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Work Crews–and Businesses–Idle Around Flagler Beach Farmers’ Market Land Dispute

| August 26, 2010

flagler beach street construction

Idling mess. (FlaglerLive)

Somebody’s survey sticks are screwy.

Last week, Bill Forehand, who runs Flagler Beach’s farmer’s market with his wife Zoee in the heart of the city, noticed survey pins around his land missing or removed. One of them was paved over. Removing survey pins is a violation of law. Monday morning, Forehand saw work crews readying to pour concrete for a new sidewalk along 2nd Street, between South Central and South Daytona. The work is part of Flagler Beach’s $5.5 million street reconstruction program. There was one problem with the work crews’ plan: they’d moved a line of rail tiles along the acre-odd property that delineates the market, and were about to pour concrete in such a way that it would have encroached on the private property. At least that’s how the Forehand survey had it.

Along South Central going toward State Road 100, where work is all but completed, the sidewalk encroaches on the Forehands’ property by a foot in some places, and close to two feet near the corner with SR100. The city had its own survey—and poured concrete where that survey’s lines commanded. But surveying is an exact science. Somebody made a mistake. If the Forehands’ surveyor made the mistake, work resumes. If the city made that mistake, it’ll have to tear up the sidewalk along South Central and start over, delaying the project’s completion further.

“We sent a letter to the city explaining what happened and expecting them to compensate us for the survey and putting our lines back,” Forehand said, “and haven’t gotten a response from them yet.” The Forehands have been taking turns all week, keeping watch at their property to make sure work crews don’t resume what they see as encroachment.

“We’re in the process of working on it,” Flagler Beach City Manager Bernie Murphy said Thursday evening. “ We’re having a surveyor come in, in fact he’s coming in tomorrow, seeing who’s right and who’s wrong and what we have to do or don’t do.”

Meanwhile, all work has stopped on the street, which has been torn up and closed to traffic for weeks. The torn up street is hurting businesses fronting it—the BeachHouse Beanery (whose main entrance is on South Central), Mason Music, the Salty Dog Lunch Spot, the Arts and Crafts Coop, the Big Easy Café and the Angel Godwin Gallery.

On Tuesday the Forehands’ lawyer, Dennis Bayer, requested in a letter to the city administrator that the city “immediately remove any concrete and construction materials that are on my clients’ property.” Barring that, Bayer wrote, the Forehands “will have no choice but to seek a stop work injunction” and head for court. The farmer’s market’s business hours on Fridays and Saturdays have not been affected.

The two sides may have a clearer idea of where the true lines fall by Friday.

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4 Responses for “Work Crews–and Businesses–Idle Around Flagler Beach Farmers’ Market Land Dispute”

  1. Kim Carney says:

    ALL of the businesses located in the south section of our City have been impacted by the storm water project. This project has closed S Central and S Daytona from S. 2nd to S. 5th in some capacity since January. None of the businesses wanted to live through this. The City and contractors have worked to keep access to businesses open while maintaining a safe area for visitors and local townspeople to continue to shop and dine. It’s amazing that a problem shows up at the end of the road construction. IF a mistake has been made I’m sure it is not intentional, but to bring out the local media, TV13 was upset to see the nightly news. Would have liked to see some positive news press instead of this.

  2. Rudy Smith says:

    Your photo speaks volumes. Can any one, any where, other than in a third world county, show me a more pitiful picture of a beach side community. Looks so depressing that I have to laugh.

    The Forehands do little as possible to maintain the property. Aesthetically, the property is an eye sore. Even on a good day their so called farmer’s market looks like a third rate yard sale. So, I have little empathy for their cause. Best, to me would for the City to annex the property and develop it into a more functional amenity.

    Of course, the city of Flagler Beach would botch that project up too. It seems to me that these two deserve each other. What a waltz.

  3. hogdick says:


  4. j. ricardi says:

    This is a mess especially for the businesses that are trying to survive. How long will this go on, and why did it happen? We have a CRA director who oversees the projects, and over her is a city manager and city commission. This is not a good image for future interests who might consider locating a business in the city.
    I understand the Forehands protecting their property rights. Wouldn’t anyone? If the city made the mistake who will pay for the redo? I hope it won”t fall on the taxpayers.

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