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Weekend Briefing: Code Enforcement’s Vise On Palm Coast, Wings Over Flagler Rocks

| March 27, 2015

All planes, all the time at Wings Over Flagler Rockin the Runways this weekend. (© FlaglerLive)

All planes, all the time at Wings Over Flagler Rockin the Runways this weekend. (© FlaglerLive)

Weekend weather: Mild Friday thunderstorms possible in the afternoon, fantastically cool and sunny Saturday and Sunday. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 309
The weather in Colombo, Sri Lanka: cloudy, rainy, highs in upper 80s, lows in upper 70s. Details.
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.

In Flagler and Palm Coast:

Spring Break: Flagler County schools reopen Tuesday. Monday, March 30 is a teacher planning day.


Wings Over Flagler Rockin the Runways: The weekend in Flagler will be dominated by the three-day fly-in at the Flagler County Airport starting at 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday afternoon, with some 50 planes on exhibit, some of them providing flying tours, including a Ford Tri-Motor and a B-17. hours are from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday concluding with a massive fly-off. Parking and shuttle service is free, and $5 airport parking is offered. Many education charities benefit from the event. Admission is just $12 adults, veterans $10 and kids 12 and under $5. No pets or coolers. Bring concert chairs. For more aircraft information go to WingsOverFlagler.com.

flagler county commission government logoFlagler County Citizens Academy: The ninth Flagler County Citizens Academy Class will participate in a final session on Friday before a graduation ceremony on Monday, April 6. The Citizens Academy provides Flagler County residents a unique educational opportunity to learn about the intricacies of the county government and the array of services it provides. Topics include the County Administration, the Board of County Commissioners, tourism and economic development, land planning, emergency services and parks and recreation, among many others. During the most recent three-hour session on Friday, March 20, the 27 residents in the current Academy acted out a mock County Commission meeting taking place during July 2020, where the following year’s budget was discussed to determine how to fund needed projects. Each person was given information to play roles such as the County Administrator, members of the public with specific concerns or County Commissioners to make the activity more authentic. Those acting in the role of “Commissioners” were tasked with prioritizing issues like replacing a helicopter, replenishing reserve funds and park repairs. “We provided the participants with a role to play and some talking points, but some of them really went out of their way to do research for their part, so everyone really learned a lot,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. Further information about the next Academy starting in September will be available during the summer. For more information about the spring class, please contact Joe Mayer at 386-313-4007.

Flagler County Job Fair on April 24: A limited number of spaces are still open for businesses interested in reserving a free booth at the second annual Flagler County Job Fair. The event will take place on Friday, April 24, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Palm Coast Campus of Daytona State College, 3000 Palm Coast Pkwy SE, Building 3. Last year nearly 400 jobseekers attended the inaugural fair, which was hosted by the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Flagler Volusia. This year Daytona State College and the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce joined the effort to positively impact Flagler County’s economic vitality. Among the businesses that have already registered are CoastalCloud, Edwards Jones Financial Service, Beutlich Pharmaceuticals and Target. A complete list of attending companies is available here. Businesses wishing to secure a place at the fair and job seekers interested in registering for preparation workshops should visit the job fair website. For additional information about the fair, please contact Casey Scott at 386-313-4098 or by email here.

Flagler Youth Dek Hockey Winter League Game and Registration: Come play the greatest game on earth. No skating required. For Boys and Girls ages 6-15. The registration fee is $25 to cover the cost of team T-Shirts, game time refreshments and season end awards. Equipment: Mouth Guard, Eye Protection, Shin Pads, and Gloves. Flagler Palm Coast High School Youth Center rink, off State Road 100. See the website. (9 a.m-11 a.m. Saturday)

Join Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research docents Saturday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. for a family seining activity. Visitors will get the chance to pull a seine net through Guana Lake, collecting species of fish, crabs and more, and then learn about the animals and their roles in the habitat. All necessary gear including waders and boots will be provided. The program is free with paid entrance and will take place at the Guana Dam Recreational Area; however, meet the Docents at the Environmental Education Center, 505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra 32082. Call 904.823.4500.

Road and Interstate Construction:

Flagler County: County Road 305 between CR 2006 and Tangerine. IMPACTS: Closure in force 3/17/2015 for the 2nd box culvert replacement. Detours detour via CR 110 to CR 95 to CR 2006. Truck Detour via Bunnell (SR 100 – SR 11)

Palm Coast: Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Parkway and Florida Park Drive. IMPACTS: Lane shifts and closures will occur and this may cause traffic congestion on this already busy roadway. Most construction work will occur between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. though weather and unforeseen issues may adjust the schedules. This project will be complete by December 2015.

Volusia County I-4 Closure:There will be an eastbound road closure on Interstate 4 near Daytona Beach for the contractor to pour the bridge deck on Ramp A over eastbound I-4. This is part of the ongoing widening project. To accommodate the work, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and its contractor, The de Moya Group, scheduled overnight detours 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Sunday, March 29. The I-4 eastbound lanes will be closed. The detour will route traffic onto US 92 east to Interstate 95 (I-95). Drivers can travel southbound on I-95 to reconnect with I-4. Times and dates could change based on weather conditions and other variables, updates will be provided if the schedule is modified. Message boards and detour signs will be in place throughout the work zone guiding drivers through the area. For the most up-to-date information on road and lane closures, go to www.cflroads.com and click on ‘Lane Closures.’ The Florida Department of Transportation urges motorists to drive carefully in construction zones.

road-closure

In the Press:

pcobserverCode enforcement: Does it work for you? The Palm Coast Observer’s Jonathan Simmons surveys the code enforcement landscape in the county, comparing Palm Coast’s staggeringly rigid regime to those elsewhere: “Palm Coast’s Code Enforcement Section enforces more restrictions, and does so more proactively, than the neighboring municipalities of Flagler Beach and Bunnell, or unincorporated Flagler County. Its code enforcement section has 13 employees to Bunnell’s one, the county’s two, and Flagler Beach’s one employee and a volunteer. And, unlike the county or other municipalities, Palm Coast’s code enforcement relies heavily on its officers making rounds, looking for violations: Each officer drives every street in the city at least twice per month, Grossman said, racking up 600-900 miles per month per city vehicle each. At the heart of the difference is a matter of philosophy that some residents love and others can’t stand. […] Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts chose the city for its appearance, too. The story is one he tells often. His wife’s parents had retired to a Florida community — he won’t say where — in the ’70s, and he came down from his home state of New Jersey to visit them. He wasn’t impressed. […] “Netts served on the Code Enforcement Board after the city’s incorporation — ultimately becoming its chairman — before running successfully for City Council and later being elected mayor. “I guess I’m as guilty as the next guy in saying: ‘I like what’s here. Let’s keep it this way,’” he said.” […] Many residents commenting on Facebook on a Palm Coast Observer story about fence code changes called the codes too strict, and wrote letters to the editor calling the restrictions “unreal,” “ridiculous” and “onerous.” […] [A] charge against a first-time offender would likely be dismissed if it was resolved before the hearing date, and most hearings don’t lead to a fine. The board heard 561 cases last year but issued just 81 fines. (Those who appeared at the board still had to pay a $50-$70 administrative fee.) […] But most residents seem to be open to staying in compliance, and many like the city’s tight codes, Grossman said. In fact, about 60% of the cases come from neighbor complaints. Overgrown conditions and commercial vehicles in driveways are the top complaints.” The full story.

See Also:

Florida has 6 of the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas: “New data released from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that The Villages, Florida, ranked as the nation’s fastest-growing metro area last year, with the city west of Orlando boasting a 5.4 percent increase in population between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014. This comes as Florida became the nation’s third most-populous state in December, taking over the spot once held by New York. […] The influx of new residents was enough to offset the fact that there were more deaths than births in about half of the state’s counties, the Census Bureau said. Florida averaged 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, growing by 293,000 to reach 19.9 million during that time period, census data released in December showed. New York went up by 51,000 to 19.7 million during that same period. […] Harris County, Texas, leads the nation in population growth by person, with the county surrounding Houston adding 89,000 people between July 2013 and 2014, followed by Maricopa County, Arizona, with 74,000 and Los Angeles County with 63,000.” From PBS.

Public safety sacrificed on altar of NRA: From a Tampa Bay Times editorial: “It’s been a banner session in Tallahassee for gun zealots and the National Rifle Association and a terrible one for common sense and public safety. In the past weeks, the Senate passed a bill allowing gun owners to carry their weapons in public during a declared state of emergency. It also moved closer to allowing guns on college campuses. The House, meanwhile, killed a bill that would have barred backyard shooting ranges. With the state and the Tampa Bay area awash in gun violence, it was a stunning display of this Legislature’s blatant disregard for public safety. […] This Legislature continues to put the NRA and weapons before sanity and public safety, without any bounds for what constitutes responsible gun ownership. And lawmakers are all too content to dispense with the views of law enforcement when police raise valid concerns about balancing gun rights with law and order. The answer to more violence and disaster is not more guns, and gun rights are not absolute. This Legislature needs to recognize what a torrent of guns is doing to society, to the neighborhoods and to the state’s image, and start putting the interests of everyday Floridians ahead of politics and the gun lobby.” The full editorial.

Spring Cleaning Request

 

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16 Responses for “Weekend Briefing: Code Enforcement’s Vise On Palm Coast, Wings Over Flagler Rocks”

  1. Jon Hardison says:

    On Code Enforcement:

    I have no problem with the idea of code enforcement, but it is abundantly clear that something is broken.
    Before anyone jumps on me… no. I’ve had no violations, but here’s what I’ve seen having lived in several areas.

    My wife and I work primarily at home, so we get to see much of the goings on around our home.
    When we lived in the “W” section, the only time we’d ever see Code Enforcement was when there was a clear violation that had gone on for some time. It was by no means a regular occurrence and I had the sense that the vast majority of appearance were do to complaints.

    But out time in the “R” section and now the “Z” section has made VERY clear that the rules aren’t applied evenly. Example: According to the segment above, each vehicle travels each street twice per month. Here in the Z section I’ve seen code enforcement several times this week alone. How do I know it’s code enforcement and not just a service vehicle of one kind or another? Yellow stickers. The short version is that by observation alone, less affluent areas are patrolled more aggressively. This is a fact, but it’s not the only problem.

    My old neighbors received a warning because their pickup truck’s front tire was off their driveway and touching the grass. It was just a warning, and they obviously corrected the issue, making sure to be more careful in the future. But we live on a cul-de-sac street, off the last of several loops, and in order for code enforcement to have written this ticket, they would have to pass a home on the very first loop, where there are so many large vehicles they are always off the driveway, and even more often parked in the middle of the street or even in the swale. Now this isn’t something that happens every now and then… This is the condition at this home every day of every week or every year we’ve been here. Many in the area joke that this street is a one way street. This is due to one house.

    So the question is: How is it that code enforcement is here so often and writes a good number of warnings and violations here, but that specific homes seem to be immune? Furthermore, if every street is to be driven, how does code enforcement have so much time to focus on this specific area or the “R” section as they did when we lived there?

    Again, I take no issue with enforcement itself. But if there is merit to the quality of life argument, should these rules not be applied evenly? I wonder if the violations and warnings themselves would shed any light on the situation. :-)

    • John Smallberries says:

      I agree. We have neighbors that have destroyed the swale next to them from parking, park in the grass in their yard, mud ride in the swale all over the neighborhood, and throw their trash into undeveloped property next to them. When code enforcement asked them about all the trash they just shrugged and said “oh it’s not ours” even though they’ve lived there for over 20 years and are the only property bordering the lot. The lot owners had to foot the bill for cleanup, and we got trouble for having a tree 7 feet from the road.

      I’ve seen code enforcement on this street maybe once in the 6 years I’ve lived here. I’m not advocating for draconian enforcement policies, but really if you’re going to come down on one group you need to be fair about it.

  2. Wings Over Flagler sounds fun….until you read the 12 bux a head, 5 bux parking and no coolers….thanks anyway but money is tight nowadays.

  3. Last year it was $10.00 a person. For what?

  4. Just imagine how much the fuel costs to bring these planes here and share a piece of history with us. Awesome venue, can’t wait!!!

  5. $4-$5 per gallon, no need to imagine

  6. Speaking of fuel, the cost of myself and my family to go is fuel for the week. (that’s before we eat and/or drink anything)

  7. R Section Resident says:

    I agree….the code enforcement in palm coast is out of control. I have a beautiful home and I got a fine for not having two plants planted in front of an AC unit we had installed yet there are homes where weeds grow out of the roof gutters, the lawn is basically turning to dirt, the house has not been cleaned since it was built and Christmas lights hang all year…..yet I get a fine for 2 plants???

    Look else where code enforcement. Don’t give a hard time to people that care….Instead of driving around to give people a hard time that take care of their homes, give a hard time to people that don’t….or even get out of your truck and help clean up this town.

    There are sections of palm coast that look like a third world country. What is the city doing to fix it up?
    They do a great job keeping up the roadways with landscaping ( which is a great thing for our town ), yet there can be vacant homes that the city cant drive a mower through the lawn to keep it cut.

  8. When I was a kid there were two gas stations across from each other. One was always 10 cents higher than the other and the cheaper one always had more customers. Don’t get me wrong, I hope everyone that goes has a great time.

  9. Went up in Ford Tri Motors and it was amazing!

  10. I think it will be great! Can’t wait to take the kids! Enjoy life, you can’t take your money to the grave!

  11. HAD ENOUGH says:

    Code enforcement has obviously missed my street. I now have renters in the house next to me and across the street. They can’t even put out there trash in trash bags. Their toilet paper and kotex products are pick thru by the crows and cats in the area. These A**holes will leave it blow down or up the road, look at it and laugh. Its talking everything I got now to control my anger…..Its NOT going to last too much longer !!!!
    Code enforcement….GET YOUR A**ES OUT HERE NOW before something REALLY BAD happens.

  12. confidential says:

    Regarding Code Enforcement fair treatment to all. In general code enforcement comes to a violation when someone files a complaint. Then we have good residents that resolve the violation when addressed the first time and the those others that think they can get away with anything and take advantage of the long process that takes for unruly residents to bring them to compliance. Given Florida laws that process is a long one until if taken to appear to the code enforcement board meeting may take months and not the fault of code enforcement but just courtesy of the good old Florida step by step enforcement laws. This is why some of us addressed to comply respectfully do it while we believe that others are not cited. They are, some correct the issue after months of process right when the $150 a day fine is about to start. We can all enter violation complaints on line (palmcoast.gov) and follow the outcome of it. Never take nuisance neighbors in person, as you may risk your life, call code enforcement or the sheriff.

  13. BR549 says:

    Sometimes it is who you know in local government especially in Palm coast as to weather you get a notice from code enforcement.

  14. ryan says:

    the part about people calling code enforcement about someone having their commercial pickup truck in their drive way is truly disgusting. leave hard working people alone. find a real cause. I think in cases like that, code enforcement should be obligated to tell you who keeps harassing you through phone calls to code enforcement. I have never had any violations, but some of the complaints are really petty and I am sick of seeing decent people catching grief.

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