September 1982: ITT Community Development Corp. announces plans to build a massive beachfront development along five miles of the Atlantic in the Hammock in Flagler County. The proposal foresees an ultimate population of 12,500, which was equivalent to the population of Flagler County at the time. Jerry Full is the public face of the development for ITT and its subsidiary, Admiral Corp. Full subsequently becomes an environmental advocate and briefly serves on the Palm Coast City Council.
Sept. 14, 1982: Opponents of the Hammock Dunes development organize under the banner of Friends of the Barrier Island. They include Jerry Schatz, the group’s president; Richard Stuckey, Janice Hoskins and Pat Bennington, with support from the Sierra Club, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Friends of St. Johns County and the Environmental Council of Volusia County.
March 30, 1984: The Flagler County Commission approves the Hammock Dunes Development of Regional Impact by County Resolution 84-7 along five miles of beachfront on the Atlantic. The developer at the time was Admiral Corp., a subsidiary of ITT Community Development Corp. The development covers 2,258 acres, allowing Admiral to build 6,670 dwelling units in 42 development clusters. Construction would be clustered on 893 acres. Three major subdivisions are eventually built, including Hammock Dunes, Ocean Hammock and Hammock Beach.
1985: The governor and the Florida cabinet approve the establishment of the Dunes Community Development District. The establishment of the district enables ITT to float bonds to finance the development’s infrastructure, including the bridge connecting Hammock Dunes to Palm Coast Parkway across the Intracoastal.
1988: The Hammock Dunes Bridge is completed.
July 1995: The development order is amended to reduce residential acreage from 893 to 888. The maximum number of dwelling units is reduced from 6,670 to 4,400. Clusters are increased from 42 to 43. The maximum building height in the development’s medium high density clusters is reduced from 20 stories to 12. The location of the golf course shifts. Requirements to develop the various phases of the project sequentially are eliminated, opening the way for ITT to sell portions of the development to other developers, including the Ginn Corp. By 1999, ITT is no longer directly involved.
March 1998: The development order is amended to reduce the number of residential clusters to 35 (from 43) and shift some clusters’ locations. Residential acreage is increased from 888 to 916 acres. More notably for the public, 33 acres of beachfront, public land, previously intended to be a public park, are conveyed to the developer to build a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. The golf course is intended to be a buffer between the development and the beach. The developer is still required to build a public park and preserve public access to the beach at the eastern end of 16th Road.
Dec. 17, 2001: The development is amended a third time, without changing unit numbers or their locations.
Oct. 7, 2002: The county commission repeals the previous amendment in a fourth change to the development order.
2003: The development order is amended a fifth time to extend the build-out date by five years and 11 months, to Feb. 28, 2009. No revisions are made to the number of dwelling units or their locations.
Feb. 7, 2009: Ginn-Luber Adler file a Notice of Potential Change (NOPC), the sixth proposed amendment to the Hammock Beach DRI. It would extend the build-out date three years and create a new, 34-acre residential cluster and shift 1,147 dwelling units to it from other clusters. The acreage would cover the beach club and a part of the Ocean Hammock Golf Course. The Lodge would be demolished to make room for the new new structure.
June 19, 2009: Ginn-Luber Adler changes its proposal, reducing the cluster’s acreage to 24 and the proposed density from 1,147 units to 561, with an overall reduction of units in the DRI from 4,400 to 3,800. Flagler County administrative staff recommends approval. Public opposition is fierce. Admiral submits a letter of objection.
Feb. 11, 2010: Ginn-Luber Adler submits a third proposal, reducing the acreage of the new cluster to 12 instead of 24 acres, with a 77-foot hotel, and possibly moving 16th Road farther south to enlarge the construction area of the new units. Again, county staff recommends approval, with a few conditions.
April 5, 2010: Subsequent to a public hearing, the Flagler County Commission denies the creation of the new cluster and the reallocation of 541 units to it, but approves the DRI’s overall reduction of units to 3,800. The county determines that the new cluster would adversely affect residents in the area and would be detrimental to the public beach and general neighborhood.
Dec. 2, 2010: The County Commission again denies another attempt by the developer to clear the way for the proposed cluster.
December 15-17, 2010: The dispute over the proposal is tried before Administrative Law Judge D. R. Alexander, who rules in favor of the county commission’s position.
Dec. 19, 2011: The Flagler County Commission votes unanimously to approve the build-out agreement with Admiral Corporation, ITT and the Florida labor department, over Palm Coast’s objections. The agreement releases the developers from most obligations toward local government, including concurrencies related to future development.