Three years ago I waxed gas-station poetic about the leveling of a lot facing our home. After a decade of calm on our P-Section street, where half the lots were still wild, the bulldozers had arrived. The idyll was over. Since then it’s been all carpet-bombing: a dozen lots in front, in back and to the side of the house have been leveled, housed up and, with two exceptions of supply-chain hostages, occupied by new residents marking their territory with gas-guzzlers hulking driveways and welcome signs stabbing the ground. That’s just a start.
No complaints. It was bound to happen, by right, once the housing crash of 2008 had been exorcized. Gas-guzzlers aside (heretics that we are, we park our fossil-fueled Renner-mobiles in the garage) my family and I were those very people. We moved into our little Versailles the Year of the Crash, saying goodbye to our rental in the Woodlands to take advantage of a house-flipper who’d overshot his greed.
Whatever the circumstances may be, no Palm Coast homeowners have a leg to stand on when arguing that others behind them shouldn’t be welcome, that there’s too much development, that new development is incompatible with old development. Not unless they’re expropriated Timucua Indians.
It may look like “overdevelopment” to those reaping the fruit of the previous wave of overdevelopment. But most of the time the opposition is just selfishness or prejudice wrapped in sanctimony about preserving neighborhoods or property values. The development fate of every square inch of Palm Coast was determined years ago: single family homes here, apartments there, businesses over there. Developers are merely filling in the blanks with the occasional high-profile land-use change.
They’re not doing it fast enough. Prices are too high because too few homes are being built, not too many. We have a serious housing shortage in this country, an even more serious one in Palm Coast. “Last year,” The New York Times reported this month, “Freddie Mac estimated the nation’s housing supply deficit at 3.8 million units, up from 2.5 million in 2018. Other analysts come up with different figures, but pretty much everyone agrees that the country hasn’t been building nearly enough homes to keep up with demand, especially for middle and lower-income families. The failure to build those units is the single biggest contributor to the affordability crisis that in recent years has spread from a few coastal cities to a much larger swath of the country.”
The problem right now in Palm Coast is affordability. The median price for a home is a ridiculous $400,000, double what it was four years ago. A one-bedroom apartment rents for $1,500, double what my mortgage used to be when I bought into the P-Section. The housing supply is down to a historic six weeks’ worth of inventory, according to the Flagler County Association of Realtors. Buyers are bidding up the prices of homes. For Sale signs are like Palm Coast’s famed bobcat apparitions, gone before you see them.
That’s what a housing shortage looks like, and what opposition to higher densities looks like. It’s not sustainable, and it’s not fair to young families or students who want to live here. Higher interest rates are not helping. They’re not just hurting buyers at the lower end of the mortgage affordability scale. They’re hurting builders large and small, who pull back to protect investments and ward off overextension, further adding to the housing crunch.
There’s nothing we can do about higher interest rates. They’ve been artificially low for too long anyway, manufacturing an illusion of false prosperity that has yet to trickle down to those who can use it most: the middle and working class looking to move into a place of their own.
But there’s plenty we can do locally to mitigate the shortage and the higher rates. Short of underwriting the cost of affordable housing–a gaping absence in this state, thanks to GOP’s recurring thefts of the housing trust fund intended to do just that–local governments should be helping builders instead give in to NIMBYism. Even when the backlash from existing residents isn’t successful, it’s fierce enough that it turns development into some kind of blasphemy, making developers more hesitant to break ground, and again contributing to the crunch. Prices rise. Affordable housing becomes a lost cause.
There’s plenty of deserved criticism for developers and builders (what industry doesn’t have its rakes?) From the look of our assembly-line homes, many Florida developers seem to have an aversion to aesthetics. Developers’ PR is can use some help. Instead of making the case for the affordability they can enable, they tend to come off like latter-day khans who level and cube up lots as fast as possible, bitch and moan about paying their fair share in development impact fees, then move on.
In Flagler, builders’ and developers’ guerilla war on schools’ impact fees–whether they’re needed immediately or in 18 or 36 months makes no difference: they’re needed–makes them look greedy and short-sighted over a few thousand dollars in an environment of $400,000 homes. Developers’ amen corner at the County Commission isn’t helping. They should be championing higher impact fees, roomier schools, a better school district, all of which draws more residents by the trainload. Look at St. Johns County: far higher impact fees, and the best school district in the state year after year.
But impact fees are a sideshow, the sort of thing that makes it difficult to champion developers’ cause without a bad taste in one’s mouth. That distaste pales compared to the way some existing residents speak ill of people who live in apartments (or mobile homes!), who make up stories about crime around apartment complexes, who consider lots smaller than the quarter-acre standard an offense against their Euclidean cult, or who think traffic on urban roads should not behave like traffic on urban roads. Palm Coast is not a village, people. It’s not going to make a difference if Old Kings Road is built up parcel by parcel over 20 years or built up more rapidly over five. The end result is the same. And Old Kings Road will be four-laned before it fronts the Atlantic. Guaranteed.
Developers, for their part, are literally entitled to do what they’re doing. In the 1960s ITT conceived Palm Coast as a city of 600,000. Thankfully we’re not even a sixth of the way there and we won’t get there before the ocean laps at our neighborhoods anyway. But let’s not turn into a gated community on the way there. Bad enough that Palm Coast has yet to transform itself from a soulless sprawl into an actual city worth the name. Why encourage more of the same?
There’s a strong argument to be made against the sacredness of single family homes and for higher densities: land is a limited resource. Apartments are not the enemy. Nor are smaller lots and smaller homes, if that’s what people prefer. People moving into Palm Coast tend to be older. They’re scaling down. Existing residents should not have a veto on the desires of those future residents. It’s hypocritical and untenable. That’s what makes Palm Coast City Council member Eddie Branquinho’s ideological opposition to density absurd, like his outdated claim that it’s turning Palm Coast into Newark. We should be so lucky: Newark is experiencing such a renaissance that it’s gentrifying the city.
So let’s not be California liberals, where left-wing sensibilities are all about taking care of the less fortunate until a developer proposes an apartment complex next door, when all hell breaks loose and the state adds to its second-to-none homeless catastrophe. (A headline in the San Francisco Chronicle last September said it all: “Why California Liberals Turn Into Raging Conservatives Over Housing.”)
We need more homes and more apartments, in our backyards. I speak literally of my own. Before long, one of the last remaining expanses of scrubland in the P-Section, a 35-acre spread whose trees loom beyond my kitchen window, will be replaced by a 72-home subdivision. The slash-and-burn plans are making their way through the city’s regulatory steps as we speak. Once that mini-forest of free oxygen is replaced by the blacks and grays of heat-seeking shingles, it’ll give the lie to what is currently known as Point Pleasant Drive.
But we need those homes and many, many more like them, along with apartment complexes. What we need less of is prejudice and hypocritical gate-keeping.
Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here. a version of this piece aired on WNZF.
Jerry Egleston says
We do not have the infrastructure for the homes we have now. The roads are not adequate, we are not able to build schools fast enough, even the water pressure in my home is half what it was 10 years ago. Let’s take care of what we have before we add additioal problems.
Thank you Jerry. My sentiments exactly.
Katherine Neurohr says
The building department is not charging enough for impact fees to ease the burden on the taxpayers here . Ten thousand per parcel up front !!
They are letting the developers get away so cheap. Use the money for schools, services, water parks for the people of Palm Coast ! That is what Stuart, Martin County does. That why I am moving back there !
Old kings resident says
The burden of the impact fee tax will be passed to the buyer and negate the effect of lower cost housing with a tax on poor people. Sounds like it’s a lose lose scenario
So you prefer to raise Real Estate taxes on everyone to pay to build new schools for people that don’t live here yet?
Morgan Monaco says
AMEN.. No infrastructure…Pierre you’re 100% wrong this time. All these box are way overpriced, ridiculous…
I agree we dont need to.put the cart before the horse. The developers need to pay their fair share unless the homes and apartments are for seniors we are going to need alot more schools. The existing residents should not have to make that up.
The dude says
We can’t have pool guys, cleaning ladies, and mow n blow specialists living so close to us!!! Isn’t that what Bunnell is for?
But seriously. This city won’t survive with what’s coming. Each pensioner or citizen with cushy a retirement that we lose drives the nail in the coffin just a little more.
The generations coming up will NOT have the same cushy retirements or pensions. And since those things are literally what’s drives the city’s economy, it doesn’t look good for the long term.
ULTRA MAGA says
Only a CRAZY fool would believe your BULLSHIT! We must keep ‘Green Spaces’ and Over Development! I say HELL NO to 600,000 people in Palm Coast! The water and sewage system are large enough! Traffic would be impossible and public transportation would NEVER happen!
ULTRA MAGA says
Water and Sewage Systems are NOT large enough!
Pay ATTENTION PC Officials AUTHORIZING (contractors) DESTROYING TREES as if were weeds ! You are Not only Defacing our Surroundings as to why many of us bought our homes here (the beauty the green trees the Wildlife) . The Tree Roots n Trees ( to many destroyed ) you enforced contractors to Remove are a domino effect on the foundation on our homes /Formation under the ground hence Sink Holes. Start Reading about Sink Holes n all that causes them besides water levels . If that’s Not bad enough How about all the Trees ( you told contractors not to leave green belts between building n to destroy) ! I asked these contractors they said you directed trees gone. We are now Subjected to more of a brunt on Hurricanes, as the trees do block much wind , Roofs now are more susceptible. It as better to take a chance on a down tree .You killed off much of the wild life as well . All in the Name of more $ Taxes n Greed for Flagler . Your morales are gone with the Trees n much of wildlife. It should of been mandatory that PC officials in charge of this to be forced into a program n become lic with the knowledge on what you authorized to be Destroyed. It even looks as though PC trying to copy something like( the Villages )neighbors seeing windows of other neighbors no green belt n trees use to block that here in PC! ( yikes) villages now a sinkhole problem. I could attach a photo where they took out a bunch of trees to expose each home to see each other’s backyard front yard see there Tv many streets PC SAD Discusted. I believe also May also be a tactic on PC. Not to have to chase crooks in woods n to cover up all the illegal burning of leaves many complaints and for advance technology WI FY……If I could of seen this before I bought this house upon selling my other in central Fl , perhaps I would not of picked PC.
You Nailed it. Looked 2x last year. I won’t move there because of the reason you posted.
Jill Espinosa says
This is such a terrific point re trees and green spaces. When these lots are cleared there seems to be no one advocating for the wooded areas. Saw palmettos, for example, can replace removed trees at a 6:1 ratio. Many homeowners who buy trees to replace the ones taken down have no idea they could simply leave six palmettos instead, creating a natural buffer to wind and erosion as well as a way to preserve green space for wildlife diversity and aesthetics. Why doesn’t the county contract aborists to assess a site plan and trees to determine which are a hazard and which should be removed? Very few builders are removing gopher tortoises from lots prior to clearing so they end up buried alive. WHO do we need to address as a group to advocate for changes to these destructive planning methods? Seriously, I’m
asking. We can coexist with nature now or regret it later.
Old kings road residen says
You need a turtle survey to get a permit dude
Jill Espinosa Espinosa says
1) someone may be doing a survey but the turtles aren’t being relocated. If they were, the relocation numbers would be much higher.
2) Perhaps in Palm Coast a turtle survey is required but in Flagler County neither me nor my neighbors had a turtle survey prior to construction.
Was there looking for house April 2021, Was back in Sept 2021. The Land is Being Desimated! Couldn’t Believe in 5mnths how much land Is being destroyed for Profit! Soo Sad.
PC Resident says
If you want people to contribute to the economy AND you want green space, you need to be on the side of increased density.
I agree that 600,000 people is inconceivable!! But, I’m from NJ and the North is moving South. The well kept secret is out everyone is seeking the “land of sunshine”. Palm Coast is a great place, great Sherriff to protect us. That’s why all are seeking what we have!
There are several ways to ameliorate the affordable housing issue. First, have builders of apartments set aside 10% of units for below market rate rents for families and seniors with income levels below the local median. For example a 335 apartment development could set aside 35 units. These developments are built then become cash cows for the developer or equity firms. Think: 335 -35 = 300 units X $1800 (current market rate) = $540,000 monthly gross cash flow. A few units paying $1200/month is not crimping their pockets. This has been done in many urban areas.
Second, instead of 1,500 square foot single homes, create attached townhomes, duplexes, and/or condos that are clustered together with an emphasis on more open spaces, green belts with trees and trails. There are several developments off Palm Coast Parkway and on Old Kings that achieve this sort of balance. Build parking under complexes instead of unsightly and hot parking lots.
Last, talk to planners, active and retired, who know best practices to minimize impervious surfaces.
The solutions are there if we can get over our prejudices and our county agencies being beholden to just the developers.
Thank you for a constructive post.
Robin, who the hell wants to live in a condo or town house? This town was created for retired people. To live their life in piece, NOT with a bunch of loud young partying morons.
Seriously? Are YOU going to take the jobs that are needed to give YOU the services YOU require? Our son works full time at Publix and cannot afford to move out because of the cost of a one bedroom apartment. He and his other 20 something year old friends work hard and cannot afford to move out. They are not “loud young partying morons.” They are hardworking young adults that have to put with labels by ignorant people.
As with anything there are trade offs. We need to be able to accommodate young people- our teachers, nurses, firefighters, etc.
not everyone will be retirees.
Ray – I live in one of those condo/townhouse places. Your comment is so uninformed, that I am actually embarrassed for you.
My neighborhood is mostly elderly widows who live alone. They don’t want to do yard work nor worry about outside maintenance on their homes. I will be 50 on my next birthday, and I am one of the youngest folks there by many years (if not decades).
I grew up in this town, and I work in the community. My job doesn’t pay a lot (Welcome to Flagler County), so a less expensive home was the only way that I could be able to stay in the area so I can assist my elderly parents when needed. As for parties, we threw a kicking goodbye party for my previous next door neighbor before she moved into assisted living. The party had 4 of us and went from Noon to 1pm, but we had to wrap up early so Gladys could watch her stories.
We all look out for each other. I can tell you the names of every single person who lives in my building and the building next door. Can YOU name all of your 12 closest neighbors?
David M says
Nicely done, I would add a city with an average age significantly higher than even most of Florida, we need younger people to work to support the needs of those that can’t do for themselves or prefer not to, good solid working people that will hopefully want to stay here & make a life for them and their families
Spot on Robin!!!
perfect itt sold PC as a retirement living town, bring your boat, golf clubs and fishing polls.!
I was there in 1980 when my mom bought a condo. only way to get into the east of 95 PC was through a guard house at Old kings and 100 or the ferry boat from a1a to the welcome center near the Palm Harbor Golf course.
Some builder were even giving away boats if you bought a house, which back then you were allowed to keep in your driveway.
Jimmy Mulfort says
Ughhh no the f*ck we don’t…
Maria Davis says
Excuse me, but not all young adults are a bunch of loud partying morons. My son and his wife are professionals and chose to live in Palm Coast contributing to this community. They are planners, and always knew in advance what their goals would be and also prepared for set backs. And they were fortunate enough to purchase a house before the prices went through the roof.
Dennis C Rathsam says
When I moved to Palm Coast, 11 years ago, my wife & I found a peacefull, small town. No traffic, little crime….Now the price of progress. Roads in decay, too many cars for narrow streets, homes poping up everywhere & crime is on the rise. Gangs in the high school. creating havoc. Our grocery stores are now overwhelmed, parking is almost impossable. Obviously Pierre, & Stuff Em in Alvin are in favor of the destruction of Palm Coast. Our intrastructure cannot handle all the new projects, seems no one cares. What was a great place to live, has now turned into a clusterfuck.Gone are the deer & rabbits that roamed our homestead. Progress chased them away…Just like Palm Coast, chasing the retirees away too.
Dennis – why was the cut off for the right number of people to move here shortly after YOU came? I got here 24 years before you. Can I complain about everything changing since YOU got here?
Grow up. You moved somewhere with empty lots in a place where people want to live. Surprise – more people were going to come after you got here.
Dennis C Rathsam says
Iam just stating a fact. Since you have been here so long, you to can see the drastic changes in our city. I too am in favor of new folks comming to town. I just question how many more we need. Where are all these people gonna get food? If you look at the shopplng centers or Walmart even a blind squerrel can see theres nowhere to park. Things need to be changed before Palm Coast is overwhelmed. Our streets are falling apart, potholes everywhere, but our sprinklers our doing a great job keeping the median green, and 1/2 the street too. Control growth is what its called, whats happening now is an invation.
Exactly, Diane. I’ve lived in Florida for all of my 70 years, and the song never changes. People retire here for low taxes and good weather. They don’t want to pay the cost of educating the children of essential service workers, so our per student funding levels are shameful. Newcomers want development to stop after they arrive, even though a thousand people a day have been moving to Florida for decades. Infrastructure will be playing catch- up as long as the growth continues. Complaining about it it fruitless. If you want green space, buy some.
Cranky ole man who didn’t fit in where he was moves to Palm Coast and now doesn’t fit in again. Even a game of checkers requires thinking ahead, something cranky didn’t do
PC Resident says
11 years ago? You came to our place. And you’re lucky, because your house cost you about $200,000 less (just 11 years ago) than it would for someone already living here, working here, and hoping to buy now.
People have been renting these single family homes, because there aren’t many apartments. Not new. Look at Flagler County on Google Maps. It’s not small. And people who own the land are free to sell it or develop it. Can’t stop that.
I’ve been waiting for this place to develop since I was a kid, and it’s not fully there yet, so tighten up your panties and get ready.
Taco Tim says
You think the water and electric bills are high now . Just wait another couple years when the water wells out in Westen part of the county DRY UP. I moved here back in 1988. Their where two houses on my street. I hunted Deer , Hogs. and Turkey in my backyard for 7 years before the next street over started building houses and my Game animals all headed West towards West Bunnell. This place SUCKS now. I only have a few years left, I believe I will sell my home to a HUD family and piss off my nasty neighbors . You know, 6 kids, three PitBulls, Music “thumping all night”. Yep, they going to really miss me……..
I just hope all these people who will be moving here do so for a good reason… sorry, but I’m pretty sure the “mothership” isn’t landing here folks.
The free market is what determines the housing costs and I don’t see any way of creating “Affordable Housing” without government subsidies.
Landlords are not going to lower rent below what they can get on the free market.
Pissed in PC says
What we need is starter homes (1-2 bedrooms) and granny pads. I’ve spoke to the mayor about this as many seniors who lose a spouse can’t afford or can’t care for those big houses and end up leaving for senior apartments or live with family. Starter homes are perfect for those people just starting out (nurses, police, fire) that don’t have kids yet but don’t want apartment living. Why not a tiny home community? I lived in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath for 16 years as I wasn’t married or had kids. Perfect size of 820 square feet on my 1 acre lot. I would gladly do it again and sell my inherited house of 1279 sq ft.
We don’t need more we need the ones already there to be affordable ‼️‼️ how about you write an article on why flagler county is one of the highest places to live in flordia.
Read the first part of your comment to answer the second part of your comment…
It’s literally Economics 101. If there is a larger SUPPLY of houses , the price will drop. Currently, SUPPLY is low but DEMAND is high.
If you want houses to be cheaper, you need more of them. And if you want the housing market as a whole to be more efficient, you need more types of houses/apartments than cookie cutter 2000sq ft homes on quarter acre lots
There is too much of a demand for cheap housing that adding more supply will not make it any cheaper. I’ve been a landlord with multiple houses in two states for over 20 years. I know the market well. One $20 add in the Pennysaver will generate at least 40 phone calls.
Right now I think it’s investment driven really. Investment companies (Wall Street) have found another way to create derivatives. This time backed up by income streams from rental properties. Just my opinion.
Celia Pugliese says
This time I agree with most of the above and have to disagree with you Pierre. Correct growth can’t be stopped, but should be properly planned with the needed infrastructure in place first. Pierre, have you investigated of all the “affordable housing” just
C of O, built in Town Center (which I agreed in a city council meeting in 2019, as being in the right place there) have any of the units show affordable rents?. I do not believe so. Also something I find out is all these so called “affordable housing” built with a lot of taxpayers paid perks (because supposed to be affordable) to benefit their developers are not afforded really to the local service workers pays, but instead attract more “out of towners” with very limited earning potential into a city that do not have the employment available for them. Then some to sustain themselves they start the type of business that keeps our law enforcement busy in that area. You are calling all of us that want well planned growth prejudist or kinda HOA zealots and that is total distortion of our reality. We just want to keep Palm Coast as beautiful, safe and valued as when attracted you and family to move and work here and us all as well. We do not prejudice or antagonize anyone, we just want to preserve our quality of life, safety, value of our homes and pursuit of happiness versus greedy development without a proper plan. We worked hard also in our lives to afford the homes located whether adjacent to golf courses or HOA’s whos only existance is based on rules to just preserve our quality of life, safety, the value of hour homes, the beautiful curve appeal that enhances our city and our pursuit of happines. Our community residents inside or outside HOA’s help each other and plenty volunteer for many needed causes, then to call us prejudist or HOA’s gate keepers is very unfair. Florida Statutes 70.001: (2) When a specific action of a governmental entity has inordinately burdened an existing use of real property or a vested right to a specific use of real property, the property owner of that real property is entitled to relief, which may include compensation for the actual loss to the fair market value of the real property caused by the action of government, as provided in this section. A property owner entitled to relief under this section retains such entitlement to pursue the claim if the property owner filed a claim under subsection (4) but subsequently relinquishes title to the subject real property before the claim reaches a final resolution.
Some of PC city history also told next with some projects materialized other still on the works and others maybe discarded: https://www.floridatrend.com/article/13413/around-the-state , https://www.news-journalonline.com/story/news/local/flagler/2019/12/23/deal-may-see-palm-coast-take-over-marina/2021380007/
M lauman says
Yes obviously these developers have no common sense our roads can’t handle what we have now ! Here is no true employment in the area except stores were you don’t even make enough for a apartment or condo if these developers want to build how about a nice affordable elderly care place that people can afford it is a retirement area ! They are only bring in crime to our area between the developers and our officials they are all disgrace! !
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Our housing prices are relatively low for a costal community…
And as far as affordable housing problem, look at California. Home prices are well above Florida and the working class seems to find shelter. I fail to understand why our taxes need to go up just because more people are moving to Flagler County. Seems as though their taxes would cover increased expenses. Don’t be fooled by those that want to grow government.
We have enough houses an apartments, if you want to come to PC try to fit in not make PC change to you stay in New York or New Jersey we were fine without you. Our schools were fine our streets were fine. The green lots were fine. So live with it or leave it or don’t co e here.
One thing that would be great is if developers would build small houses. Here you either have a huge 4 bedroom or a condo. I don’t want/need a huge house nor do I want a condo with hogh fees and rules about what color flowers I plant. I suppose there’s no profit in building smaller homes and since profit it the only thing that matters it’s not gonna happen. Eliminating people who could afford smaller homes.
Mischa Gee says
I bought my home in 2003. It’s not big, just under 2400 sq ft under a/c. With very little in the way of decent closet size, one of the three bedrooms is now a giant closet. So, if you want to build a tiny home, go ahead, they aren’t for everyone, and every home on about 10,000 SQ feet is not a 2,000 SQ ft home. And 19,000 SQ ft gives you some breathing room from your next door neighbor.
What this town really needs is leadership that has concerns for the people living here and not to line their pockets !!!
When we moved here twelve years ago, we were the only house on a five lot cul-de-sac. Today every lot has a house on it. Of the five, we are the only retired couple, three are working parents with kids, one has a work-at-home mom with a dad who works outside the home, and lastly, a pair of DINKS. We have not noticed any appreciable loss in water pressure, traffic congestion or other malady described in many posts as being signs of over-crowding.
Face it people, this city was designed as a full blown city to house hundreds of thousands of people. Do we have infrastructure problems? Yes, however, they are being addressed in the same ‘catch-up-with-the-population-growth’ manner that cities all across the nation favor. Why are cities slow to respond? Because you and I do not want to pay higher taxes to support the needed additions to our sewers, water systems and drainage. We do not want to pay for the extra fire and emergency services required. The city/county fights the needed impact fees for schools, police and parks. And just like cities and counties across the country we will always be lagging behind the growth curve.
I have not seen a bobcat in years with only the rare deer sighting. I know they are still here as they tend to leave signs of their visits. I have however noticed an increase in the squirrel population and not just the gray four-footed ones.
Do we need the additional growth? Probably not. Do we need affordable housing? Yes, we do. Are we going to see more growth? You bet we are – and there is nothing you or I can do to stop it. Buckle up buttercup, ya ain’t see noting yet!
Those who lived in Newark, NJ understood exactly what Councilman Eddie Branquinho meant. I lived in Newark for 20 years and as soon as we retired we ran out. The Renaissance rumor has been circulating for decades. The gangs (Crypts/Bloods) and crime rule the streets of Newark. I recommend Mr. Tristam stay in Newark for a year and maybe he’ll have a better understanding of Mr. Branquinho’s comments. We lived in Palm Coast for 11 years and saw the light in the horizon with all the over development, traffic congestion, population/crime increase so we moved out of Flagler County.
Let’s build schools shopping roads first. Let’s build main roads 6 lanes for ALL the traffic with all the homes you want to build We need more publix and winn dixie shopping
“In the 1960s ITT conceived Palm Coast as a city of 600,000.”… Let me guess, about the same time Disney was dreaming up Disney World.
Listen, I’m old enough to remember the great hoopla that was made when Disney finally “finished” his “world.” It was the future, it was Epcot center. If I recall correctly (and I’m not completely sure I am, since I was a child at the time) it was “sold” as a glimpse of the future (planned) city with monorail transport and all. It was part of a trend that had been building that I think was called futurism. NASA had some part in fueling this idea as well, I think they had ideas of building a large orbiting space station with a self-contained ecosystem at the time. Oddly enough, I think the trend ended in the early 1980’s with a project that was associated with Steve Bannon of all people… small world eh. But that was the 1970’s.
This is the future, and one now learns the gory details… Epcot is now (a probably always was) just another “attraction” among many… that Disney had the Reedy Creak Development pact, etc. So too with ITT. It was a conglomerate that got into real estate as one of its diversification efforts, it was trendy at the time… but that’s not too say they didn’t try their best at the time to develop a high quality product. It probably was a better effort than most alternatives at the time (mobile home developments). But the 70’s came to an end, the age of large conglomerates were coming to an end… and someone woke up one morning at ITT and decided they weren’t in the real estate development business anymore.
My point being, it doesn’t matter what ITT planned, they’re gone… they saw the light. Palm Coast was a resort town, probably originally designed around old retirees and a 1970’s lifestyle… nothing more. But people are still moving here for all the wrong reasons, and builders will just do what builders do. But this is true of all of FL… they’ve been trying to do something with this place forever (when they should probably have been doing nothing). I thought it was just me, but watch the history pieces on the FL channel and learn. This is just turning out to be one long urban sprawl, and as for PC (and Flagler with it)… back into Valousia it seems (of which it was part many decades ago).
As a one time resident of Staten Island I’ve seen this movie, they’ll start talking about rezoning the existing lots soon I’m sure… hey did you ever wonder why there’s a jump in house numbers? Just my opinion… not worth much I admit, but what the heck.
Mark K says
The growth and following destruction of our environment which is embraced by the Palm Coast and Flagler County commisoners is heartbreaking.
The article states florida needs more homes built. Florida has the most homes forsale more than an other state look it up. This is pure propaganda when will we get back to the truth in this country. Politics ruins everything.
Oh my gosh, now you got me rolling. Oh yeah, my selfishness drove me out of south Florida in order to find a peaceful, natural Florida place to live in, like existed when I was growing up. When we move to the Hammock, people in PC smiled at us and waved at us as if we knew them. No more. We have nothing against the trailers here in the Hammock, and would prefer them to stay contrary to the newer arrivals who seem to be appalled by them, and feel they are above them.
Gentrification is happening here on the coast. Vacation rentals are pushing out long time residents. New *homes* (motel units, without front desks, in residential neighborhoods) are being built specifically for this purpose. Publix charges more for food here than in other neighborhoods, appealing to the vacationers. Rent is no longer attainable to locals, but attainable to those who have no ties or loyalties to the area. Do we need affordable housing? Yes, and we had it before the influx of people here. Somehow, the locals managed to survive. Gentrification is pushing them out.
Pierre, come here and sit awhile and listen to the oaks in the Sanctuary cracking as they come down, it’s quite a disturbing sound. The Hammock is a maritime hammock and creates it’s own climate, which allowed past hurricanes to jump right over it. Not the last two. You seem to see development as a necessary evil, it’s a bit confusing. I don’t think evil is ever necessary.
Palm Coast is the literal swamp land in Florida. For ITT, or anyone, to build here was flat out stupid regarding any responsibility to the future. Developers, in my opinion, are the bottom of the barrel, scum of the devastated Earth. You really think they give a shit about anything other than their own pockets? No, never. I watched it all my life. Do we need to bring more people here? Heard that one too. No, we don’t. Let them move to Georgia or Alabama, or I’m sure the better states of New York and New Jersey are empty enough now to house them again.
The Intra-Coastal Waterway is a joke. Just ten years ago, or less, we mostly had fishermen and women, people commuting by small boats, and a few, large obnoxious speeders. Now it’s an unmonitored free for all. Two deadly accidents, that I know of, in the last year and a half. That will increase.
A1A was 55 mph, now it’s 50 mph with caravans traveling from here to Flagler Beach at 38 mph, and the newbies are complaining about the speed being too fast. They can’t seem to make up their minds as to what is okay. Let me help: it was okay before.
For twenty plus years now, our local governments have made us water our lawns at designated times and days only. Yet they seem happy to attract more and more people. How does that work?
The City of Delray Beach built a subdivision that allowed mixed incomes. A well off family could purchase a very nice house there, and a family with lower income could purchase a town home at a reduced rate as long as they lived there for three or more years to avoid flipping. This is much better than just low income apartments in clusters.
Florida does not need to house the world. Developers can get the hell out, and take their greed with them.
P.S. Dude: Get over it! Look up “fixed income” and volunteer for Meals on Wheels or something. Your obvious hatred of seniors is misplaced and you need to work with them and see how it really is.
Okay, that ought to do it for now.
No, here’s more. Let’s get really real now, no more fantasies. So some of you think that if we just keep adding on more housing, and more apartments, everything will just work out and housing will magically become affordable. Okay, go to my home town of Ft. Lauderdale, start looking for affordable housing, because, you know, there are more options and jobs there, right? Then come back and tell us all about it.
According to Zumper.com, the average price of a one bedroom, one bath apartment in Ft. Lauderdale is $2,100 a month. My friends down there would love to find something decent at that price. There are plenty of old apartments in Ft. Lauderdale, so if you want something a little nicer and a little bigger, good luck. According to Refin.com, the median price for a home in Ft. Lauderdale is $573,000. Is that a little more affordable for you? Again, if you want something a bit nicer, well you know. You won’t find these in your gated communities.
The City of Ft. Lauderdale has a current population of 186,208. It is unbelievably congested, the roads packed, buildings have nowhere to go but up. Somehow you believe this is a remedy? The local newspaper, the Sun Sentinel, has an article on how blue collar workers are being pushed out because of wages and unaffordable housing.
Now, please, go ahead, and tell me how this is going to work for 600.000 people built on swamp land in Florida. No, please go ahead. Cut down the trees. Cut down the quality of life. Tell me where the water is coming from, and where the garbage is going. Tell me that widening the roads will give relief. Tell me how more people will lower our taxes and bills. I’ve heard it all before, and it’s bullshit.
Mischa Gee says
Amen Laurel, you are so right. We need to put a moratorium on building. This town needs to get some sensible leadership before the turn it into a place no one wants to live.
Big Mama says
My daughter, son-in-law and grandkids live with me. They have to. Flagler County has no career jobs with the exception of city and county government. With low paying jobs, how do you expect young couples to be able to afford to live here?
This is not retirement land anymore. Move to the Villages, if that what you want. Families are moving down to be with family. I speak from experience. I moved here in 1998 and now my whole family is here, both young and old. I want them to stay. I missed them. I’m afraid they are going to have to move because of no jobs and high housing prices.
Enough complaining! Government needs to get real business in here and better affordable housing NOW!!
Mary Fusco says
Big Mama, Palm Coast is and always will be a bedroom community. Businesses do not relocate to places like this to pay higher salaries. Traditionally, those that live in bedroom communities commute to a job further away. Husband and I lived in a suburb (bedroom community) for 25 years. That was what we could afford. The trade off was that he commuted 90 minutes each way every day. Work is not always around the corner.
Patrick Miller says
There is adopted Comprehensive Plan. If you moved here and thought the vacant lots would stay vacant then you live in an alternate universe. If you live near an airport and you think it will stay just as you found it most likely you have on blinders. Originally this was to be a retirement community designed by corporate people who had no idea what they were doing but wanting to line their own pockets.
So that poor plan became a municipality. Personally, I “sometimes” think Palm Coast should be unincorporated and just be included in County without separate City government. That would take out a non-functional level of government. Our leaders seemingly treat the City as their own not on behalf of the citizens. It virtually a big HOA not a functioning local government. But again though there is a lot to be desired by the Comprehensive Plan it may help you understand more of the issues of Palm Coast.
The ORIGINAL land of no turn signals says
We all know the best way to reverse global warming is to mow down every single tree and replace it with houses on little tiny lots 10 feet apart.We need more housing like we need 3 more Mullin like commissioners.
“It’s not going to make a difference if Old Kings Road is built up parcel by parcel over 20 years or built up more rapidly over five. The end result is the same.” This statement is unsubstantiated nonsense. There’s a difference between planning and no planning. If nothing else, at least there need to be overpasses constructed at major intersections where currently there is a wait of two or three light changes before being able to proceed. All that CO2 waste doesn’t smell like progress. Besides, local roads were never designed for a city.
It is crazy how so unbelievably narrow minded this city is, and people wonder why when people graduate from the high schools they have to go elsewhere to find work. Instead of building new homes they should work on their crumbling infrastructure, but who cares when kids are getting nailed on the side of the road because there’s no street lights.
I read sometime ago, complaints about people moving to this area. I think that is interesting because we decided to move here. Why can’t they move here. Recent comments about this story I still read where people are still complaining and probably not happy with their decisions. Can we stop growth, at sometime in the past we were a part of the growth. Can we stop people from moving here, did people stop us? Can’t tell people ti think like me, but I decided to move here about 17 yrs. ago. Was it the best decision, don’t know but it was my decision. I’ve decided to make the best of it. I decided to enjoy my life control what I can and move forward. I decided to be happy with my decision and try to live the fullest every day, the key word is try. Dont like the government here but I vote against them and hope they will lose the election, whst else can I do? I miss seeing some of the wild animals, ducks, turkeys, deers, fireflies, owels, hearing the whooping cranes. The Hawks. I do hear the whooping cranes sometimes. Haven’t heard an owl in about a year. Haven’t seen fireflies in about 3 yrs. That is what uncontrolled building does destroy one’s home for the progress of anothers home. Thus is building, not necessarily progress. People continue to come. We can’t stop them. Mr. Pierre you made a comment about the California left wingers, they are better than the Fla. right wingers. People there are some things we just can’t control, but we can control our thoughts. We are in 100% control of our thoughts and actions. If I could control the local elections the Dems, will win all the time. I’m not and they don’t. I’m living my life because GOD gave it to me your live. Can’t control your thoughts but I can control mine. Come Nov. I will vote against the Repubs. I made the decision to vote against them. Will they lose, I don’t know but I would have done my part.
Deborah Coffey says
Agree with everything you’ve written, Pierre, except maybe this: “It’s not going to make a difference if Old Kings Road is built up parcel by parcel over 20 years or built up more rapidly over five. The end result is the same. And Old Kings Road will be four-laned before it fronts the Atlantic. Guaranteed.”
My gripe with the growth is that these Republican “leaders” do not keep up with the needed infrastructure to match the growth! Why these whiny, bigoted people keep putting them in charge is beyond me. But meantime, we NEED Old Kings Rd. widened NOW. We need more decent restaurants and a Trader Joe’s. We need a Sam’s Club. What happened to Nordstrom at Town Center. We’re a long way away from the Great Republican Recession of 2008! Growth is expected and it’s great…if the infrastructure is put into place at the same time.
Peggie Rightwing says
Seriously ? Its all the Republicans fault ? People like you need to go live out in Washington and Oregon. Where you can live in the trees and hug the homeless. Got news for you cupcake, after 2024 Florida will be 90.9% Conservative based. YOU should leave now before the Big Bad ” Orange Man” comes back to make your life miserable .
Another reason why I fear Georgia might build a border wall.
jim morrison says
you blame republicans because of no infrastructure to support your high end shops i.e. nordstroms but will blame them for raising taxes to increase infrastructure. I’m neither a dem or rep but you moved to the wrong town for a nordstroms, trader joes and sams club– head down 95 south for 45 minutes for that. really? if the dems were in power PC would have the infrastructure in place for you. but not without raising taxes .
Pissed in PC says
That’s not necessarily true. If we had better businesses that paid taxes then those taxes would add to the revenue which will provide money to build and maintain infrastructure as well as pay the city employees. Did you happen to notice they’re having to lower the property tax rate because of some state law that you can’t have a big budget surplus. If we were able to have that surplus then we could have and maintain infrastructure. Look how DeSantis gave the top 10 businesses part of their tax money back? Why are we giving it back when we need to finance infrastructure, employees to maintain that infrastructure. But due to years of irresponsible republicans running this state they put big businesses over the needs of the people to live here and do those lower wage jobs. They only think of the millionaires but are those millionaires going to work the low wage jobs? I think not.
Pissed: Government cannot make profit. They can use their budgets a heck of a lot more wisely, but cannot make a profit. It has to go back.
Pissed in P says
I said businesses that pay taxes not the government. Why are we giving business back money when it was made off sales of products. Yeah we know government doesn’t make money.
Kathy is sooo right!!!!
Mischa Gee says
When I moved to Palm Coast in 2003, the first thing I saw that would become a problem, there are not enough through roads, ingress and egress of all these pocket housing developments, which were supposed to give you the feeling of community!
If the is an accident on Belle Terre Blvd and you live in one of those developments, good luck getting there. During rush hour, good luck getting out to the only through road in your area. I count 8 major through roads – Belle Terre Pkwy, Old Kings Road, Rt 1, Rt 95, and A1A, run North/South, Matanzas Woods Road, Palm Coast Pkwy, and Rt 100 run East/West. Everything dumps into one of them eventually. They are the only roads that will take you through most of the city, everything else circles around or takes you to them.
Try building more through roads where no housing exists or this town will be in chronic gridlock, by over building. The New Town Center, where the movie theater is located was once sold as a future walking shopping downtown. If they ever build the Art Center, where will everyone park? All those apartments with the first floor windows right on the sidewalk, leave no room to widen the already congested road. I now avoid that area like the plague, the angle parking if oversized vehicles and narrow through lanes, makes this an obstacle course, not a pleasure to drive though, and there is still no walkable shopping.
The pocket developments have no space for street parking (znd I might as well add, are barely wide enough for two vehicles traveling in opposite directions. Not very safe for pedestrians), so if you want to have a backyard wedding reception, or other party, good luck. Some driveways are neither wide or deep enough for 4 cars. There are no sidewalks to keep pedestrians safe from fast moving vehicles (people speed through these neighborhoods, since it takes so long to get to a through road). There are no pocket parks, in which neighbors can gather and children can play, so how are you supposed to have a feeling of community?
Building homes on smaller lots is only going to cause more congestion, if you don’t set up community parking spaces in those neighborhoods, along with play areas for children.
I haven’t had water pressure in my home in over ten years. My water lines have some sort of black gunk in them, which has clogged my cold water in my kitchen (need a new faucet) and hot water in my main bath (ditto on faucets), and the water/sewer bill is obscenely high. I only paid $200/per quarter in North New Jersey for water there, for years. I pay almost that on a monthly basis, without a sprinkler system.
Areas where people tanks exist have real problems when we get lots of heavy rainfall. Do we really think driving through raw sewage or having it back up into our homes makes good sense? And yet, they approved and started building a small village near the end of Pritchard, where they were running septic trucks for weeks trying to empty the overflowing sewer system. We need to build more water processing plants, put in better pumping systems to improve water pressure and each new development should have a new cleaner sewer processing plants, so we do wind up with neighborhoods reeking like an open septic tank.
As a City we had an opportunity to set up our own police department, when it would have been reasonable. Why is the largest town in the county relying on the county to provide policing? What will that cost in the long run?
We needed another hospital but, why build it in-between East/West lanes on a heavily traveled through road? Not forward thinking there. It was a bad idea even before we grew to almost 90,000 residents, refer back to lack of infrastructure.
This city needs to stop and really reassess what it wants for the future if its residence. Growth just for the sake of growth without forethought is turning out to be, a terrible idea.
Palm Coast still has enough open space that these problems are correctable, but that won’t happen with the current way our politicians are doing business.
Republicans have turned out not to be so fiscally responsible. Vote for a better tomorrow and remove them from office.
David S. says
Thank You so tired of these idiots who run this city maybe they are relatives of Trump….
Stormy Weather says
The heating up of the atmosphere and ocean is causing EXTREME changes in the weather patterns. Just ONE major hurricane coming in from the east with wind speeds of over 185 mph will LEVEL Flagler County. There will be NO MORE Flagler Beach and Palm Coast will look like Hiroshima, Japan after the atomic bomb was dropped on it. Instead of complaining about how many houses are being built, you would do yourself better to plan an escape from this place well in advance of being destroyed .
IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN….Like death, it’s not IF but WHEN it will happen.
Hey, I’m starting to believe that half the folks moved here just for that moment.
And of those, half of them are “thrill seekers” who like to live dangerously, the other half religious fanatics waiting for the “this is it” moment.
Your articles are almost as bad as the traffic and condition of the roads in Palm Coast these days. Good at sneaking in political bias and trying to convince people that everything is great when 90% of the town is not happy… great job 👍🏻