Flagler Beach has been trying to resolve its parking problems, real or perceived, for at least two decades. On Thursday (April 30), the Flagler Beach City Commission will hear the latest parking proposal, this time from a committee of city officials and city residents and business owners the commission appointed two years ago to look into the matter. An article outlining the committee’s findings and recommendations is here. Below is a brief chronology of the last 18 years’ attempts at finding a solution to Flagler Beach’s parking woes.
April 2015: The city’s parking committee submits its findings, focusing on four recommendations.
June 2014: Gov. Rick Scott signs a measure banning parking meters until July 2015 along state roads, which would include State Road A1A. The ban expires this July.
February 2013: The city commission delegates a committee to look into the parking issue. The committee includes City Manager Bruce Campbell, Mayor Linda Provencher, two more city staffers and three residents and business owners.
January 2013: Residents and business owners flock to a city commission workshop to oppose a plan to charge for parking. The plan, proposed by Manager Bruce Campbell, would have created 75 paid parking spaces in a lot on South Flagler Avenue and 24 spaces on South 4th Street. Start-up costs were projected at over $200,000 and annual costs of $44,000, including the cost of a parking attendant. Revenue from the $1-per-hour charges was expected to be just under $400,000 annually. The commission largely rejects the plan.
April 2012: The city commission seeks money from the Volusia Transportation Planning Organization to develop a parking hub to develop a 100-space parking lot on South Flagler Avenue and South 4th Street along with bicycle rentals and a trolley system. The estimated $511,000 project is still on the planning organization’s list.
February 2011: The commission approves an ordinance that limits RV parking in residential areas to 72 hours in any one-week period. But the issue isn’t settled until later that year.
October 2006: The city commission approves negotiations with a Flagler Beach couple, Regina and Angelo Cinelli, to potentially lease properties for parking. The proposal is vague, commissioners reveal nothing, and it falls flat at a time when the city had no manager.
September 2004: The city considers banning parking along a 10-block stretch of A1A’s east side in a dune-protection move. The ban would have applied between Moody Boulevard and North 10th Street. Mayor Bruce Jones vetoes the commission’s 3-2 decision. The ban fails.
December 2003: The city studies installing parking meters along the area of the pier. The plan goes nowhere.
October 2001: The city commission rejects an ordinance that would have banned over night parking that didn’t specifically target tractor trailers and RVs.
August 2011: The city commission approves a proposal that would include boat slips in businesses’ required parking quotas. Residents object. The city eventually delays the proposal, then approves a watered-down version, enabling businesses to count boat slips as 25 percent of a business’ required parking spaces.
Winter 1999: The city commission seeks to ban parking from South 10th Street to South 28th, on A1A’s west side, and in December 1998 asks the Department of Transportation to put up “No Parking” signs near Snack Jack’s, prompting a lawsuit from the restaurant. The city erupts in opposition against the parking ban. The commission scraps the plan in February 1999, and settles with Snack Jack’s out of court.
July 1998: The city commission considers buying what was then known as the Tucker property, a 20,000 square foot parcel split by A1A at the south end of the city, near the water tower. The proposal was to use the land for parking and a park. Former City Commissioner Betty Steflik, who would later have a park further north named after her, led the charge for the $25,000 purchase.
April 1998: The commission approves spending an additional $175,000 on buying land for parking, with the federal grant still waiting to be spent.
June 1997: The city commission announces plans to buy a vacant lot with $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant dollars, but then-City Manager Greg Marshank refuses to advertise the city’s intentions. Four sites are targeted. One is chosen, on South 6th Street off A1A, but environmental concerns block the purchase.
March 1997: The city commission lobbies the Legislature to let it use bed-tax dollars—back when the surtax on short-term rentals and motel and hotel fares was 2 percent, half what it is today—to buy land that would be converted to beach parking. The plan fails.