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Development & Sprawl
Category archives for: Development & Sprawl

Single-Family Home Permits Up 29% in 1st Quarter as Construction in Palm Coast Churns

| April 2, 2014

Some 126 construction permits were issued for single-family homes in Flagler County in the first three months of the year, 88 of them in Palm Coast and 34 in the unincorporated part of the county.

The End: Palm Coast’s Books-A-Million, Flagler’s Only General-Interest Bookstore, Is Closing

| March 27, 2014

Books-A-Million in Palm Coast on Wednesday announced an everything-must-go sale ahead of closure, ending the town’s very brief romance with a bookstore larger than an attic. The company lost money in 2013. There is no known replacement for the store, a mainstay of the Target shopping center.

First Look at Palm Coast’s New City Hall Revives Old Questions About Cost and Taxes

| March 12, 2014

The Palm Coast City Hall plan drew pointed questions about security measures and cost controls as the city administration continued to pledge through accounting sophistry that taxes will not be raised or that property tax dollars will not be used for the project.

Palm Coast Dedicates Third Bike Maintenance Station, This Time in Frank Celico’s Memory

| March 11, 2014

It is Palm Coast’s third maintenance station. The Celico Foundation also donated one at the Lehigh Trail on Belle Terre Parkway and Royal Palms Parkway, near the fire station. The Palm Coast Observer and PC Bike donated the first one, located at Waterfront Park. The stations are part of Palm Coast’s emphasis on its trails.

How County Engineer Faith Alkhatib Saved Taxpayers $600,000 and Returned 12 Acres to Palm Coast and Flagler

| March 7, 2014

County Engineer Faith Alkhatib detected a recent state rule change that enabled a redesign of the coming Matanzas Woods Parkway interchange with I-95, netting a $600,000 saving and the return of 6 acres to Palm Coast and 6 acres to the county.

Palm Coast Scrambles To Right Its Way After Discovery That Bulldog Drive Is a County Road

| March 5, 2014

Palm Coast has never owned Bulldog Drive, a county road since 1956, though the city is widening the street, has acquired land alongside it and has engaged in an epic battle with business owner Gus Ajram as if the right of way were Palm Coast’s. City and county are speeding toward formalizing the city’s ownership.

Ailing Palm Harbor Shopping Center Poised To Revitalize Itself as Bigger Island Walk

| February 14, 2014

The remaking of Palm Harbor shopping center as Island Walk, with more and bigger stores in the old but semi-vacant heart of Palm Coast, has broad support despite a few unanswered questions, among them the likelihood that the shopping center will have enough tenants to fill the new space.

A Gas Station at the Corner of Pine Lakes and Wynnfield? Property Rights, Not Palm Coast, Would Prevail

| February 11, 2014

The Palm Coast City Council says it is powerless to stop a Cocoa-based company from building a gas station at the until-now wooded corner bordering the entirely residential W-Section, as the site has always been zoned commercial.

Discount Tire Store Construction Near Panera Abruptly Halted; Palm Coast Says It Had Nothing To Do With It

| February 4, 2014

Discount Tire is not explaining why it decided to stop construction on its planned store next to Panera Bread on SR100. The decision startled the city, which insists it had nothing to do with it.

A Flagler Farewell to 2013: The Local Year in Review

| January 1, 2014

A tornado, plane crashes and mishaps, Flagler County going bonkers for clunkers, a spate of murders in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach’s firehouse follies, Bunnell’s reality show: 2013 is ending not a moment too soon. But first, a review.

SBA Officials, Not FEMA, Touring Palm Coast Damage to Assess Residents’ Eligibility For Loans

| December 19, 2013

Federal officials are in Palm Coast today to assess the damage of last Saturday’s tornado, but they are not with FEMA, as the city previously said. Rather, they are officials with the Small Business Administration, assessing whether residents may qualify for loan assistance.

Federal Officials Descending on Palm Coast Thursday to Conduct House-By-House Evaluation for Aid

| December 18, 2013

Federal, state, county and city officials will be in Palm Coast’s B, C and F Sections starting Thursday morning to conduct an assessment of Saturday evening’s tornado and decide what financial aide, if any, may be released.

Palm Coast’s Ambitions for More Parks Soar, But Development Tax to Fund Them Declines

| December 11, 2013

Palm Coast’s park impact fees levied on new construction are about to decline by a few hundred dollars, though the city’s ambitious plans for new parks and recreational facilities over the next few decades are unchanged.

Palm Coast Unveils Design for a Spruced Up Community Center, With Premium on Visibility

| December 10, 2013

The Palm Coast Community Center on Clubhouse Drive and Palm Coast Parkway would potentially more than triple its current 5,800 square feet (to close to 20,000 square feet), and accommodate up to 200 people, starting with a $430,000 design in 2014 and first-phase construction in 2015.

Palm Coast Council Votes 5-0 For New City Hall in Town Center, With Move-In by End of 2015

| November 19, 2013

In the face of intense opposition, but also just as intense support, the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday said Yes to a new city hall. The 5-0 vote followed three hours of presentations, public comment and discussion before an overflow crowd at the Palm Coast Community Center, the largest crowd to turn up for any issue in recent memory.

Palm Coast Again Pitches New City Hall, No Referendum, as Chamber Orchestrates Support

| November 12, 2013

Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon on Tuesday choreographed a presentation focused on a $9 million city hall in Town Center he said can be built mostly with existing dollars–and without a referendum–as the Flagler Chamber of Commerce and the Palm Coast Observer worked on a letter-writing campaign to sway council members, who may vote on the plan next week.

Palm Coast Getting Fleeced of Red-Light Camera Dollars, Harming Local Economy

| November 1, 2013

In September, the 43 red-light cameras in Palm Coast generated $255,740 in fines, what would work out to an annual total of $3 million. The state and ATS, the private company running the system, took more than seven times the revenue share left Palm Coast, which means that the overwhelming majority of the money is leaving the local economy.

Town Hall Road Show: Residents Grill 4 Local Governments’ Heads in Freewheeling Forum

| October 9, 2013

A 90-minute town hall forum brought some 50 people to the Palm Coast Community Center to grill and hear Flagler County Commission Chairman Nate McLaughlin, Flagler Sheriff Jim Manfre, School Board Chairman Andy Dance, and Palm Coast City Council member Jason DeLorenzo address a long list of public concerns in a rare and informal cross-agency discussion.

Palm Coast Quietly Plans Community Center Expansion For Bridge Club, Raising Questions

| September 3, 2013

The Palm Coast Bridge Club and the Palm Coast city administration have agreed in principle on a plan that would have the bridge club writing a $250,000 check and the city building a facility it would lease to the Bridge Club as an expansion of the Community Center on Palm Coast Parkway.

Battle of the Trees: Palm Coast Slams Lawsuit’s “Inaccuracies” By Citing Inaccuracies of Its Own

| August 14, 2013

In an unusually long and defensive press release, Palm Coast counters an attempted injunction by Dennis McDonald–to stop the cutting of trees around Palm Harbor–by calling his claims “inaccurate” and “misleading,” even as the city itself makes flatly inaccurate claims about the age of trees it is about to remove, among other issues.

Court Injunction Sought to Stop Palm Coast’s Tree Removal Around Palm Harbor Center

| August 9, 2013

Calling Palm Coast’s tree removal illegal, resident Dennis McDonald filed an injunction in circuit court Thursday seeking to halt removals planned for road-widening and as part of a redevelopment of the Palm Harbor shopping center that may significantly alter the character of the area.

Cool to Sudden Roma Court Proposal, Flagler Sheriff Restates Preferences for Proximity

| August 8, 2013

Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre was surprised by an unexpected proposal from the owner of Roma Court, the chronically vacant strip mall on Palm Coast Parkway, to lease the building to the county for sheriff’s operations, and cited several factors that fall outside his preferred options.

From 50 Miles a Year to 5,600 Yards: Palm Coast’s Repaving Program Scales Back, Briefly

| August 5, 2013

Only four streets in the R Section will be repaved this year, beginning later this month, sharply contrasting with the 50-mile-a-year program that stretched over 10 years, but City Manager Jim Landon cautioned the city council that a more aggressive resurfacing program of perhaps 15 miles will have to be funded come next year, as streets again show deterioration.

Palm Coast Council Again Warms to City Hall Scheme That Would Snub Voter Permission

| July 31, 2013

City Manager Jim Landon is proposing a refurbished $6.8 million plan that would use general fund dollars to build a new city hall without raising taxes, even though $5.8 million of that–a repayment from the Town Center taxing district–could be used to lower property taxes or build other capital projects with broader public uses. Residents had roundly rejected a similar plan in 2010 and 2011, when the building would have cost $10 million.

Flagler Homes’ Median Sale Price Up 28% Over Last Year as Investors Keep Buying

| July 22, 2013

Sales closed on 200 single-family homes in June in Palm Coast and Flagler County, half those for cash as investors continue to buy homes. The median price of $144,500 is the best showing since February 2009. The median number of days those homes spent on the market was 71, an increase of eight days from last year.

Edifice Complex: Palm Coast Council Should Forget About Gang of Six’s Geezer Gimmick

| July 12, 2013

The Gang of Six–the former Palm Coast City Council members wanting to build a new city hall–are showing their age with the outdated nature of their idea, argues Merrill Shapiro. The council should forget their proposal and focus on the challenges of a rapidly changing city and society.

Palm Coast Council Sniffs at Gang of Six Push for New City Hall, Opting for Rental Analysis

| July 9, 2013

At least three council members are opposed to a new city hall, citing timing and the absence of a referendum, and in one case ridiculing a proposal put forth by aged and former council members pushing for a new building. But council members want clearer numbers about their options as the city’s three-year lease on its City Market Place digs nears expiration in November 2014.

It’s Back: Gang of Six Ex-Council Members Want Palm Coast to Build a New City Hall

| July 3, 2013

Ex-Mayor Jim Canfield leads the group of ex-council members asking the Palm Coast City Council to appoint a commission to study the financing and building of a new city hall. Despite warnings of the consequences from one of its own, the council agreed to take up the matter next week.

Shanghaied Water Rates: What Palm Coast Has in Common With China’s Largest City

| June 16, 2013

A seemingly outlandish comparison between the two cities turns out to be much less so–and much more instructive–when comparing the similarities of the two cities’ utility challenges, and the limited ways they can go about addressing them without, in the end, making the rate-payer pay.

Sniping Over for Now, County and Palm Coast Appear to Move on Matanzas Woods Exchange

| June 12, 2013

Palm Coast has the money to acquire properties affected by the Palm Harbor extension, but the city doesn’t yet have the money to build the extension toward the planned Matanzas Woods Parkway interchange at I-95. That hinges on the county making good on a series of promises.

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