We have a housing crisis in Palm Coast. Too few houses, too few apartments, discriminatory zoning and homesteading laws that make the problem worse. We who live in our sprawling, property-tax-sheltered single-family houses not only see these laws as entitlements. We want the door to more development closed behind us. We got our own. Screw the rest. So just when we need it most, affordable housing is becoming a dirty word.
The Palm Coast Planning Board recommended approval of a rezoning of 62 acres on Old Kings Road some 2.5 miles south of State Road 100 that will clear the way for up to 210 small homes, hours after the Palm Coast City Council annexed the property into the city, from the county. The property is adjacent to Polo Club West, an upscale equestrian community where residents have been worried about the effects of a more dense development on their privacy and property values.
Flagler County and city officials inaugurated the formal opening of the $12.3 million pedestrian bridge over State Road 100, five years in the making, with speeches and a dedicatory run by the Flagler Palm Coast High School track team. But its leading champion, Faith al-Khatib, was absent.
The Palm Coast City Council today approved on a pair of 4-1 votes land use changes that clear the way for up to 850 housing units on 375 acres on the west side of Seminole Woods Boulevard, three miles south of State Road 100. The proposal, for a project called Cascades, drew sharp opposition from City Council member Theresa Pontieri and an equally sharp defense from the developer, Jeff Douglas of Douglas Properties. The exchange drew in the mayor and other council members and reflects a recurring debate in Palm Coast over the speed, density and purpose of development.
The joint local government committee of county and city representatives that met for the second time approached at arm’s length Palm Coast City Council member Theresa Pontieri’s proposal that Palm Coast annex into the city the county beach and access at Malacompra Road.
Palm Coast City Council member Ed Danko verbally attacked and disparaged the city’s resiliency and sustainability officer in a public meeting on Tuesday, baselessly calling her presentation “propaganda,” questioning why she had a job, and sparring with Mayor David Alfin, who brought him under control.
The Palm Coast City Council is not as opposed as it seemed a few months ago to expanding availability of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on public land, but only if private companies lead the way and lease the land at market value–a much stricter standard than the city’s arrangement with its cell phone tower builder and operator.
For all of the city’s efforts since 2017 to improve cell coverage in Palm Coast, reliability is still a serious problem. Only 14 to 15 percent of the city’s land mass is getting fully reliable coverage. Less than 35 percent of the city is getting fair to mediocre coverage. A deficit of needed towers still looms.
In a startling proposal that may revive city-Hammock conflicts dormant since the mid 2000s, Palm Coast City Council member Theresa Pontieri on Tuesday said the city should consider annexing the county’s Malacompra Park so Palm Coast can have its own beach. The idea did not get a warm reception from fellow council members or others.
Road crews will be closing lanes to facilitate work on two projects in Palm Coast in coming days, along Belle Terre Parkway near Buddy Taylor Middle School, and along east Hampton Boulevard.