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New RaceTrac Gas Station Coming To Old Kings and SR100, Apartment Complex Eyed

| November 2, 2017

The Kings Pointe development at the corner of Old Kings Road and State Road 100 may finally be seeing some activity after a decade of immobility. (c FlaglerLive)

The Kings Pointe development at the corner of Old Kings Road and State Road 100 may finally be seeing some activity after a decade of immobility. (c FlaglerLive)

The plot of land has sat at the northeast corner of Old Kings Road and State Road 100—across from the car wash—cleared, ready for development but gapingly fallow for almost a decade, one of the many casualties of the housing bust. But its dormant years may be over.

The corner-most plot is under contract to be another RaceTrac gas station within months. And a portion of the land a few hundred feet north of that zone is being eyed for an apartment complex, with up to 136 apartments.

The Palm Coast Planning Board unanimously approved the required rezoning to enable the complex two weeks ago, from high-intensity commercial to multi-family residential. The 12-acre site for that development stretches mostly west to east, from the east side of Old Kings Road as it makes its final bend toward State Road 100 and the 37-acre Kings Pointe subdivision, which encircles a 16-acre lake. A conservation area east of the property would remain. A road entrance to the property is already in place.

“We don’t have any site plan, this property is not under contract, so there isn’t a lot of detail for me to talk about,” Charlie Faulkner, who represents the current property owner, said of the proposal. But the land has been in the current ownership for a quarter century, it’s been marketed for a dozen years, with the rezoning appearing to be a means of making that segment more appealing.

“This would be true to form a real mixed-use opportunity,” Faulkner said. “It might be hard to argue that there is a better place anywhere in the community for multi-family. It doesn’t have any neighbors to really disrupt. You’ve got recreation and shopping, restaurant, grocery store, even an elementary school and a hospital almost within walking distance, certainly a bike ride. And we put a lot of thought into this. I’ve been a proponent of doing this rezoning for probably six to eight years, and now we think the market is here.” He added: “If there is a deficit of any land use in our community, I think it is multi-family,” meaning apartments.

“To give a comparison,” Bill Hoover, a city planner, said, “if the rezoning was not approved and the property owner developed this later, like maybe with the property to the north or across the street, some of the things that we could have, just coming in for a site development plan, would be a car, RV or boat dealership. You could also have a heavy-equipment rental yard, home improvement store, gas dealership with bulk storage or animal boarding center.”

With the more intense residential zoning designation, which allows up to 12 units per acres in non-wetlands, they can be developed as condos, townhouses or apartments. It’s not likely that the development would total the maximum allowable 136 units. As required by law, the developer contacted all property owners within 300 feet of the development to present the proposal. The meeting drew no audience.

The subdivision was developed in 2008, with no activity since. “However, the development has heated up quite a bit,” Hoover said, with a surprise announcement: “RaceTrac Petroleum has one and a half lots right at the northeast corner of State Road 100 under purchase contract, and they have already submitted a site plan, and it looks like that project will more than likely move forward and it may start construction maybe in as quick as several months from now.”

That would be RaceTrac’s third gas station in Palm Coast, with a recent one opening at Seminole Woods Parkway and State Road 100 and its older station on Palm Coast Parkway.

The apartment development, Hoover said, would be compatible with its surroundings and the goals of the city’s comprehensive plan. There would be no transportation issue: Old Kings Road is four-laned, its level of service is rated A, meaning it’s not at all stressed by traffic.

But as happens almost automatically when apartment complexes are discussed or proposed in Palm Coast or Flagler County, opposition materialized.

A resident of Hidden Lakes, a development substantially north of the property on Old Kings North (it’s north of Town Center Boulevard and the Lehigh Trail), said he was concerned with the additional traffic in the area, particularly in relation to school buses. He was the first of several Hidden Lakes residents who made potentially increased traffic a focus of their concerns,  along with the fact that Old Kings Road is only two lanes north of Town Center Boulevard.

The 12 acres that would be rezoned for apartments, outlined in yellow. Click on the image for larger view.

The 12 acres that would be rezoned for apartments, outlined in yellow. Click on the image for larger view.

The concern was ironic, considering that the same Hidden Lakes residents are themselves already adding to the traffic patterns considerably more than would the apartment complex: they are part of a 380-lot subdivision that lets out on a two-lane road. The Institute of Traffic Engineers, the most authoritative source for this sort of information, notes that a single-family home generates about 10 trips per unit per week, compared to an apartment’s 7.5 to 8 trips per units.

The apartment complex, if built, would give out on a four-lane road, adjoining another four-lane road and an interstate. But existing residents—who themselves may have been the subject of older residents’ objections when their subdivision was up for permitting—typically use a few concerns, however distant from their homes or not founded in fact, as pretexts to oppose a certain kind of neighbor they just don’t want. The opposition is usually based more on prejudice than on evidence. That was the case when K-Section residents opposed a proposed apartment complex south of Belle Terre Boulevard, east of U.S. 1, earlier this year. It was the case when Bunnell and Palm Coast residents opposed an apartment complex near Palm Coast’s E Section. It happened again as opposition mobilized against the Old Kings re-zoning.

Carl Murphy, another resident of Hidden Lakes, asked whether the apartments would be subsidized—a reference to federal subsidies that help generally poorer residents afford rent. He then asked “why aren’t apartments being built at Town Center?” In fact, Town Center does have apartment complexes.

Murphy went on, revealing his deeper concern: “Since this was all laid out as some beautiful mixed-use thing, why not put the people here, and then they can go to Belle Terre Elementary, instead of taking people from our neighborhood and busing them across the city to accommodate something that was never at all zoned to begin with. I’d like to know those answers to those questions.” He said the property was being rezoned just to enable its sale, then added: “I’d like to see city council members or the developers living in these apartments for a while and see what they bring to our community. We’re not equipped with the infrastructure to have these people. We don’t want these people. We bought in the swamp to stay in the swamp. And we would ask simply that this be the commercial area that it was supposed to be, so that people will go home at night and the roads will be clear and they will not bring the crime or whatever it is that comes with people living on top of each other.”

These people is coded language for minorities and people with lesser means. (Murphy owns a 3,000-square-foot house currently valued at $242,000, according to the county’s property appraiser.) The comments are not unusual.

Tony Flores, another Hidden Lakes resident, said he moved to the community from Atlanta to escape traffic and seek “the good life.” He wanted to know who would pay for the needed infrastructure. “You should have had high-end retail stores here that’s going to create jobs for the community,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been wanting so we don’t have to go to Daytona or Jacksonville or St. Augustine.” In fact, the Kings Pointe development still has numerous available plots for just such stores, though commercial venues of the sort would generate substantially more traffic on Old Kings Road than would the apartment complex—a fact that appears to be of no concern to Hidden Lakes residents, again underscoring the nature of their opposition. In effect, an apartment complex would lower the amount of traffic on Old Kings, if the choice is between apartments and shops.

John Bockelmann, yet another resident of Hidden Trails, raised the question of “tax credits” or “anything else that might affect the rest of us taxpayers.” (The developer will have to pay one-time impact fees, which are like a tax and run in the thousands of dollars per unit, to defray the impact of development on transportation, fire services, parks and so on. The impact fees don’t affect existing residents. To the contrary. They are intended to shift the cost of development onto the new arrivals, so as not to overburden existing taxpayers.)

The whole zone is in a special taxing district Palm Coast established a few years ago to repay the $6.7 million debt it incurred when it rebuilt Old Kings Road to accommodate an eventual Walmart supercenter. That was before Walmart pulled out and left the city holding the bag, making the special taxing district necessary. Property owners along Old Kings are all part of that taxing district.

Faulkner stressed that there are no current plans for apartments there. “This is just the beginning,” he said, referring to a series steps ahead. “So we’re a long way from seeing anything built there,” though he said there are four different entities from around the country interested in the site, all four with different concepts.

Faulkner then addressed their more prejudice-laced issues directly.

“Apartments or multi-family often times have a stigma that goes with them,” he said. “All I can say is point out to everybody, if you take a step back from the emotion, maybe most of us at some point in our life have lived in an apartment building for a while. I did. It’s when you first start out as a young professional, you don’t have a lot of money saved up and you may not be bringing home that big of a salary. Apartments are a necessary and in my opinion a vital ingredient for a vibrant, healthy community. A lot of people refer to it as workforce housing. Well, that means construction guys, it also means school teachers and firemen and nurses. Not everybody at a point in their lives that needs an apartment building is a detriment to our community at large. And I’d like for everybody to keep that in mind.”

Palm Coast he said, citing Helga van Eckert, the county’s economic development director, is in great need of apartments for its workforce. Planning Board member Jake Scully and others noted that there are many single-family homes in Palm Coast now being used as rentals. Apartment complexes could alleviate that issue.

“Why should all the citizens universally oppose multi-family anywhere in this area?” Scully asked, after another board member echoed the residents’ objections based on not knowing what the complex might look like. “That seems to be your universal stance every time multi-family comes in front of this board. I’d like to know why.”

The answer is less mysterious than it may appear.

The Palm Coast City Council next takes up the rezoning matter at its Nov. 7 meeting, what would be the first of two votes before the rezoning is approved.

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35 Responses for “New RaceTrac Gas Station Coming To Old Kings and SR100, Apartment Complex Eyed”

  1. finally says:

    more apts hip hip horray

  2. jadobi says:

    Oh my… I can’t wait to read the comments… “we need this, we don’t need that”…etc

  3. Chris A Pickett says:

    What we really need are STREET LIGHTS in Palm Coast……………….end of lesson.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Palm coast has Street lights and a hint if driving at night your auto also has LIGHTS… LOL

  5. Layla says:

    What we need here are tax dollars. And renters do not provide much needed tax dollars. This would have made an excellent site for a shopping mall. Disappointed in this one.

  6. blondee says:

    No additional Section 8 housing!!

  7. Layla says:

    Will there be any federal dollars going to the developer to build these units? Do we have the jobs and the services available to support these people? Or will we end up paying more in the long run to provide them?

  8. r&r says:

    AN says is right. Early in the morning there are a lot of cars driving without head lights. There should be a law that head lights must be on while you’re driving at all times, day and/or night.

  9. deb stolley says:

    and still no WaWa.

  10. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ Layla

    What a judgemental thing to say. So because I don’t pay property tax as a RENTER my tax dollars spent on purchases don’t count? The hours I spend volunteering in the community don’t count?

    Some of us might not be in a position to own but have a long term stable renting history and are gainfully employed. Some of us renters are not Section 8 and don’t need your hand out. I see how you feel about people less fortunate than you.

    I don’t understand why Palm Coast has to have 2 or more of the same thing. We have multiple Kangaroo’s 3 or 4 McDonald’s and several of the same cell phone stores. Now we need another Racetrac just a mile or so down the road?

    Shopping malls are a thing of the past with Amazon and Walmart competing with 2 day shipping. Eventually the big brick and mortar stores will go away as well.

    Anyone ever stop and think what kind of environmental impact all these gas stations will have in one area? I bet not. And traffic on 100 is already horrible.

    I have been in Palm Coast over 12 years and have really seen growth. Eventually our infra structure won’t be able to handle the building and influx of people in the area.

    Palm Coast and Flagler County need to upgrade our infra structure before allowing anymore development,

  11. Alphonso Zeimers says:

    Thank almighty God for the wisdom of the Palm Coast leadership. I am totally excited about hearing
    of another gas station. The next thing we should focus on is more burger joints and pizza parlors.
    Please don’t attempt to get any high quality technical companies into this area as the better paying jobs
    would bring nothing but fairly intelligent individuals into the area. Lord knows we don’t want any decent people
    when we can pick up societies dregs a lot easier.

  12. Steadfastandloyal says:

    Its not the apartments in and of themselves, but more concerning are the slum lords that own and manage these properties. Case in point, Palm Pointe, I know it’s Bunnell but a classic example of apartments mismanaged with non existent landlords or owners. Screening the owners and landlords closely ensures quality of living.

  13. Rob says:

    Regarding taxes. The owner of the proposed apartments would pay property taxes and pass that cost along to the renters through increased rents. Over time the owner of the property (passed along to the renters) would pay considerably more in property taxes than a residential home owner since they don’t get the homestead deduction and are not subject to the save our homes property tax caps that us homeowners enjoy. The renters get hurt in the end and subsidize the tax breaks the we home owners benefit from. Most of us have rented at some point in our lives and need nice places to stay, while at the same time benefiting the entire community.

  14. I Be Erudite says:

    For the record, all property is taxed based on its valuation. Residential homes actually qualify for a homestead exemption if owner occupied. Apartments don’t get homestead exemptions. Therefore, a portion of the rent paid by the renter is used by the owner to pay property taxes. Palm Coast desperately needs workforce housing. Many young professionals prefer apartments for the flexibility to move when needed for a new job and also for amenities. There is nothing wrong with apartments. Look at Integra Woods on Seminole Woods Parkway and you will see an excellent example of how apartments can be not only beautiful but a big asset to the labor force. Palm Coast will never attract new industries without workforce housing.

  15. ConstantlyAmazed says:

    Just what Palm Coast needs, another Raceway Gas station you would think the Palm Coast government would of had enough with all the classy clinentele haunting the Seminole Woods location after dark that there would be no consideration to have another one 2 miles away. Especially competing to the gas sataions that are there.
    Regarding the apartments I can see the headlines now.

  16. Realist says:

    It will get approved as the politicians are all bought off and Palm Coast is slowly dying. They are intent on destroying what was once a great place to live. Keep bringing these things in. Like we do not have enough crime.

  17. Steve Vanne says:

    I moved here 10yrs ago. Palm Coast was a nice quit place to live. People were friendly, traffic was light. Now after 10yrs traffic much worst and people not nearly friendly at all. Everyone seems to be in a hurry. Now were going to build another Racetrack a mile less than where the other Racetrack is. Why its all about money. People running this town r ruining it. I don’t see myself staying here much long. Its sad…

  18. Ernie Tykarski says:

    Just what we need is more traffic and with more people there will be more crime.
    We have enough of both that is out of control now!
    What the city really needs is a new city planner and get rid of Landon.

  19. Layla says:

    @concerned citizen, I was referring to PROPERTY TAXES.

  20. Edman says:

    I am a financially well off retire but remember when starting out renting as well as after I sold my home but the new one was not built yet. Let’s stop the class warfare and remember that we all are in this together and must support each other as a community. Diversity (financial as well as race and religion makes us stronger.

  21. another vet says:

    In ten more years Palm coast will be just like every suburb up north and the people who moved here to get away from that will move again,then what will this place be like

  22. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how ignorant MANY are on how PRIVATE property gets developed. They seem to think that Government is responsible to pick and choose how one uses their land within existing land use codes.

  23. smarterthanmost says:

    We need another gas station like we need another hurricane.

  24. Included in the rent says:

    FYI- renters do pay property tax since it’s usually included in their rental price which may also include homeowners insurance and mortgage payment if the homeowner doesn’t own the property already. Just because a renter doesn’t get a property tax bill in the mail doesn’t mean they don’t pay property tax and that’s because it’s already IN THE RENTAL PRICE.

  25. Layla says:

    We need a larger commercial tax base in this town to offset the rising property taxes. Does Palm Coast do any planning for all this? And yes, of course we have to have affordable housing as well.

  26. Algernon says:

    Well said Edmon. Your brief comments are the kindest and best of the lot above. Thank you.

  27. Sherry says:

    Thank you Edman. . . you are certainly correct and compassionate.

    Regarding property taxes. . . renters do pay them as part of their monthly rental payments to the owner. . . who then pays taxes to the government.

    By the way. . . if the property tax deduction is CUT by the Republican tax plan, those rents are bound to go UP! How is that benefiting the working citizen? We should all be paying close attention to the deductions they are quietly eliminating from our income taxes. Many of us will actually end up paying MORE in taxes. . . while the wealthy corporations get their taxes cut across the board.

    Anyone who buys the Koolaid that more and better paying jobs will be the result of cutting corporate taxes, ask yourself this: Most companies are making “record profits” TODAY, and we are at FULL EMPLOYMENT TODAY . . . Why are wages NOT going up TODAY?

    Does anyone really believe that cutting taxes for the wealthy will benefit the hard working middle class? Think about it. . . Really?

  28. Reality Check says:

    Everyone will agree that greater the population density, the greater the number of crimes that are committed. Whether its apartments or single famililies home, the biggest obstacle to overcome is instilling a tie to the community which you do not get from renters (refering to those who move repeatedly over a relatively short period of time.) There exists no pride in ownership on a one year lease. Lets concentrate on making home ownership more affordable.

  29. john says:

    simply get a guarantee from builder that no section 8 will be rented. this will calm everyone down

  30. T.J. says:

    I live in the sugar mill area on old kings road, and Halloween traffic is terrible. Now, if we were to build these apartments, 800-100 More people will flock down to this area to go trick or treating. and that will cause crime on halloween to spike.

  31. Anonymous says:

    We need a Culver’s, Costco and WaWa….what are our elected officials doing to attract these businesses to Flagler County?????

  32. palmcoaster says:

    Now this approved by Planning Board so many hundreds apartment units to benefit a wealthy developer, will be added sewer service to our current decaying sewer system promoting more e-coli tainted flood water to flood our streets and some homes in Palm Harbor area C section and wonder where else in the city and the never ending long lines of sewage tanks emergency loading of our brownies with every rain storm..? What we need in Palm Coast given our lack of proper sewer and drainage infrastructure is to put a moratorium in all development until our sewer and drainage system is properly upgraded…as we do not have the capacity to add anymore businesses or dwellings to the old decrepit one we have built by ITT around 1975.
    On rainy days not necessary hurricane, all the pumps along clubhouse drive go on read light ringing all night and day to the hearing pleasure of the adjacent residents never mind the “Brownies” tank trucks marching for night and days emptying our discards so they do not back up in our homes to an outrageous cost like was made public with Irma well over half a million cost. And all this to benefit greedy developers that run FL and anyone we elect to office any way they want.

  33. palmcoaster says:

    Also while people keeps electing realtors, insurance agent owners, bankers, gun shop owners, former school boards officials, lawyers and lobbyist to be our representatives, then developers will keep running FL. Is my perception and to the financial and quality of life loss of the existing tax payers residents.

  34. It's only one night says:

    @TJ – Are you seriously complaining about the traffic on one night of the year? That’s seems extremely petty and obnoxious to complain about traffic on one single night of the year. I mean, come on, really? Sugarmill has been very kind over the years to allow kids a safe and fun place to trick or treat where they know there are no sexual predators or pedophiles living in these homes as opposed to kids walking up and down streets knocking on doors belonging to god knows who. I haven’t heard of really any crime going on at Sugarmill during Halloween so where would the crime rate spike be that you’re referring to? Lighten up a little bit will ya?

  35. Eileen Araujo says:

    If Race Trac hires 12 people and the apartment complex hires 8, where are the other 112 gonna work? Key word needed here….INDUSTRY….

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