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 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.
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.
The council approved several deviations from the Land Development Code to accommodate the developer, which is part of the Marina Village collection of developments. Between Marina del Palma’s 615 units to its immediate north and a 240-unit apartment complex immediately to the west of Colbert Lane, the cluster of new developments will add 1,400 housing units.
The Palm Coast Planning Board Wednesday evening recommended approval of the development of 275 upscale town-home apartments in a gated community on 40 acres at the southeast corner of Citation Boulevard and Belle Terre Boulevard. One of the developer’s representatives described the project as “an upscale community without being unaffordable,” which may have broken new ground in real estate doublespeak.
Coquina Shores, the 750-home development planned as a 505-acre gated community in a north-south rectangle north of State road 100 and east of Old Kings Road in Palm Coast, will be built with $65 million in infrastructure and run as its own community development district, or CDD, like Grand Haven and Hammock Dunes.
The Palm Coast City Council approved an engineering contract for the first phase of what will be a three-phase, 7-mile beltway connecting Matanzas Woods Parkway and Palm Coast Parkway west of U.S. 1. The ambitious road incursion through 12,000 acres of empty wilds would open that part of the city to development.
Almost a year to the day when the Palm Coast City Council approved the project, Crest Residential broke ground on Wilton Palm Coast, a 251-unit luxury complex split between a quadrangular, four-story building and a few three- and two-story buildings.
Property values didn’t rise as sharply this year as they did in 2022. But the increase is still the second-highest in 16 years, generating substantial new revenue for local government budgets.
Palm Coast grew 10.3 percent between 2020 and 2022, to 98,411 people, according to the Census Bureau’s latest estimate, released today. The city is on pace to cross well past the 100,000 threshold this year, and based on the last two years’ trend, likely did so in February or March.