The Flagler County Commission at a minute after 11 p.m. Monday approved The Gardens development of 335 homes on the east side of John Anderson Highway in a 3-2 vote, with few conditions, possibly ending the developer’s nearly two-year, three-front battle with county regulators, Flagler Beach government and a community organization that had opposed the proposal. But opponents hinted at litigation several times.
A Flagler Beach City Commission seat and the mayor’s seat are up in the March 2 election, with first-term incumbent Eric Cooley vying to keep his seat and Suzy Johnston, heir of the Johnston political dynasty in Flagler–and Cooley’s partner–seeking to replace Linda Provencher after Provencher’s 15 years of service as an elected official.
False claims, disinformation, made up fears, “fairy tales” and allegations of government threats are hampering the county’s efforts to secure the necessary easements from a small group of hold-out property owners. Without the easements, the U.S. Army Corps will not proceed on its $25 million portion of the fully-funded project to protect 2.6 miles of beach.
With all early voting results counted, Sheriff Rick Staly had an insurmountable lead to win re-election to his second term, as did County Commissioner Donald O’Brien. Andy Dance, the school board member, also had an insurmountable lead to win the County Commission seat Charlie Ericksen opted not to contest.
Allen Ross Marine, a 20-year-old resident of Flagler Beach, is at the Flagler County jail since Monday on a charge of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl last September in his neighborhood in Bulow Plantation, off Old Kings Road.
Less than a month after a man drowned while swimming with his cousins off South 26th Street in Flagler Beach, two women and a man were pulled from the surf at North 3rd Street before noon today, one of them unresponsive.
Flagler Beach’s city attorney has drawn up a nine-page document that amounts to a roadmap for the County Commission as the county attempts to balance The Gardens’ development on John Anderson Highway with residents’ serious concerns about the plan.
Two men were pulled out of the ocean and hospitalized Thursday evening after they attempted to rescue a third man in distress off shore at South 26th Street in Flagler Beach Thursday evening. The third man made it to shore unharmed.
Placing its full weight behind its new approach, the Flagler Beach City Commission will condition its support for The Gardens on more explicit assurances about road, utility, flooding improvements, and more certainty about a “cap” on future development.
The Flagler County Commission on Monday opted unanimously to table The Gardens’ application for a 335-home development on John Anderson Highway, the latest in a series of obstacles the development has faced since reviving a plan first devised by developer Bobby Ginn a decade and a half ago.