean Side, getting ready to upgrade even more. Be careful what you wish for…. YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT.

  2. confidential says:

    No more Flagler Beach visits for us from Palm Coast…after we ad the parking fees to the 4 bucks a gallon again! We will head North to Marineland and St Johns County as is closer. Other than trying to generate revenue by parking meters, why not cutting cost in waste? Sure the businesses along A1A will feel the pinch and all those surfers parking for hours…you think they could afford it? As it is already pretty problematic to get a parking space around FB. Imagine with meters!
    Leave that for Miami that is worth the parking fee…as the beach and roller blading boardwalk is outstanding besides the many expensive amenieties on site. Not for good old FB. Do not fix what is not broken and over greed.

    • Mel Bronson says:

      Oh, so beach parking should be free? And all you cheap skate parasites are saying good bye? Glad to see you go.

      Ha ha ha! Good riddence! Almost every beach charges for parking AND access to the beach. How about giving items or hours of labor at your job away for free?

      • From Palm Coast says:

        Mel,

        Look at the packed beach south of the pier. How many of our High school kids from our county are there??? Probably higher than you can count. How many of those kids have families that go to the north side of the pier? Again probably too high for you to count. How many of those kids drive down to the beach with their friends? How many are there spending their hard earned money or their parents money to eat at the local establishments? Now you think that adding a dollar per hour is a great idea. Look at the other possibilities, other Flagler county beach access,Volusia county beach access that are free. Look at the bigger picture, Mel those folks start going away go riddance you say, hmmm so the Flagler Beach city now is not making that dollar and hour, no one is going to the restaurants, bars, etc and now you will be paying twice the taxes after there is nobody but flagler beach residents. the bigger picture is folk will go else where. In bigger cities they are forced to pay cause there is no alternative. No free parking no crowds for parades, 4th of July, etc, just shaking my head at wonder what is going through some folks heads.

  3. An says:

    Well, the day they start charging for parking at Flagler I will stop going to that city for dinner, lunch, to the beach. I will make sure that everyone I know is aware of the coolest little town turning into a New York street with parking meters. Such a stupid stupid idea to ruin the nice “old town beach” feel and turn it into something like Virginia beach where u can’t even afford to go to the beach because it is no longer a Free, Fun thing to do with our families.

  4. Nikia says:

    Not enough to do in that little town now as it is.
    I’ll go from Palm Coast to Marineland, The Hammock or Daytona and make it worthwhile rather than pay to park in Flagler.

  5. Quail Hollow resident says:

    This would be the first major step in ruining Flagler Beach. This defeats a huge part of what makes Flagler Beach great. It will make Flagler Beach just like all the other tourist trap towns this state is infested with. The sleepy beach town we all love will cease to exist. Let’s add some high rise condos while we’re at it. The property taxes are incredibly low to start with. People expect all kinds of services and want to pay essentially nothing for them. Parasites from the NE and beyond want to come here and live off fees paid by consumers and tourists while contributing minimally themselves. These people couldn’t blow their noses without a tax break of some kind. (Republicans.) These commissioners need to be voted out of office or better yet recalled.
    Wake up Flagler Beach, your town is on a road to quality of life ruin!

  6. Kendall says:

    Paying meters to park would definitely cut beach visits short. Who wants to continually run up to the street to feed a meter? I can go up the road to the Hammock, Matanzas or Crescent and park for free. Or I can go to volusia where a flat fee provides the convenience of bringing my car and all my stuff onto the beach so I don’t have to lug it across the road and down the steps as I do in Flagler Beach.

    Meters would definitely make me avoid the area for dining out. Not knowing how long i have to wait for a table combined with wanting to relax and enjoy my meal would make it unnecessarily stressful. And as for my monthly or so shopping trips to the little downtown area? Forget it. I like to take my time and browse the neat little shops. But I am not going to pay for the pleasure of doing so.

    I have been considering opening a shop in Flagler Beach and have been watching real estate for the right property. I suppose I should rethink that since they are doing their best to drive visitors away.

    Don’t get me wrong- I love our little beach town. I love it so much I bought property to build a home there this year because I am fed up with Palm Coast extorting it’s citizens in some new way every time we turn around. But this has me rethinking that idea as well. I like the quirky, laid back, small town feel. Adding parking meters is just the beginning. What’s next, code enforcement and red light cameras?

    No thanks.

  7. Resident says:

    Who proposed this in the first place? AND where are they from? Why can’t people stop coming here and trying to change it from Florida to make it like the place they came from? LEAVE IT ALONE!

    • sickntired says:

      Resident asked who came up with this idea. I would guess it was the new city manager. He has proven to be an idea man ONLY. Absolutely no thought to the future. Just the here and now is all they care about. Just wait till all this glory and newness wears off. Lets see what happens then. They will be gone as city managers and commission do, and the citizens plus city workers are left to deal with the mess. Good luck to Flagler Beach. So much for your little beach community. I hear rumor that you have been discovered. It’s what we get from a man “just shy of glowing” . Nothing but ideas. The manager and commission think they are doing so much for the city but they are crushing it when it comes to paying for it all in the future.

  8. Magnolia says:

    It is unique and beautiful. Charging for parking will drive cars to back streets where they don’t belong. People will go north and stay away from the beach and that would be a shame, when our local businesses are struggling.

  9. mrknowitall says:

    Can someone please find out who came up with the idea of meters so we can be sure who not to vote for next time. This is about as bad an idea as it gets. Parking meters will ruin what Flagler Beach is all about.

  10. John Boy says:

    St. Augustine lost a lot of local visitors when they implemented parking meters, they had the attractions to pull in tourists, Flagler Beach does not. Last week I paid $10. to park in St. Augustine because we had out of town visitors. I can’t think of anything in Flagler Beach that would be worth $2.00 for parking. Restaurants would have to reimburse customers for parking or they will die on the vine because of stupid actions by small minded politicians.

  11. flagler resident says:

    I attended the counsel meeting on the noise ordinance a while back, also known as “you must whisper in public and for God’s sake no music” ordinance. The overwhelming majority at that meeting supported the bars and restaurants in their struggle with this counsel to be able to host live music…so, of course, the oh so wise counsel set up a “workshop” which, when all was said and done, wound up making it even harder for the businesses to function….
    Now, it seems, most citizens have the common sense to see through this money grab by the city….so what is going to happen? Let me guess….a workshop, followed by the counsel doing what they want anyway, input from citizens be damned. When is the next election again?

  12. BOB JERGEL says:

    HAVE LIVED IN PALM COAAST FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND HAVE PATRONIZED THE EATERIES AND SHOPS VERY OFTEN. PUT IN PARKING FEES AND I WILL NOT PATRONIZE PERIOD.

  13. Diego Miller says:

    Whenever a bean counter is given the authority, only one thing matters, the bottom line. Of course the priviledged
    Commisioners will park for free.

  14. tulip says:

    I know I’ll get shot down for this suggestion, but why not raise the property tax by a small percentage instead?

    • dlf says:

      I think it is a good plan, why should the residents foot the bill for, clean up, crime, safety when most of the the people using our city as a dumping ground are from another area.Like everything else people will adjust to it and come back to the only game in town.

  15. Al says:

    This would be a very bad idea for the area. I would never stop at the beach in Flagler again.

  16. PJ says:

    Isn’t this City Manager new?

    Another guy over paid likely and this is the best he can do?

    The Flagler Beach City Manager is running around the County with hat -in- hand trying to get monies from other municipalities to help pay for work at the beach.

    Now this? Really? The best you can do????

    Palm Coast needed money and they put in red light cameras and so what magic money tree did it do for them, nada, nothing, that’s right chump change revenues and highly unpopular with the resdents.

    Palm Coast is also on web as a red light camera city, bloggers recommend to by pass us.

    Blogging is the best way to get the word out about this kind of nonsense.

    I can see it now “Come to Flagler Beach, Fl enjoy our beaches and our meter maids.”

    The problem is when Cities hire a City Manager they hope that this person really can do the job. Here is proof just like Palm Coast the only way they can manage a city is to find revenues that tax somebody in someway.

    If those Flagler Beach commissioners approve this award winning idea they were just sucker punched just like Palm Coast has been with their city manager since they hired him.

    DON’T DO IT, you will hurt your local business. I would stop by on my way home and get a slice of pizza and enjoy the view, I won’t if I have to worry that my $2.50 slice of pizza may cost me a fine too…………….sad really sad………..PJ

    • FlaglerLive says:

      PJ: Bruce Campbell is not new. He’s been managing Flagler Beach for two years. He is also the least paid of all the local government executives. His $90,000 salary is $15,000 below that of Bunnell Manager Armando Martinez, who leads a city almost half the size–in population–of Flagler Beach, and a fraction the size of Flagler Beach when it comes to economic activity and relevance to the county, though judging from your past comments, PJ, you have blindly supported Martinez’s raises. The plan he presented to the commission was at the commission’s direction. A little fairness and familiarity with facts, your own included, may be in order. Thanks.

      • PJ says:

        I clicked on the “for two years” link it seems that most every commentator on Flagler Live already judged Campbell as he was hired.

        I was not judging him but clearly saying manage your city by understanding your revenues.

        Chump change monies from red light cameras and parking meters will not manage your budget when you are trying to keep up with the superstructure of a city.

        Both cameras and meters are unpopular too.

        As far as pay? You pay for what you get!

        Pay’em as city managers, if they really can manage things.

        I have to question a manager when they do things that make little to no sense. Campbell should have dumped this one on his staff to figure out and report it back to the board as facts and some public opinions. Get out there and simply ask folks on the street what do you think of this idea?

        My guess is he handled this one himself.

        I’m simply disappointed to see meters to be a part of that beautiful beach that’s why I commented.

        PJ

  17. Deep South says:

    Perhaps the residence of Flagler Beach should start charging a few bucks to allow you to park in their yards, like they do at the Jags games.

  18. NortonSmitty says:

    This is a tough call. I realize the town is hurting for revenue, but this is another step to killing the indefinable accidental mix of unplanned circumstances that makes this town special.

    I could agree that it would be reasonable to charge for parking near the pier along A1A, but I;m not so sure the guy who just spent big bucks to open the restaurant there would see it the same way. And if parking is such an important ingredient in the mix of what makes us special, why did they agree to the recent renovations that led to less than 1/3 of the parking spaces in the area around the Farmers Market? And does this mean we are going to charge people to park in the sand along A1A?

    And I hope I’m wrong, but does the 1/2$Million in revenue off the bat mean that we are going to sell the parking rights to a private company to install the meters and split the take with us? That would influence my opinion a whole lot.

    This is going to take a lot of thinking. If we rush into it, we can expect to get goinked.

  19. glide10 says:

    I agree this would be a bad move for the community, but I’m surprised that this has not been proposed sooner from the elected officials? And now they can’t decide and are going to waste money on a survey? I’m sure a survey to the community would be sufficient enough since this is who they serve, right?
    Why do they need someone outside the community to tell them what its best? Oh, sorry,, Politics…

  20. Freddy says:

    We go to FB to eat at the restaurants. Charging for parking will definitely change that habit.

  21. Yocal says:

    Oh sure….Go ahead and put those meters in. That will give me the WHOLE BEACH without the out- of- state garbage dumping idiots coming in and destroying the environment. Maybe it will cause the alcohol infested bars to move somewhere else….

  22. Redneck Man says:

    I’ll just just buy my buddy a six pack of beer, and a pack of smokes, and he’ll let me park my truck in his yard.
    That’s the way we do it here in the South.

  23. greg says:

    Great idea also add a red light to every other block and put red light cameras up all over the place. People will flock to the beach.

  24. Palm Coast Resident says:

    There’s not one parking meter in Flagler County…..lets keep it that way. If the Flagler Beach city council votes in meters, the whole city council should be voted out!

  25. thinkforyourself says:

    Amazing – you all want to use the beach but the City of Palm Coast doesn’t want to help or contribute to support the beaches. Nice – can’t have your cake and eat it to. Either contribute one way or another. Fighting erosion, providing lifeguards and other amenities costs money. Palm coast and others have had a FREE ride for a long, long time. If not meters suggest something else.

    • Magnolia says:

      The last little beach town in Florida is about to be ruined by bureaucrats. Outlaw the bureaucrats. Everybody doesn’t want Flagler Beach to remind you of New Jersey.

      Have never seen so many bureaucrats looking to make a buck. This one needs to go on the ballot. Anything that raises fees, taxes, etc. needs to go on the ballot. Insist on it and don’t take no for an answer.

      thinkforyourself: don’t Palm Coasters pay double taxes? for both the city and the county?

      Just a hunch, but I bet by the time you figure out the purchase of the meters and the cost to administer it, it was not worth it.

      We will soon hear, “costs going up.”

      • thinkforyourself says:

        Actually Magnolia they (FB residents) pay the county just as Palm Coast does. That doesn’t address the issue. Palm Coast has the largest population in the county. Palm Coast residents put the largest burden on our resources but they turn their noses up when asked to contribute and help with things like pier repair, beach erosion or life guards. Give me a break. Palm Coast collected one of the largest impact fees for parks and recreation for years. Are the beaches not part of that equation? It’s outrageous to hear the bitchin’ and moaning going on. Stay on the other side of the bridge. Those who want to come to pay $2 bucks for parking will come and we will survive. Those who don’t live in our town are the ones who trash our beaches and raise cain.

    • Ziggie says:

      Hmm, seems to me that many of the Palm Coasters support Flagler Beach by putting our money in the economy by patronizing the eateries.I know I have and do. Eating out is not cheap anymore, and some Palm Coasters do decide to make the choice to drive to Flagler Beach. Guess if I’m not wanted I shall choose to keep my money in Palm Coast.

  26. flaglerdave says:

    If you leave in Flagelr Beach or Bunnell ( true locals ) park free … charge Palm Coasters .This will help pay for the trash left behind by them,

  27. Ashley Capitola says:

    This is so embarrassing! I grew up in Flagler my whole life and always thought how absurd the meters in Daytona were. Now I am living in Los Angeles and there are meters EVERYWHERE. They run at 25 cents per 10 minutes, they always break, eat your coins, they are a huge pain in the ass and an “eff you” to all locals at the beach. I live in a place now where I have to pay to surf and it drives me crazy. They are even in front of doctors and dentists offices too. This makes me sad to see that they are thinking of doing this AGAIN because when I come home to visit I love how everything stays the same. They think meters will bring money? Ok, well good luck with fixing all the meters that will be damaged by the pissed off locals. Go back to New York to your meters, Flagler doesn’t need them.

  28. blondee says:

    I really don’t think it will have that much of an impact. People seem to find extra money when they want to (cigarettes, restaurants, fancy cell phones,etc). All things that cost a pretty penny. I don’t think they’ll have trouble coming up with a few bucks for parking.

  29. Ron says:

    …And they will be lining up at 7AM to get their spot to park with 8 hours worth of quarters for the day preventing tourists and residents the opportunity to visit, eat or read a book.

    Are the police going to keep tabs on this and if they serve a civil summons on a car, how will they follow-up? For example, I forget to put more quarters in the meter after hogging the meter for 4 hours and decide I am not going to put any more quarters in the meter since I already have a summons.

    This will require additional officers to constantly monitor rules and infractions which FB Police Dept. turns out only two cars a shift.

    Beach goers will drive either to the South or North ends and back streets parking on the dunes and side streets.

    I see nothing but aggravation, summons court overflow, arrests, law suits and above all, bad publicity for the City of Flagler Beach. The Chamber of Commerce should be yelling bad publicity!

  30. palmcoaster says:

    put super glue in everyone of them .

  31. Magicone says:

    No more Flagler Beach for me and my family, hide and watch the city of Palm Coast to put parking meters in Varn park.

  32. rickg says:

    @tulip you are correct a tiny increase in property taxes could raise the revenue needed. All of FB properties benefit from being near the beach and the money could be earmarked for improved and additional parking areas. Tourists and those who don’t live in FB contibute much to the local economy. Parking charges would be a slap in the face.

  33. Yosh says:

    please leave the beach area just the way it is..no meters please!

  34. Linda Morgan says:

    When you say part of the idea is to have people park and walk around the down town, you may be thinking only of your lifestyle. People that have families with little kids and babys would have a harder time getting around. You go to the bank, maybe the dollar store and pick up shopping bags of items then maybe to the library to get some books for them, then finally lunch with a view of the ocean and come out with a doggie bag or a order to go. I don’t know about you, but even tho it is possible to walk, our town is spread out and it is easier to not be pinned down to one parking space, especially if you are adding bags with purchases to your travels. You have to remember that people who live here have a lot different lifestyle than people on vacation. We don’t all have the time to just stroll around, we have errands to do! You want us to shop local, bank local, eat local but you are going to make it more costly and less convenient. I think it was a good suggestion for more revenue but it will not be worth the cost of our city’s character. I say back to the drawing board for additional ways to increase revenue. One last note “we do not own the Atlantic Ocean”. So even though we pay for police support and other services for tourists, I think we’ve all enjoyed other cities services while traveling. I find it in poor taste to think that other people can’t enjoy the beach just because they don’t live here.

  35. Cypress Grand says:

    I go to the beach every morning for breakfast, adding a parking fee? This will all of the locals away, the businesses need us out there. This is a terribly destructive action! You will lose the locals and the tourism may just go south to New Smyrna and further south where there are no parking fees.

    Furthermore, Flagler Beach has three (3) eyesores as you drop over the bridge on Highway 100. If you notice, they take the road construction signs down on a weekend when tourist drive into town. They put them back up on Monday morning. There is no road construction and I believe that Flager Beach uses those signs for double fines for anyone caught speeding. I have NEVER seen workers on Highway 100 preparing the road. I believe that even if there were road repairs, the Florida State Transportation Department would be responsible for putting up the signs for their construction zone on this state road. Who is Flagler Beach trying to fool?

  36. Donna Heiss says:

    I do not think this was well thought out. What will happen during bike week, the parades, first friday, etc.? I frequent a small shop often for an item they carry. I have to park on the street. I can get this item in other places but prefer to support the local Flagler Beach store. One of the charms of Flagler Beach is the free parking and beach access. The Hammock is looking better and better.

  37. PC Resident says:

    Get past the local trash talk, I don’t like the red light cameras, thought PC should have joined with FB on pier issues and beach erosion, understand the need to charge pier admission. Think FB police use the west side of SR-100 as a speed trap for drivers leaving FB approaching John Anderson Drive, but their is a park their and could be a problem for accidents.

    I Spend more money eating at local restaurants in FB than PC. Expect to be able to park for free at our favorite local restaurants in FB as they are required to have their own parking spaces so that should not change but will probably just find another beach area north or south of FB to go to. Farmers market trips will probable be a thing of the past for me.

    We don’t get our city services for free, like it or not the money has to come from some where or the alternative is a lessening or complete loss of the things we want in each of our cities. Leaders don’t always make the best decisions but the do have to make them.

  38. Sherry Epley says:

    Although I was born and raised in Jacksonville, I have lived in other states in the USA and traveled to other countries extensively for 26 years. As a 7 year resident of Flagler Beach, my perspective may be a bit different than many of the other of those who have commented here.

    We all want excellent public services. We want the police/fire personnel on site immediately when we punch 911, we want clean water, clean restrooms, well paved streets, safety devices, clean public spaces and beautiful broad beaches, etc., etc. BUT. . . many people think that someone else should be responsible for paying for those things.

    Many people are against the big bad government. . . they don’t want to pay ANY taxes or fees at any level. Somehow, they feel these services are perhaps organic and the money to pay for them grows on trees. OK. . . so if no one wants to pay for all those “taken for granted” services through taxes, then how do they continue to be provided? I can tell you from personal experience that parking fees of some sort are used to support local services in tourist areas world wide. It is the standard reasonable expectation.

    There is a question of basic fairness here. Is it reasonable for only the owners of property in Flagler Beach to be the ones paying for all the public services used by those who come from other areas to enjoy our unique small beach town and our hopefully soon to be restored beach and dunes?

    Most people are characterizing the prospect of parking meters as those very annoying ones that need to be fed quarters every 30 minutes. Much more modern solutions involve going to a central machine and paying “once” for the amount of time you need. Then placing the receipt on the dash of the vehicle. We can and should decide to impose modest parking fees that will not greatly impact our local restaurants and shops. Property owners in Flagler Beach should be provided with free stickers (to be placed on their windshield) to indicate that they have paid their fair share (through taxes) for these services.

  39. BEACH CLEAN UP says:

    While your at it just put a toll booth up on the new bridge !!!! You guys keep it up and you will get run out of town on a rail like they did in the good old days!!!!!!!!!!! look at our town its going to hell in a hurry.you have taken half the parking and planted those palm tree so it looks like south florida what a waste of money and parking spots .leave flagler beach alone this is not Dade county and never will be .Our resturants and your first fridays will suffer no one will come to flagler beach .Flagler beach was discovered 20 years ago and we want to keep it the way it is when we discovered it . So dont turn it into little havana Miami Dade county .

  40. Linda Morgan says:

    When you add cost to our everyday living it is in a sense paying taxes. The only difference is we will pay taxes every day wherever we go in Flagler Beach, while tourist will only be paying for the days they are here. I agree that this idea was not thought through very well.

  41. BeachLvr84 says:

    Does PC pay for jack when it comes to issues with Flagler Beach? No.. not a dime. Erosion and other issues are on OUR backs. When the city of PC steps up and agrees that they want to help out, that’s fine. Until then, please gladly tote your rears to another town, spend double the amount in gas money getting there as you would have for a buck or two to park and get out of here. Sorry but there’s a reason I left PC… the people are trash. I’d be up for a toll bridge to keep them out.

    • Reality Check says:

      The county would need to help not the city of PC, be real about the problems, if you cannot afford your cable TV you do not ask your neighbor to help you pay. The city of FB does not help the city of PC pay for storm water; the beach is in the county and the city of FB (sorry but its is their land). I love FB it is a great town, I would not mind paying for a spot if that is what it took. Would it limit my visits, maybe; at some point a decision needs to be made to help cover rising costs. It is a serious catch twenty-two, meters will deter from people coming there, and this will hurt local business and even end up closing one or two, now you have lost their tax revenue. They need too look at a tax of some sort (tourist tax added to every bill 1%) and sorry to say but property taxes may need to go up slightly. if you have 2,750 homes and they pay just $10 more a month it equals $330,000 a year. Now if you add in the business community add say another 50K, you can do what needs to be done with out a huge impact, there is no one answer. I just think the meters will cut down on tourism and that will cascade into sales and add to unemployment and closed businesses, all that equals a lower tax base and the City loses on a larger level.

    • Ron says:

      Have you (and the other Palm Coast bashers) thought about where not just Flagler Beach would be, but where the entire county of Flagler would be without the tax revenue and spending dollars generated by the 90,000+ residents of Palm Coast?

      I have – and it’s not very appealing.

    • Magnolia says:

      BeachLvr84: Wow…..Welcome to Flagler Beach, neighbor!

  42. Essentially,proper and good Character , values, deeply held of a COMMUNITY, This is not all about parking, concrete ugly monstrosities, such as the BRIDGE…. It really has to do with Integrity of Spirit, integrity of a Really Cool , Beautiful, small six miles of Flagler Beach proper, and it’s people. It occurred to me, those who live in PC do so because of FLAGLER BEACH and we welcome them. Come on Commissioners…get real, parking meters are not acceptable..

  43. Donna Heiss says:

    Sounds like Flagler Beach residents have a problem with Palm Coast residents from what I am reading here. Is it ok if Palm Coast residents spend their money in FB in the stores and restuarants? We could just stop and go elsewhere. I wonder how long FB residents would be able to keep the businesses alive. Be careful what you wish for.

  44. farmer says:

    Please stop blaming Bruce Campbell as ONLY THE COMMISSION HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DO THIS. BRUCE CAMPBELL HAS SAVED THE TOWN A YEARLY SEARCH FEE ETC. ON A NEW CITY MGR.AND AT LEAST DOES WELL. NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO SUIT THE 37/1/2 EDUCATOR [ MEALY] BUT WHO COULD BE AS GOOD AS SHE?

  45. Garfield says:

    The City of PAlm Coast needs to start their own thing and the revenue will go there and Flagler Beach will starve. Greed will hurt this city. They should be glad they currently have a drawing card. Without the beach, Flagler Beach would be nothing more than Bunnell.

  46. Lin says:

    My 2 cents is that parking meters will definitely hurt more than help Flagler Beach. It would be awful to deface the scenic highway. Other ways to raise the money needed that are less visible could be a tax on restaurant & hotel bills which are paid by out of towners — yes, I know locals eat out too but it is a way not to have to raise property taxes and eating out is a more discretionary expense.

    The Palm Coast bashing isnt helping since Palm Coast residents patronize the businesses — ask the business owners if they want business from Palm Coast. We used to patronize the businesses in FB when we first moved down but some of our favorites closed. To be honest, the ocean is beautiful but there are white sandy beaches in other towns like Ormond by the Sea, Daytona and Ponce Inlet with great restaurants and no parking fees, bathrooms, etc. that we like more. The ocean doesn’t belong to FB. I can live without getting that sand stuck to my feet. No restaurants appeal to us. As a Palm Coast resident, we are TAXPAYERS IN FLAGLER COUNTY as well as STATE OF FLORIDA & the federal government and pay taxes to all of them. Now FB wants Palm Coast taxes to help them? Find another way. My pockets are empty. Insulting me is not going to help you.

  47. Diane Cline says:

    If we have money issues why are we paying a man $50,000 for a report that states 50 years ago our beach was even with A1A and stretched out as far as the pier…with no back up I might add….so that we can give him $10 million??? Love it!!! Now I know why we have money issues ha ha

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