Palm Coast’s P-Section is getting a three-building, four-story apartment complex rimmed by 45 single-family homes in what will be a gated community restricted to people 55 and over, off Pritchard Drive.
The Palm Coast Planning Board approved a master site plan for the apartment complex in a 5-0 vote Wednesday evening. The development has a few more steps. But it won’t need city council approval. The brief meeting drew an audience but no objections from residents–an unusual turn for the approval of an apartment complex, which typically draws opposition, and sometimes bitter opposition, from neighbors. Opposition has noticeably diminished in the past year and a half with each successive approval of apartment complexes in the city.
In this case, the nature of the development–gated, age-restricted, literally turned-in from the rest of the neighborhood, as if showing its back to the P-Section–may have limited resistance. A neighborhood meeting in December drew barely more than a dozen people, according to a sign-in sheet (the city had contacted upward of 60).
“To my surprise, the main topic of controversy was the sewer system,” Ray Tyner, the city’s planning director, said. The concerns were legitimate. A new sewer main line that will service the complex has just been designed. Construction is starting this spring and will be done in summer. “That’s going to be a big help for this area,” Tyner said. “This development is not going to [exacerbate] the issue, it’s not going to make it any worse, in fact we’re on top of making the area better.”
Hammock Real Estate Development, a company established in 2017 and registered to Alexander Ustilovsky of Palm Coast, bought the property in 2017 for $415,000. Hammock was represented by landscape architect Bob Dickinson at the planning board meeting.
Since the single-family homes were already approved, the development, called American Village, is already well under way. It will fill in what until recently had been a 17-acre enclave of woods in a huge semi-circle rimmed by Pritchard Drive as it curves from from the west to the north and back east, and by a canal along the southern edge of the property, just north of Prince Michael Lane and Privacy Lane. The nearest streets around the rest of the development are Presidential Lane, Press Way and Pretorian Lane.
The 17 acres of American Village were zoned residential-commercial when transferred from Flagler County in 1999. In December 2005, when the city adopted its citywide rezoning, the 8 central acres of the enclave were rezoned to allow apartments, and the 45 lots around it were rezoned to single-family residential.
The 8-acre site inside the zone will have three, four-story buildings, each with 32 apartments, each apartment with its own garage. The buildings can be up to 60 feet tall. They’ve only been conceptualized, not actually designed. The three buildings would be set off at the three ends of the half circle–two at either corners, one at the top of the half circle. The one at the top of the circle would be built first.
The single-family homes will be built along the line of the semi-circle, their front facing inward into the circle. The preliminary plat for that segment of the development was approved in may 2018. Construction started shortly afterward. The apartment complex and the residential homes will share pedestrian paths and private roads, sidewalks and recreation facilities, including a common clubhouse, a dog park, a swimming pool and a central postal station.
A master site plan is one of the first steps of the approval process. Next would be a technical review by the city. But much of the infrastructure for the development is already in place. Glenn Davis, the planning board chair, signed the development order for the property immediately after the meeting.