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Boos, Jeers and Defiance as Flagler Beach Voices Its Opposition to The Gardens Development on John Anderson

| July 1, 2019

A crowd far above capacity filled the conference room at the Hilton Garden Inn this evening. (c FlaglerLive)

A crowd far above capacity filled the conference room at the Hilton Garden Inn this evening. (c FlaglerLive)

The Hilton Garden Inn hasn’t seen a community meeting of this size since it opened 10 years ago. Well over 300 people crammed into the hotel’s conference room this evening to hear a presentation by the developers of The Gardens, the planned 3,966-unit, 825-acre project that would straddle John Anderson Highway.

The meeting was initially chaotic, rowdy, at times tense enough to draw two, then briefly three sheriff’s deputy to the front of the room. Technical glitches drew puns and ridicule, a fire official asked for the crowd to thin down to the 260 maximum, to no effect, members of the public suggested the meeting be moved or postponed to a more accommodating venue.

Through it all several opponents spoke, asked questions, made statements and asserted that none of the plan has yet been officially approved through county channels. Several officials associated with the project reassured the crowd that the project is intended to respect environmental concerns and constraints and address infrastructure needs while working within new trends to accommodate higher-density but less sprawly developments that address millennial tastes and pocketbooks.

Ken Belshe, the developer, and four associates under contract, three of them engineers, sat along a pair of tables at the front of the room, doing their best to remain poker-faced as the evening’s moderator, Rob Merrell, an attorney with Cobb Cole (the Daytona Beach law firm representing the developer) mixed attempts at humor with attempts at discipline, neither approach particularly convincing.

“We weren’t expecting this many people, as you can tell,” Merrell said to an explosion of cheers at the beginning of the meeting. “Somebody is having a conversation with the fire folks to make sure we’re not in trouble in here.”

Boos rippled over the crowd. “I’m very glad you did that, because we have four sheriffs in the back, the next boo is going out to the parking lot,” Merrell said. The crowd booed much louder, jeered, dared. “If you guys don’t want us here, we can leave,” Merrell said, to yells of “go home,” but also to others rebuking the boos: “Why don’t you listen, people,” someone said. “You don’t speak for me. Why don’t you listen?”

“If we can be civil and courteous we’re all going to get something out of this, otherwise we’re not,” Merrell said. Later, when he told the crowd that speaking their mind was one thing, but speaking of “kicking the developers’ rear” was another, a resident who then spoke first said: “I think we should kick their rear.” More cheers.

Colleen Conklin, for two decades a school board member and a Flagler Beach resident for longer, cautioned the developers: “I almost feel bad, because I don’t know if as a developer, the homework that needed to be done to understand this community” was done, she said, before asking specific questions about the development’s projected size. She noted that the schools within its sphere (Old Kings Elementary, Buddy Taylor Middle School, Flagler Palm Coast High School) are all at capacity. “Where would all the students attend?” Addressing the expected population of the development, she said: “The impact is dramatically different not slightly, dramatically different.” She then turned to the crowd from the podium at the head of the room. “One thing I will say to everyone in this room: Stay. In. Volved,” she said, punctuating her syllables with a hammer finger.

Eric Cooley, the Flagler Beach City Commissioner, said it was “unnerving” that the developers never spoke with city commissioners. “So far we haven’t seen you all at the table, and I would really like to see you all at the table.” (Belshe has met with Larry Newsom, the Flagler Beach city manager, several times, also meeting with Commissioner Rick Belhumeur and a city utility engineer. He’s not met with the school board, but said he met with the school board attorney and David Freeman, the facilities director.)

By then tempers and jeers had cooled to more occasional outbursts of support for whoever spoke against the project, brief outbursts of derision for those who spoke in favor, but not to the point of stopping the momentum of the meeting or derailing its intention. Merrell provided an introduction to the project, its location and size, its justification. He spoke as slides flashed conceptual renderings of the property, one of them showing the 800 acres in the context of the 3,000 acres the land management company owns, another showing the 800 acres in more detail, construction and what would be red roofs lined around a couple dozen ponds, connected by public roads within the project, with shopping, offices, restaurants toward State Road 100.

Multi-family housing and commercial properties would be on one side of John Anderson Highway, single family homes would be on the other. “There’s green everywhere, the green everywhere is land being preserved,” Merrell said. “This is the type of thing that the market wants right now, that people want,” he said to another round of howls.

“The people are coming here anyway,” Belshe said later. “It’s the same whether they live out west or whether they live here.” By west he meant other parts of the county.

Merrell said the project was in its earliest steps, with another similar public meeting planned and the various steps before county government still ahead (the technical review committee, the planning board, the county commission).

The development wasn’t without its supporters. “I appreciate that you want for this to be right for the next 20 years,” one resident said, echoing the developers’ sense that development is coming. Mary Murphy, a family nurse practitioner and a veteran, spoke of the joy of raising her 6 year old and 14 year old locally, and looked at the project as “a potential opportunity,” with many families moving in. “I’d just like to plant that seed, with growth and with new families, new possibilities for health care could exist, and that’s not a bad thing,” she said.

But those voices were in a small minority. The majority was driven by the intense opposition to the project marshalled by a group that calls itself Preserve Flagler Beach, several of whose members spoke. Robin Poletta, for instance, disputed that John Anderson is a highway. “It’s a two-lane country road,” she said. She described the road as “deficient” and asked what impact fees the developer will pay to improve roads that would eventually accommodate 9,000 people, what would be done to accommodate new students, and what the plans are for heavy rain events, or worse–the sort of events that have already left their recent mark with floods.

Pat Ferraro, who’s lived on John Anderson for 18 of the more than 30 years she’s lived in Flagler County, said she’s had a premium vantage point from which to see “changes and growth, some good and some bad,” including the emergence of Palm Coast. She said she appreciated some of the developers’ reassurances, but “it’s important that you understand the concerns of these people,” she said. “Palm Coast changed Flagler Beach significantly,” she said, citing the current population of 112,000, compared to the 10,000 before Palm Coast’s birth in the early 1970s.

As she spoke, she described–to more applause–the developers’ rendering of the project as a map drawn by people not familiar with the county. She spoke of environmental concerns, such as more effluents dumping into the Intracoastal and stormwater going into Bulow Creek. “We need more assurances,” she said. But she also spoke more pragmatically, directing suggestions to the developers on where to make road improvements and how better to accommodate construction trucks.

Matt Hathaway reminded the crowd that none of the regulatory steps have been taken, and urged them to stay involved, as did his wife, Elizabeth Hathaway.

“I truly understand that you’re all very passionate about this, I get that,” Belshe said, describing himself as equally passionate about his belief–and appreciating the “somewhat civil” tone. “I know I’m the bad guy, I know I have to shoulder that,” he said. But he also stressed that he’s lived in the county for years even if he doesn’t live locally now (he lives in St. Augustine, commutes to Flagler daily, has an office in Town Center), and that he’s invested locally. He said in his business, he has to look at 20 to 30-year horizons: baby boomers are downsizing and millennials aren’t interested in 5-acre lots.

“Density like this, I know that it’s very difficult to swallow,” Belshe continued, noting that he’d grown up on a farm in Oklahoma, where there was no such thing as density. “But when you start talking about a community like this, you have to consider what’s called sort of a critical mass, you have to have a certain amount of retail and shopping and dining and those kinds of things to get people to come and live in the community.” Those people are coming to Florida and Flagler. “The secret is out,” he said. “Unless you just want to close the gates and say–no more people–” Huge applause interrupted him, a chorus announcing the crowd’s inclination: no more growth.

“If that’s how you feel,” Belshe continued, “then I encourage you to contact your county commissioners and let’s shut down the office of economic development. We don’t need more jobs, we don’t need more businesses.” But, he said, if there’s some acceptance that growth is ahead, then it should be done smartly. “Trust me, density is not the enemy. Urban sprawl is the enemy.” He closed on a note about his young children and his environmentally conscious intentions, along with his intentions to address the development’s impact on schools “with new buses, for instance.”

As he spoke, School Board Chairman Janet McDonald stopped him and told him he was providing incorrect information about school impact fees, and provided him the phone number of the Flagler Auditorium, the 1,000-seat venue that could accommodate the next public meeting. Another woman told him he was missing the point: “We all need you to listen, it’s not about the density, it is about the location,” she said.

Merrell ended the meeting at the two-hour mark.

“I’m disappointed that there are elements in Flagler County that try to fight everything,” Belshe said after the meeting. “At some point Flagler County has to decide what it wants to be.” Asked what his approach would be after the tenor of this evening’s meeting, he said: “I have to evaluate that with all my stakeholders.”

35 Responses for “Boos, Jeers and Defiance as Flagler Beach Voices Its Opposition to The Gardens Development on John Anderson”

  1. Lin says:

    The BOCC needs to read up on concurrency requirements re schools, parks, roads — there must be capacity for the additional burden of this large a development.

    Our schools are at capacity our school board reps say? Our Commissioners need to stop salivating and start reading Florida statutes and protect their constituents.

    Do the right thing.

  2. Ol’ Sarge says:

    Oh good…a crowd of 70 year olds deterring the growth of the county I am trying to raise my family in. Growth is inevitable, and I am sick of the population demographic that won’t be here in 10 years dictating the opportunities and future of the families that will be here for years to come

  3. Bethechange says:

    No sir, it’s not about ‘fighting everything.’ It’s about THAT location! In your own words, it’s a gem. It is indeed! And one-of-a-kind is not hyperbole. It goes and it takes Florida’s geological history with it. But you already know all that because you commute here daily to your office. Despite appearances, l assure you that growth and economic viability was not above the heads of most of the attendees. So please stop hiding behind the silly, childish and old lament of big, bad developer vs closed-minded yokels. Do not underestimate your opponent.

  4. Oceanside says:

    The developers promoting this monstrosity do not live in communities like the one they are trying to build and force on the rest of us. They are wrong–NOT every millennial wants to live in a 12-story condo jammed around 4 other 12-story condos. And be realistic–it’s NOT likely to even be 10,000 millennials streaming in–it will be mostly retirees.

    Those of us who live in FB live here *because* we didn’t want to live in PC or OB or DB. FB is the only town without a bunch of high rises–and we aim to keep it that way.

  5. Willy Boy says:

    “…close the gates and say–no more people.” – There’s a 5-Star idea.

  6. ptctrader says:

    I did not attend the meeting. However, I share the sentiments of all the outraged residents. Clearly this development has NOT BEEN THOUGHT THROUGH. Environmental impact is a huge part of this. What are the impacts to our water and sewer? What is the impact of storm water? Where does runoff go? How many students new to our schools?

    How about an impact fee that would mitigate with solutions ALL THESE ISSUES. That would, I would hope, make the development NOT PROFITABLE… and since this is ALL ABOUT PROFIT…. Please Mr. Belshe… GO THE HELL AWAY

  7. Rico says:

    Not to worry!!!

    Developers are way too ignorant to succeed in Flagler and/or Volusia on projects of this scale.
    Look at the thousands of stubs in Palm Coast left by ITT and their elite community development planners.
    Building of this scale at the current market fundamentals will guarantee the same outcome as PC. Condos/Homes built in 2005 thru 2008 are still worth less than ~ 60% of original value. Buy you a condo for $400k back then and you have a 180k property value today. This is why Flagler has no life flight access from 8pm to 8am (cancelled in 2008 due to housing value crash, 11 years latter still not a flying). No trauma center in this county, Schools beyond capacity and functioning at low low levels.
    Where will the kids play tee-ball, baseball, basketball, football, soccer? Does not exist today in Flagler and will not for 20 more years. Hell, may not even be a useable Beach or A1A.
    Flagler making payment on mold ridden buildings (function of development planning at its best), got a BBQ building to rebuild, water systems so outdated another 20 years to meet minimum requirements.

    Get real ID 10 TS (idiots for the meek) developers and FC commissioners. This will be what is called a Stub and Go/Leave/Bankrupt project. Can u say fire sale.

    No real businesses here to attract the needed talent base, just old minds and old IDEAS.
    High school has to hire a fired Education employee from Volusia, City Manager, well must I continue.

    RIP Flagler.

  8. John Polizzi says:

    Flagler County Commission needs to move cautiously and balance planned growth with the desire to maintain the character and natural beauty of our county. We all see what is happening along LPGA Blvd in Daytona Beach. A lack of effective road planning is creating a traffic bottleneck and future congestion. The environment, our county infrastructure, and schools needs to be planned and driven with future development not hoping to catch up.

    All county residents need to follow this story and insure that the future development of the Flagler County is aligned with the character and vision we all have for our environment.

  9. Jane Gentile-Youd says:

    Mr, Belshe
    Do yourselves and us a big favor.
    Get out of town now before your stakeholders spend any more time or money. Over 300 residents of our precious area told you what we need and what we want -the same way we did last year when another dream team tried to covert single family zoned land into long term parking lots for trailers on wheels .

    We live here, we came here because of what we want ; we want to be left alone by money grabbers such as your group. We have a hard enough time getting the proper services we deserve now
    Now just go away from our home ; you are nothing but unwanted invaders.

    However, If you persist be aware that next time you might be confronted with a much bigger crowd – of voters who just might throw any elected officials out of office who vote in your favor.
    If you need ay further convincing just take your stakeholders to Captains restaurant at Bings Landing for lunch or dinner.-they’ll tell you all about how ‘ we the people’ make all the difference and tell our officials what we want and what they must do to say in office.

    Voting for your project will be a no vote for them by us at election time.

  10. Percy's mother says:

    Thanks, FlaglerLive, for providing the info on this particular community meeting.

    The above-noted article can be summed up as follows:

    “I’m disappointed that there are elements in Flagler County that try to fight everything,” Belshe said after the meeting. “At some point Flagler County has to decide what it wants to be.”

    Uh, no, Mr. Belshe, we (the county residents) have ALREADY DECIDED what we want Flagler County to be, and it’s NOT MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT. We don’t want THIS proposed development on THAT tract of land. Go somewhere else.

    Very simple Mr. Belshe. Read it again and let it sink in. It will be fought by Flagler County residents every step of the way.

    AND, for the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners: Get it??? . . . we do not want this development THERE or anywhere else. You work for the Flagler County residents. Take that into consideration before any vote. You do not work for special interests regardless of how much $$ you make in backroom deals. You are there to promote the interests of the citizens of Flagler county.

    Also commissioners, we do not want that other development you’ve just approved. You know, the one in The Hammock . . . the one that’ll get flooded every time it rains.

    Thanks again Pierre for providing so much information on this and other topics that will (and do) affect the residents of Flagler County. Without your website we’d still be in the dark about all the graft and corruption going on in this county. Keep up the excellent reporting.

  11. lunasea50 says:

    Before one piece of paper is signed or one shovel is planted in the ground, these developers should be made to guarantee with CASH , the funds for transplantation of wild life living in the area and infrastructure development. No promises on paper, CASH only! The development does not need to be on the corner of US100 or JA. There is plenty of undeveloped land west of US1 in Bunnell. Perhaps the county commissioners could take them out to County road 11 or 304 or 305. They might be able to find a parcel that they could develop without pollution of the Bullow Creek or the Matanzas River.

  12. Lin says:

    Ol’ Sarge

    Those 70 year olds are speaking out to protect all the people of Flagler County. The environmental impact and readiness of roads, sewers, water, SCHOOLs has to be considered before the development is approved according to Florida statute. There is zoning for a reason.

    Unless you would like the youngsters doing their school work under a tree outside with no teacher.

    Stop this now or you will pay later.

  13. Percy's mother says:


    Just reading the Daytona Beach News-Journal (DBNJ) story.

    Apparently there will also be low income rental apartments in this development.

    This from the DBNJ story:
    While plans and pricing for The Gardens have yet to be finalized, Belshe said rental rates for the community’s one- to three-bedroom apartment units will likely be in the $900 to $1,300 a month range.

    $900 to $1300 a month rates constitutes low income housing rates.

    I would assume the developer will be getting a government subsidy for including low income housing in the proposed development. That’s a win-win for his investors.

    Don’t tell me that $900 to $1300 a month rental units are NOT low income housing. Mr. Belshe and the powers that be just don’t want to call it low income housing.

    Did the attendees at the above-noted meeting hear what Mr. Belshe said about the apartment rentals?

  14. Cathy says:

    We have to face it. Our area is going to grow. Disney came to Orlando in the 70’s and busted Orlando’s seams and not in a good way. We must preserve and protect our beautiful green spaces, parks and beaches and at the same time allow growth. Our way of life will be affected but we need places for people to work, new schools, roads and utilities. All this takes expert planning and research, and bottom line money. Who will pay for it? Make sure it is not financed through the backs of the people already here. Mostly retired people on a fixed income. This needs to be considered.

  15. Dave says:

    If someone wants to buy a piece of property and build a house then fine. But NO WAY is it ok for a company to buy hundreds/thousands of lots and turn the property into some large development. KEEP THESE CLOWNS OUT OF FLAGLER.

  16. FPC Granny says:

    I was unable to attend this meeting but am in agreement that this size of a project with an outcome of over 9,000 people the county cannot handle the project problems with overcrowded school, rainwater runoff ect. ect ect…..please remember with increased population also comes increased crime!! As it is today there is not much to keep the teenage group busy so to go an add more to the pot doesn’t sound very smart to me….I would like to THANK all that did show up to this meeting to have their voices heard!!! GREAT job!!

  17. Keep Flagler Beautiful says:

    Bravo, FlaglerLive, for an outstanding report on last night’s meeting. Developers still haven’t gotten the message that those of us who live in Flagler Beach and the surrounding areas consider ourselves stewards of a part of Florida that is unique and ecologically sensitive. We don’t want this part of Flagler County mowed down so out-of-towners can make a quick buck on land bought out of bankruptcy. If we wanted to live amongst rampant overdevelopment of the type that has ruined so many parts of South Florida, we would have moved to South Florida. We want trees, wildlife, protection of our waterways, and community planning that thinks first of the impact on the environment and the people who already live here. We’d like to preserve our lifestyle and leave something meaningful for future generations. Once native land is developed, it’s irretrievable. We are insisting that commissioners do what we’ve elected them to do, and that is to represent the best interests of the people.

  18. Done Deal says:

    Instead of worrying about growing our population we should concern ourselves with our growing health problems and fixing the environmental problems created by past development.

  19. tom dooley says:

    I agree with “ol’ sarge”. It’s always the same; old people with the “not in my backyard” mentality (I can live here, but you can’t).The population continues to increase and people need a place to live. My wife and I rode down there a few months ago to check out the “new” Seaside Landings development that’s already there just farther south of this development and still in Flagler County. They wanted 190 K just for the lot; where was the uproar when this development was going in? I know; it’s because people are afraid this “newer development” will be for those of us who can’t afford 190 k just for a lot. We all know what that means don’t we? I guess if the developers increase the lot prices to 190 K and put in single family homes instead of high rise condo’s like Seaside Landings did then it would be okay?

  20. D Newman says:

    How about letting infrastucture catch up with past development? We need a landfill first!!

    If the new homebuyers take Uber & ride bikes why do we need as many roads and parking lots. Save the asphalt.

  21. Steve Vanne says:

    Its all about money. We the people have not rights anymore. I got four more years before I retire and then I’m out of here….

  22. Born and Raised Here says:

    I remember the protest that ITT got with there development project, and look how successful Palm Coast turn out to be for the county.

  23. Tom says:

    Good Job, citizens of Flagler Beach. It is possible to nick this and others in the bud.
    I believe developers see this area as ripe for takeover now that the City and the County have real estate kingpins on their Boards.
    Now they realize that it may not be possible to build-and-run.

  24. Sunning Turtle says:

    To Ol’ Sarge: There is a large contingency of young surfer and kayak enthusiast who attended the meeting last night and I have seen at various meetings on this subject. I commend their involvement. They are the next generation that want what they enjoy not to be destroyed on their watch.

  25. Sunning Turtle says:

    If Sunbelt is so sure they are planning communities that today and tomorrow home buyers are interested in buying, explain the failure to sell more than 25 of the 150 lots available at Marina del Palma on Colbert. How many dollars have been spent marketing and hyping this development both locally and beyond. Grand Opening? Or, the beginning of another abandoned development?

  26. CB from PC says:

    Heard this same downsized lots “millenial” BS 5 years ago while living on the Gulf Coast.
    Commissioners approved it in spite of overwhelming opposition.
    Smaller homes, smaller lots…and the hell with the
    original plat. Variance approved.
    Before this further lowered our property value, we sold. Developers are in it to move homes and leave with the money.
    Prior to approval up front, make them pay the cost of putting in the water and sewer upgrades, road improvements and new schools.

  27. Elizabeth Hathaway says:

    Tom Dooley & Ol’ Sarge,
    This was not a room filled with 70 year old people with nothing better to do but fight to protect our county and environment. There was pretty good spread across the spectrum; all the way down to the children who were in attendance and feel as strongly as the 70 year olds about the need to preserve and protect THIS specific area for all of the unique environmental features that make it so special. No one is saying to stop progress and stop development all together, the resounding theme was that this was the wrong area for it. It is not our fault that the developer knowingly purchased this piece of property, which is currently zoned for 1 house per 5 acres and only 453 units, yet wants the county to approve its rezoning to 4,000 units with an added 10,000 residents. This is an environmentally & historically sensitive piece of land and should be maintained as such. If you venture a few miles west of this property, you will come to the pre-planned development that is Town Center. This is the very thing SunBelt is trying to push with this project. You will clearly note that it is practically empty. They have just begun to break ground on #1 & #2 Apartment complexes and some commercial space. The infrastructure is there and the land is sitting there empty and waiting to house all these millenials & retirees that Belshe is speaking of. This will be true affordable housing. I don’t know how anyone can believe that The Gardens will offer affordable housing. The rental rate for a 1-3 bedroom apartment is $900-1300 (Which happens to be the current rate for any single family home in Palm Coast currently and everyone is complaining that is too high) or you can cough up 325k-600k for one of their luxury Single Family homes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider that “Affordable Housing”. As for Seaside Landings (which is now Bulow Shores), the community had no say in that as we were not even made aware of it until it was too late. It had been fought numerous times in the past, though. Please understand that we do care very deeply for the next generation and would hope more than anything that they will get to experience a little bit of paradise while it lasts. Smart growth is understanding when & where to develop so as to preserve what makes an area unique. This is where SunBelt grossly miscalculated.

  28. Elizabeth Hathaway says:

    I am extremely proud of our community for taking time out of their day to attend this meeting and voice their concerns. So many were not even able to get inside the meeting hall to hear the presentation or to be able to ask questions. Reading through all of these comments shows me how passionate our community is and I hope we can all continue on with this type of fervor. Please Like & Follow our FaceBook page: Preserve Flagler Beach & Bulow Creek to keep up to date on meetings and all other things pertaining to this project.

  29. Carole says:

    After the disappointing vote on Beachwalk (too many houses on too little land in the Hammock), which was disappointingly passed by the commissioners 3-2, here we go with another new proposal…and yet another proposed “variance.” Why not adhere to the planning guidelines? Do we want this density? Not why most of us moved here, families or not.

    And, wait until people start renting short-term. With one person allowed per 150 square feet, multiply those numbers of occupants in a house or apartment by four or more! I was not available to attend the meeting, but were short-term rentals discussed? If not, plan on multiplying the number of vehicles moving in and out of the community by a big multiple….not to mention a huge increase in water needs!

    As you may nor may not know, during the last state legislative session, bills were proposed (and passed through several committees) that would allow short-term rentals EVERYWHERE – regardless of HOA or COA rules. The bills stated that it was a “constitutional right” to do whatever you want with your house. Luckily, the bills failed to progress to the floor, but every year they come back.

    Are the commissioners representing their constituents? Our Hammock representative, Greg Hansen, voted against Beachwalk, but better find out how your representatives are voting on these kinds of things. If they aren’t representing your interests, let them know.

  30. m t says:

    @ tom dooley

    The Seaside Landings was started & developed with as little or no notice as this development was. No one in the area knew what was happening until one day the land was clear cut. SunBelt’s lawyer only sent 2 maybe 3 letters to adjoining property owners announcing last night’s meeting. Probably in hopes NO ONE would attend & object to their plan. What makes it different THIS TIME, is that the meeting was broadcasted to everyone it would affect. The Seaside (now Bulow Shores) as small as it is compared to this proposed disaster has changed the natural water flow & drainage in the area & has caused flooding where there never was any as much as a mile away from it. It has also affected the wells our drinking water comes from. Yes, “NOT IN MY BACKYARD” does apply here. I am a property owner that gives a $h!t……

  31. snapperhead says:

    “I’m disappointed that there are elements in Flagler County that try to fight everything,” Belshe said after the meeting. “At some point Flagler County has to decide what it wants to be.” Asked what his approach would be after the tenor of this evening’s meeting, he said: “I have to evaluate that with all my stakeholders.”

    Don’t think the vocal minority speak for all of us Mr. Belshe, they don’t. Most people don’t care all that much and many support it. They just won’t turn out to support it like the old fogies that oppose it.will. Hypocrites,every last one of them. Land was cleared for every home they live in and every one of them has an impact on the environment and local resources. Looking at the crowd I suspect some of their family members or caretakers will be buyers in your development because mom and pops need a ride to doctors appointments, help feeding themselves, bathing and wiping their butts. Drain the swamp. MFGA 2020

  32. Lazaruis says:

    Who’s water will those 4,000 homes drink ??
    I hope not my children’s I hope …

  33. Not Surprised says:

    Why would a “20 Year Board member” ask “Where will they go to school?” This not only seems to say No more growth, but seems to ignore to Board’s responsibility to plan for expansion of facilities and staff to meet the public need.

  34. Unfortunately says:

    Jake is 100% correct. The Jungle Hut development simply confirmed that the BOCC is carrying the developer’s water. Belshe’s “lunar landscape” is hiding in plain sight at Marina Del Palma — off Colbert Lane — where both the BOCC and Palm Coast supported the construction of five 10 story condo buildings. It’s all about the money.

  35. skierWernhard says:

    SunBelt introduced their development project on Monday evening to the public, at the Hilton Garden Inn on RT. 100.

    In a phone interview with the Daytona News Journal (by Clayton Park), which has been published on Monday, he said: “we want their input, we truly do”!
    After the meeting, which obviously and for very good reasons did not go his way, he sounded completely different!
    Quote (source Flagler Live): “I’m disappointed that there are elements in Flagler County that try to fight everything,” Belshe said after the meeting: “At some point Flagler County has to decide what it wants to be.”
    This is where he stands, he doesn’t care about us, the City and citizens of Flagler Beach, he cares about his money!
    That he calls us, the attendees of the meeting, which to 99% opposed his project, “elements”, is an insult!
    About three hundred people told him already, to answer his question, what we want to be, definitely not a second Hammock Beach, or Ormond Beach, or Daytona Beach.

    Based on the mood of the audience there is only one way for Belshe to go on, either go back to the original plan,
    or scale it significantly back, or, as one participant suggested, donate the property to the County and have it converted into a park!
    To have almost three thousand apartments, spread out in ten story buildings, which would be the highest in our area, beside the Aliki. It would require at least 15 times to what we have in south Flagler Beach with the Ocean View Condominiums!
    Only to think about it to place a development, double the size of Flagler Beach on respect of population, in front of our beautiful City, is obscene!

    As I said in my remarks at the meeting, Belshe is only driven by the money! This is a 1.5 billion project!!

    The current zoning, calls for 1 dwelling on 5 acres! The property was bought by SunBelt under this condition! If they think that the requirements of the people have changed, they obviously didn’t do their homework. But my suspicion is different anyway, since he thought that if he waves with a 1.5 Billion project, the County Commission will falter and give in! I hope they never do!

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