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Protesters Gather at Bing’s Landing, But Captain’s BBQ Owner Willing To ‘Hit the Drawing Board Again’

| November 26, 2018

The number of protesters lining State Road A1A outside Bing’s Landing Sunday fluctuated between two and three dozen.
(© FlaglerLive)

Between two and three dozen people turned out Sunday afternoon for a hastily-arranged protest of Flagler County government’s controversial new lease with Captain’s BBQ at Bings Landing. Along the way one of the restaurant’s owners, who turned up to speak with protesters about their concerns, said he was willing to hear alternative ideas, suggesting that the matter may not be entirely settled on either side.


The County Commission approved the lease in a 3-2 vote last week before the largest crowd to turn up for a meeting in three years. The lease allows Captain’s BBQ to build a new restaurant with a larger footprint more toward the center of the park, just north of its existing structure, which its owners say requires too many continuous repairs to be salvageable in the long term. The owners are footing the bill of the new building for the popular restaurant. But the county submitted the plan to the commission with little advance preparation, no corroborating documentation about the building’s failings and no warnings to the Hammock community, much of which reacted with anger and dismay.

“Something needs to be done. We went to the board meeting and no one listened,” said Shari Gray, who organized the protest through an online posting after Thanksgiving at Nextdoor.com that quickly re-circulated through members of the Scenic A1A Committee and on Facebook neighborhood pages. Protesters started showing up before 2 p.m. outside Bing’s Landing along State Road A1A with makeshift placards bearing “Save Our Park” messages.

“They don’t like their building, which is fine, it’s nice to have a restaurant here, I’m not against the restaurant,” Gray said. “They say the building is beat up and needs repair. I understand. I don’t think it should be at the cost of the county’s people’s money for them to tear down trees. They told us that there’d only be one oak tree torn down and a couple of palms. I don’t see how they’re going to do that without tearing down the rest of them. They shot this thing through, no one knew about this meeting, and they shot it through the night before the new commissioners were sworn in.”

The commission took its vote the night before the swearing-in of Commissioner Joe Mullins in place of Nate McLaughlin. McLaughlin cast the deciding vote. Mullins at the beginning of the meeting spoke in opposition to the commission stacking that evening’s agenda ahead of him taking his seat.

At 12:25 p.m. Sunday, County Attorney Al Hadeed emailed the five county commissioners and Craig Coffey, the county administrator, to alert them of the protest he’d just heard of. “I am not sounding any alarms or anything of the sort,” he wrote them. “You well may know these things already from other sources, so no offense meant to your grassroots knowledge. I do not want any of you caught off guard in case the media contacts you about any ‘protest’ efforts.” He also told commissioners he did not know “the capability of the folks who are against the relocation,” but said they were attempting to mount a legal challenge to the commission’s decision.

7-year-old Giovanna Cohill. (© FlaglerLive)

7-year-old Giovanna Cohill. (© FlaglerLive)

If there was a goal among the protesters, it was echoed in Gray’s wish about the restaurant: “Leave it the way it is,” Gray said. She’d brought along her 7-year-old granddaughter Giovanna Cohill, who carried a sign that read, “No Bar Near Playground.”

Randy Odom, a prospective business owner preparing to open a 34-seat restaurant on A1A, says the county’s Technical Review Committee turned down several other restaurants for not having the right parking-to-seat ratio or septic capacity, though each business would have had a smaller footprint than Captain’s. “And you had to have your plan, your septic, your parking, you had to have all these things completed before you go to the TRC,” Odom said. “These guys walk in there with a sketch, no parking plan, no septic plan, no plan whatsoever other than a sketch that says we want 150 seats and this is how we want to structure it. So they didn’t have to follow any of the rules, so they’re giving this particular entity an enormous advantage. And what’s going to happen to the other restaurants in the area?”

The other goal of the protest was to gather more petitions, though to what end is not clear. “That’s a good question,” Dennis Clark said in response to a question about the lease-opponents’ next move. Clark heads the Scenic A1A Committee, but was acting in his capacity as a Hammock resident individually: the committee itself voted to approve the lease earlier this month, then several of its members said they would not have done so had they actually been presented with the lease itself. Like many protesters, they are objecting to the dilution of the lease’s original terms. (See the original 2011 lease here, the 2015 amendment here, the amendment’s exhibit here, and the newest lease here.)

Clark said a “a challenge to what the county did” on eight potential grounds could be in preparation: he has circulated an online appeal for a legal fund. “We may have found a few ways to tackle this,” he said. “Also it’s possible the board could overturn their decision at the next meeting when Joe Mullins is on.”

Flagler County Commissioner Don O'Brien. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County Commissioner Don O’Brien. (© FlaglerLive)

Commissioner Don O’Brien was one of two dissenters in the vote, along with Charlie Ericksen. O’Brien still has issues with the way the lease was pushed through the commission but questions whether the matter can be revived.

“I don’t know how we can do that, it’s a lease and it’s my understanding the lease was executed, so I don’t know how you can go back on a contract, that’s an Al question I’d have to ask,” O’Brien said, referring to Hadeed, the county attorney. “I’m sure there’s a way to reverse a motion that was made, through Robert’s Rules there’s a way to do that. But again I don’t know what legal jeopardy that puts us in.”

There is no black and white answer as to whether and how an issue may be revisited by a government body. Robert’s Rules is the guide the commission follows, but it’s not legally binding. Commissioners may choose to revisit an issue by a majority vote, according to its provisions, but that would require a commissioner in the majority of the 3-2 vote to make the motion to revisit it. That would now have to be either Commissioner Greg Hansen or Dave Sullivan. The motion may not be made by O’Brien, Ericksen or Mullins, but one of the three may second it. The commission could also opt to dispense with Robert’s Rules and move from there. But the Captain’s BBQ issue remains a contractual matter which, if re-opened, could draw objections from Captain’s owners. They are represented by lawyer Jay Livingston.

That said, O’Brien said the issue remains cloudy. “I still have questions about process and what it looks like and still feel frustrated that we didn’t do a good enough job explaining to the people that had issues,” O’Brien said. “It’s also one of those things, a 3-2 vote, sometimes you have to accept what the majority voted because that’s the way we do business, that’s the way every commission does business.”

Reached in mid-afternoon Monday, Mullins said he would be interested in discussing the issue–not to prevent the deal, but to make it more transparent and perhaps amend it along more palatable lines. “My concern is not Captain’s, it’s not what the public is doing, it’s the perception of the way this was pushed through to them, and I feel like it gave the business a bad rap, and it gave the public that bad taste,” Mullins said. He noted that there was willingness on Captain’s part to talk, and there’s room for a clearer understanding of what’s ahead. “I’m not going to vote it down but I’m not going to vote for it until I understand it,” Mullins said. Describing himself as pro-business and pro-growth, he said Captain’s has an important role to play at Bing’s, and places the blame for the controversy largely on the county administration’s part.

But one of the more interesting parts of the protest was what developed about half an hour into it between a couple of protesters–Barbara Royer and her sister–and Chris Herrera, who, along with Mike Goodman, is the Captain’s BBQ lease holder. Royer, who held up an “Impeach Commissioner Hansen” sign, was on the more vocal, more extreme side of the protesters.

Captain's BBQ co-owner Chris Herrera, left, at the beginning of a long exchange with Barbara Royer during the protest. (© FlaglerLive)

Captain’s BBQ co-owner Chris Herrera, left, at the beginning of a long exchange with Barbara Royer during the protest. (© FlaglerLive)

“We need to do something about this crap,” Royer had said minutes before Herrera showed up.

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out is what common ground is, because Barbara here has one gripe about the situation, I can talk to somebody else who has something completely different,” Herrera said. “At the end of the day I’m a fisherman, and I cook barbecue. I don’t deal with politics, I don’t deal with county government and I never want to be a politician because you’re never going to make everybody happy, you’re always going to have the split thing, that’s why the only reason I’m out here, I just want to be a good neighbor. I’m hearing people’s concerns. When I pulled in here, Ms. Barbara here was pretty upset, and I said that’s the first person I want to talk to because there’s no reason she should be upset.”

They talked, but in the end Royer wouldn’t budge, leveling more accusations and anger at Herrera than engaging in the sort of dialogue that Herrera seemed genuinely to be seeking: he had placed himself in the thick of the protest, and on several occasions gave Royer openings that he was willing to revisit the plans.

“If you guys feel like there’s something better we can do, I’m down for the discussion,” Herrera told her. “I just want to hear your concerns and hear anything you have to say.”

“What I see happening here is not for the best,” Royer tells him, speaking of her parents who moved away from crowds to be in the Hammock in 1994. She moved in 14 years ago to take care of her ailing father. “I used to come over here, my parents used to come over here, play with the park, the kids, the playground, and now you want to have liquor besides beer? This is totally wrong, what you’re doing.”

Herrera explains his plan and why he can’t build in the same place: “Building in the same location would be fantastic,” he says. “It’s just time and effort: how long was it going to take to rebuild. Let’s say a year.”

bing's landing protest captain's bbq

Shari Gray, who organized the protest. (© FlaglerLive)

“All right,” Royer says.

“So I lose all my employees for a year. So now I’ve got to look and start a business over again. This is a contractual obligation from the county to me. I’m just a tenant. We came up with this idea to alleviate some of the stress off the county. We think it’s a good idea. Of course you’re going to get 1,000 people say we love it, you get 1,000 people they say they hate it.”

“What’s the stress on the county?” Royer asks.

“That’s going to cost a lot of money to redo that building,” Herrera says.

“The county shouldn’t have to pay for it, it’s your restaurant,” Royer says. But the county wouldn’t be paying for it: the proposal is for Captain’s to pay the full cost of new construction. The fact does not alter Royer’s objections.

Herrera continues: “So as a good tenant we said look, we can afford to put a new building up for you, no cost to the taxpayer, and let’s work something out. They thought it was a great idea. I don’t know how they conveyed it to the public, I agree it was probably a piss-poor way of doing it.”

“It was never conveyed to the public,” Royer says, as she and her sister object to the way the issue was rammed through the commission with little vetting.

“This had nothing to do with me,” Herrera tells her, distancing himself from the county’s method. “You have as much say about what happened in that meeting as I do. I’m just the tenant.”

Royer’s recurring complaint sharpens as the conversation progresses: it’s growth she objects to, in the Hammock and in Palm Coast. “We don’t need any more growth in Palm Coast. We don’t,” she says. “And I fault the county for allowing this to happen, and I fault you because you are in with” the county.

save bing's landing poster

(© FlaglerLive)

Cars are passing by, often honking in support of the protesters, who by then have attracted the attention of Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies. Two deputies’ patrol cars are parked across the street.

Royer says that now that the restaurant is operating, she’s not opposed to it. Few people are. “But it doesn’t need to get bigger,” she says. “I don’t want you to expand this. If you’re going to keep it, really I loved it, everybody here loved your barbecue, but when we found that you’re going to expand and take away these lovely oak trees that we’ve lost already–”

“No, I want to clarify that,” Herrera tells her, inviting her to walk with him to show what trees will remain and what trees will go, “if they were to come down.” He tells her he’d never take down a century-old tree (the restaurant actually renovated around one so as to preserve it) and says, somewhat disingenuously, that the parking “has nothing to do with me.” In fact, additional parking, while a county responsibility, is tied to the lease agreement, which states that the county “agrees to use best effort to expand visitor parking at the park by at least 30 parking spaces within 24 months” of the new restaurant opening.

Royer walks with Herrera to the area of the prospective construction. He shows her where the building would go, and what trees would not be impacted. Royer is half-distracted by a side-exchange with a restaurant customer after briefly looking inside the structure. She tells Herrera: “You’re not convincing me Chris,” and adds: “He listens to me, I listen to him, but it’s not going to change.” She says she wants to get somewhere, “but we can’t get anywhere with the county.”

“Let me be your voice, let me help,” Herrera says. “It’s to hear their concerns and maybe we can go back and hit the drawing board again.”

Herrera has just told Royer that the plans can still be worked over, a startling statement. But Royer doesn’t seem to have heard him. She’s worried that a man walked into the restaurant without shoes (a sign in the window permits it) and talks about people’s morals “going down the toilet.” Royer and Herrera then part company.

“She’s saying it’s all about you, it’s all about you,” Herrera says afterward. “You know her, it’s all about her. She moved here, she doesn’t want any change, she doesn’t want any development, but you know what, life goes on, we’re a growing community, this is what growth is all about, because more and more people are moving here every year, and growth is inevitable. It is what it is. I’m just trying to hear their issues, and if I can make something happen, I’ll try my best. That’s all I can do.”

Asked specifically about his earlier statement, being willing to go back to the drawing board, Herrera is unequivocal: “Absolutely. Why not? Why not? But if I’m talking to crazy people, it’s all about me, me, me, me, like she’s saying it’s all about me, it’s really about her, there’s no reasoning with people like that. But if people got legitimate concerns–too big, take another tree, maybe we can move it somewhere else, I’m always up to listening. This is my community. I love my community. Why wouldn’t I want to be a good neighbor and listen to my neighbors?”

An hour in, the protest is still stretched along A1A, now with a couple of deputies urging the protesters to move back from the asphalt.

At 3 p.m., the sound of a crash: a Jeep rear-ends David McKay’s Maserati in the northbound lane of A1A, just past the protesters. McKay had stopped behind a vehicle that was making a left turn into Bing’s, and the Jeep’s driver had apparently been distracted by the protest, braking too late. No one was hurt, the damage was very minor, affecting only bumpers (and the resale value of the Maserati). The protest carried on.

save our park

(© FlaglerLive)

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40 Responses for “Protesters Gather at Bing’s Landing, But Captain’s BBQ Owner Willing To ‘Hit the Drawing Board Again’”

  1. Peaches McGee says:

    The county does what the county wants.

    Be damned with the plants, flowers, trees, or birds and the bees.

    Donate money to the correct people and you too can do what you want, no matter where you want.

    Allowing a full liquor bar near a county park with children is another wonderful idea.

  2. GrowUpPC says:

    The City of Palm Coast is growing and has been growing on the other side of the bridge for years. Now all of the sudden, this is the issue and people don’t want the growth to continue? I guess it is the old story….It is not my problem until it affects me. Captains BBQ is a growing business in a bldg that has out lived its functional life. The business needs to expand and is willing to do so without my tax dollars paying for it. This is generous and the City should be all for it. As for liquor and beer being close to the park areas – show me a boat that is launched near the park without beer on it! That would be something to write about!

  3. Rick Kgan says:

    Bing’s Landings Deal looks like a Rhode Island Corruption Deal!

  4. Dave says:

    Let’s take this opportunity to jus remove this eye sore and bbq company from the property once and for all! The whole deal was shadey and other restaurants didnt have a chance, let’s keep the park for our children and kick Captains to the curb. #saveBings

  5. Ben Hogarth says:

    It’s completely irrelevant that the protesters gathered in opposition for varying and different reasons. I guarantee you that even at a basic understanding, these folks can agree on one thing – the entire “due process” was not followed by the County. If such process had been followed, and these folks were still in opposition, it would resolve itself at the next election and they would be so resolved to that end.

    To Commissioner O’Brien, I would remind you that the Commission’s vote could easily be invalidated by the Circuit Court if the petition is filed for review. The Commission may not need to concern itself with reversing the initial decision – especially considering the very slim chance that the motion would be brought back by a sitting Commission who previously voted in the affirmative.

    Of course, it would be prudent for the Commission to do so, less it costs taxpayers more money defending what is entirely the fault of administration and those Commissioners who voted for the item.

    To Dennis Clark, the A1A Committee, and any other concerned residents – pursue this legal issue because it is a worthwhile endeavor. I truly believe that once the judge sees both the lack of due process and inherent Florida Constitutional violation – the decision (and executed lease) will be invalidated. The reasons for this I have stated in my comments on the prior articles.

  6. Kathy says:

    I wish I had known about the protesters, my husband and I would have been there. Please don’t hurt our park. Every young person that visits us, we take them there. It’s so sad that the dynamics and HISTORY of the park will change.

  7. Dianna says:

    Wish I had known about the protest. I would have gladly attended. I hope Captain’s is feeling it in their pocketbook. If the building is in such disrepair, then the County should just tear it down and call it a day. Let the owners put on their big boy underpants and go find another location and pay rent, real estate tax, sales tax, utilities, etc., like all the other business owners on A1A and elsewhere.

  8. Robin says:

    Captain’s BBQ is a favorite restaurant of ours! That said, I think the County should take down the pavilion by the water, put the new building there, then replace the pavilion where the existing restaurant is located. This way the restaurant is still waterside, and not dominating the park.

  9. John Kent says:

    Isn’t it wonderful that there is no legal problem thru political bribes to get County approval for unfair rent and altogether business deal in front of everyone yet there “could be a problem” to challenge or revisit or reverse it! The whole system is rotten to the core. Every small, local government stinks so badly.

  10. palmcoaster says:

    Mr. Herrera is not about us, is about our park pristine green spaces to be preserved for future generations the unobstructed view of our water front among the palm trees and the non assigned minimum 30 more parking spaces and the 4 boat docks exclusive assigned to your customers and the full liquor license on a public owned park.

    Captains as is (as I believe the name refers you as I fishing boat captain in this county) BBQ will do a great favor to us all if will remain as is with a current building renovated by you in stages so you do not need to close while work takes place and the cost funded by you…Or if the cost funded by us the county, then you need to pay the proper lease on a water front spot that would be about ten times what you pay now at $750.

    You had a great deal for 6 years and the only thing we ask is you just continue doing the same great deal you have until now and please do not squeze more from us. We do not need your building after 26 years taking all the space plus minimum 30 more parkings and 4 or 5 boat docks. We love our park as is…so please stay were you are.

  11. atilla says:

    Hansen and Coffey are probably hiding under their rocks and avoiding something like this.

  12. Tax payer says:

    I say bring this back before the BOCC now that Nate McLaughlin is GONE and repeal this and save BINGS. I can’t help but what wonder if this wasn’t pushed through to secure a job for Nate McLaughlin now that he can no longer suck up any more of our tax dollars. McLaughlin isn’t fit to hold any type of office….he talks out of both sides of his mouth and is a pawn. What is he and Coffey going to do now????

  13. Concerned Citizen says:

    So the BOCC was concerned about backtracking on an unethical lease agreement? LOL that’s priceless. I guess they were afraid Captains might ask for “campaign contribution” money to be refunded.

    Where was the “concern” when they negotiated this lease without proper notice?

    Glad to see the protesting and petitions. It is making a difference. The only reason Chris Herra is showing concern now is because he got caught.

  14. Daryl says:

    The ENTIRE article misses the point, the FACT is the county is and continues to subsidize Captains BBQ you could not get a 1 bedroom apt. for $750.00 per month. AND no property taxes AND parking sewer paid for by county AHAHAH. You are SO getting hosed Flagler county. End the lease put it out to bid whoever brings the county best deal takes over. Any commercial realtor will tell you his lease is bogus. Privatize the profits subsidize the expenses.

  15. Concerned Citizen says:

    The “Lease agreement” is a building contract! It’s BS. Just another way to hide things from the general public.

  16. Edith Campins says:

    Wish I had known about the protest, we would certainly been there with friends.

    As for “GROWUP PC”‘s comment. You don’t seem to understand that this has nothing to do with growth. There are plenty of waterside properties for sale in the same area. This is about using property tha tbelongs to all citixens for private gain. And if you don’t think you are being cheated out of tax dollars, lookat the “rent”. This is not a business that offers al otof employment to local residents either.

    Why was there no open bidding? Why was there no opportunity for citizen input before the decision? Why the rush?

  17. A Hammock Resident says:

    Captain’s got a sweet deal, open to no one else, pushed through without proper procedure the rest of us would have to go through, and must think us residents are fools. Those who state this is not being done at taxpayers expense are delusional.

  18. tulip says:

    to GROW UP PC They may be going to build this at the owners expense BUT, if you go back and read the articles, they will pay no taxes or anything. This will cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who do you think is going to pick up the tab for the taxes lost. Every other business in this county pays taxes, etc it is wrong to give the owners of the Captains an exemption, no matter what.

    I give the protesters credit for speaking their minds. Maybe if more people got involved in issues they don’t like, or even those they do like, this county would be better served because they leaders wouldn’t be able to do as they please and bully the people into submission.

  19. KJ says:

    My wife and I wish we knew of the protest as we too would have been there. This issue is too important not to keep fighting it. The whole process sounds fishy and potentially illegal, I hope someone can get The Conservation Law Foundation or the Trust for Public Land or some good intentioned pro-bono law firm to fight this deal. Too bad we don’t have an Attorney General who represents the people instead of corporations then perhaps we could ask her to defend the taxpayer dollars that were used to keep this a public park not a special favor playground for politicaly connected cronies.

  20. Surfgod88 says:

    I have not seen anyone mention any archaeological surveys. I would think if they start site excavations, they may very likely come across significant artifacts that would necessitate more costs and delays. Would that stop the effort or would it even matter?

    Probably one of the big reasons Captain’s is experiencing such positive cash flow is because of the low rent. Now that they are ahead of the curve and want to expand, they should move off site and invest in their own land and building or lease from a private landowner. Either that or patch up the current building as several people think is highly possible.

  21. Steve Ward says:

    Nothing more than another PC under the table Political repay. There is no reason to build a BBQ joint in our park. This place is loaded with one of the worst when it comes to Govt. SMH IT will be done no matter what the Constituents say. Corrupt

  22. Jw says:

    If the business wants to do business in that location let them dump tons of money into buying expensive land and develop themselves. Why should the municipality play land developer? Go on down the road.

  23. ASF says:

    And I guess none of these “environmentalists” had many, if any, concerns when they built THEIR properties.

  24. Follow the Rules says:

    Captains BBQ is in violation of their Lease Section 7. Hours; April thru November (7 Days a week) from 6:30 am to 7:00pm. December through March seven (7) days week from 7:00am to 4:00pm. When does a bait shop open at 11:00? Will the new restaurant have live bait and bait shop hours?

  25. El says:

    Chris Herrera grew up here. I bet the majority of you comenters and protesters can not say that. How many of you can say you are a local boy who did well enough to create a business in his home county? I love how you all are fine with corruption when it suits you. Where were all of you when the Hammock was developed by Giinn? I saw no protesters then. But a small business makes a deal and you people lose your damn minds. Before anyone pulls some oh look a person defending the owner crap. Let me say this.Chris was friends with my step brother, not me. Chris does not like me, never has. I am defending his right to conduct business in a free trade capitalistic society. You know, the same idea that gets pranced out by the lot of you to defend the American ideals. If the government made a bad deal take it up with them. All you people are doing is showing people who want to run a small business that this country is not a place to do so. As for going there, you are not going to stop me from enjoying some amazing BBQ. God Bless America.

  26. thisnthat says:

    people are funny they want to knock down just enough trees to build their house then fight to keep other trees from being cut down. they want to have nice restaurants but only in other peoples’ neighborhoods.

  27. Dave says:

    What makes Captains so special that they receive special treatment ? Get out of here! And stay the heck out of our parks! Been going to Bings for over 20 yrs and the last thing I want to see when I go into a nature park is a business. NO thankyou!

  28. Willy Boy says:

    Protesters are lucky they didn’t get cited for lack of a permit.

  29. Just a thought says:

    Just a thought; if they’re so concerned about staying in the same place, move them across the street! FINALLY bulldoze that crappy ice cream/pizza/whatever shop that changes owners every 2 years, and put the new building there??? They’re literally across the street from where they are now, and you really don’t have to change much at all.

  30. Dianna says:

    There are many people posting here who wish they had known about the protest, me included. Can someone please let us know the name of the Facebook page or a website page so we can all stay informed of future protests, etc. I would be there with bells on. Thanks.

  31. Richard says:

    What I gleamed from this article is that the owner needs to build a new restaurant while keeping the old one in business otherwise it would be like starting over. I understand that completely. To rebuild at the same location people would lose jobs and the owner would lose revenues. However, that doesn’t preclude the owner from locating a different building site on the ICW other than Bing’s Landing and build his brand new restaurant there.

  32. Can't believe it says:

    Protests are great, and draw attention to the issue. People also need to INUNDATE THE COMMISSIONERS with emails, and appeal to them to reverse their “rush to judgement” decision, at their first meeting, until further information is available, and require them to follow due process.

    LEGAL ACTION IS NOW NECESSARY! There are plenty of people who will gladly donate money to cover the costs. It will cost them less in the long run, considering what the costs will be from taxpayers for this “sweet deal”. The issue for me, is the way this was negotiated and rammed through, without all the details. The taxpayers who will be footing the bill deserve better!

  33. Will Awdry says:

    This is a successful business that has a proven track record of creating jobs and generating tax revenue for the county. Many people go to Bing’s landing for the great views and the food. Without the restaurant Bings becomes yet another county park and boat launch.

  34. Dave says:

    Just another county park, yes public land meant for conservation. Last I checked you can BBQ your own food at the pavilion. We the people of Flagler County have spoken, we DO NOT want these free loaders tearing up our virgin ground ,turning profits in our parks. Let’s just remove them completely from Bings and let them get there own commercial property outside the park like every other buisness. Craptain’s BBQ you are finished.

  35. KJ says:

    Willy Boy: Have you heard of the first amendment, the protest wasn’t a parade, it was a First Amendment protected expression of free speech at a public park and sidewalk

    Will Awdry: The business is only successful because they have a sweetheart deal and there will be no taxes generated by the new building! If there are patrons who only visit Bing’s Landing because of the restaurant they are potentially obstructing access to those for whom the park was intended as a park. Hopefully once they visit and see the beauty of the park they will return for that reason but please don’t rationalize having a restaurant in the middle of a public park in order to make it something more than for what it was intended by the voters in the first place…a public park.

    Thisnthat: if the owners of the restaurant owned the land I would support their right to cut down their trees to build their new building BUT they do not own the land WE DO, THE TAXPAYERS and THEM ARE OUR TREES and WE DON’T WANT THEM CUT DOWN. Get it now?

    How would all the pro-business argument folks feel if we reversed the logic and made a policy that every new business has to include a % of their land for a public park for folks to come and enjoy? This makes as much sense as having the public’s land taken from them for a private business to enjoy virtually at no cost.

  36. wow says:

    If true, this is the part that bothers me, a quote from another local restaurant owner. “These guys walk in there with a sketch, no parking plan, no septic plan, no plan whatsoever other than a sketch that says we want 150 seats and this is how we want to structure it. So they didn’t have to follow any of the rules, so they’re giving this particular entity an enormous advantage. And what’s going to happen to the other restaurants in the area?”

  37. Cheney says:

    I’ve heard there is a meeting tomorrow at the community center on Mala Compra tomorrow evening at 7:00 regarding the situation at Bing’s. I don’t know who is organizing it or what the agenda is. Does anyone have more information.

  38. Beach bum says:

    El: Chris grew up here, true and he seems like a decent guy, but the big money slick talking guy that pulled some big city shell game on the county did not, His name is Mike Goodman, straight out of the big apple, article says it’s Chris’s partner, who’s really running the show, Hmm? Read the original lease, it was supposed to be a bait shop, that sold TO GO ORDERS bbq sandwiches, ever been in there n got bait, dollar General has a better bait n tackle selection. Do you truly believe if he meets the seating requirements to get a liquor license he wont, cause he said so? Hidden treasure (the only other waterfront restaurant in flagler) owners pay probably around 6 thousand a month, wonder if they would have been interested in bidding on having restaurant here for 750 bucks, with some of the nicest docks, free landscaping, free trash pick up, free building maintenance, on the prettiest park in the county, courtesy of Joe public taxpayer, I can’t even be mad at him, I tip my cap to him for being smart enough to pull this off, but his greed for bigger n better might blow up on him

  39. Edith Campins says:

    @ Will Awdry, and what is wrong with just a county park and boat launch? Doe s a mediocre BBQ place, on the people’s land really make it that much better?

  40. Dave says:

    Let’s jus remove the bbq put in a simple bait shop and be done with it, we can cook out our own food a the pavilion. Bings was always a beautiful place to relax until the added this greedy bbq shack, get them out of our park!

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