The Palm Coast planning board this evening will consider recommending approval of Ocean Village, a 416-unit apartment complex to be built on 46 acres on the north side of State Road 100, just west of Colbert Lane.
The complex would total seven buildings–three four story buildings and four three-story, along with a dog park, clubhouse, pool and other such amenities that have become a standard part of complexes.
Other than a storage facility that recently opened, Ocean Village would be the first large-scale development between Colbert and the commercial zone at the intersection of Old Kings Road and State Road 100. The proposed development is surrounded by scrubland.
At the same time, the development is part of a new cluster of residential developments in the region, when paired with projects on nearby Roberts Road and John Anderson Highway.
Just over a year ago, Flagler Beach government approved 240 apartments and 112 single-family homes on two separate tracts. Palm Coast soon after approved an additional 217 single family homes at a development called Grand Reserve East (no relation to Bunnell’s Grand Reserve), totaling 569 single-family homes or apartments. With the development presumably to be approved this evening, the total number of housing units rises to 985. Add to that the 335 homes planned for the Gardens development on John Anderson Highway, and the impacts begin to rise.
That’s not an issue for traffic and it appears not to be an issue for infrastructure such as utilities. But it could eventually be an issue for the school district, and particularly for Old Kings Elementary. Last week the school had an enrollment of 970, down from 1,152 from last year thanks to the transfer this fall of sixth graders to middle schools. At full capacity, the new developments alone would add 108 students at Old Kings Elementary, according to a consultant’s calculations for the district, as other developments in the Old Kings Elementary zone continue.
Apartment complexes typically generate public opposition. Just as typically they’ll do so from nearby neighbors who tend to follow an identical and often inaccurate script: the complex will undesirably increase traffic, it will attract undesirable residents (a euphemism for minorities), it will lower property values. While none of those claims are backed up by evidence in Palm Coast, the claims appear moot in this case.
The city requires developers to hold at least one neighborhood meeting, where all surrounding property owners are alerted to the proposal and invited to attend. When the developer hosted that meeting at the Hilton garden Inn the evening of Aug. 17, no one showed up. It is not likely that this evening’s hearing will generate a different response. The city administration is recommending approval.
The more controversial item on this evening’s planning board agenda is the proposed rezoning at Harborside, at the intersection of Palm Harbor Parkway and Clubhouse Drive. A developer is seeking to substantially increase the density of a proposed development there.
The Ocean Village acreage sold at the end of December for $7.8 million to GJE Development of Valdosta, Ga., represented by Greg Joseph. The property has some history. It was zoned high-intensity, general commercial, agriculture and conservation when it was county land, and was rezoned to apartment-residential and general commercial under Palm Coast’s designations. It was staled for a 48-unit apartment complex under a previous plan that expired.
The currently vacant expanses of land to the north of the proposed development are slated for single-family residential growth. The acreage to the east and west of the development is zoned for mixed use. Drivers along State Road 100 will not necessarily see the apartment buildings, which are to be built in the interior of the parcel, well offset from the highway. The development will be gated, with two entrances from SR100.