In a counterintuitive sign of sustained buoyancy for the local construction and housing market, two branches of Palm Coast government this month cleared the way for a combined 382 single-family homes in two unrelated developments–one on U.S. 1, and one in Town Center.
The developments were cleared just as the Flagler County Association of Realtors’ latest monthly report shows that the number of home sales closing last January (144) was the lowest in four years, continuing a downward trend that began in summer.
Homes’ average sale price county-wide in Flagler leveled off in summer and have declined slightly since, and it now takes a month longer to sell a house than it did last summer, when it took about 60 days. Flagler County’s inventory of homes available for sale, bottoming out near 200 a year ago, is back up to 800. (See that full report here.)
Nevertheless, it’s been development as usual in the city’s regulatory pipeline, though the larger development the Palm Coast City Council cleared has been in the works for several years, and has just now reached its final regulatory step.
In June 2020 the Palm Coast planning board issued a development order for Spring Lake at Palm Coast, a two-phase development over 478 acres that will eventually total 421 single-family homes. The development is about a mile north of Palm Coast Parkway, on the west side of U.S. 1.
Spring Lake has been renamed to The Reverie at Palm Coast (the word is French for dreamy ore dream-like). Earlier this month, the Palm Coast City Council, with no discussion, approved the first phase of the development’s final plat, the last step before homes go up. That first phase will consist of 272 single-family homes on 113 acres, resulting in a density of 0.88 homes per acre. (Curt Wimpee of Alliant Engineering is the project engineer.)
Spring Lake/Reverie is part of the Palm Coast Park “development of regional impact,” the sort of huge, planned developments localities approve for development in phases, involving thousands of housing units. Hammock Dunes, for example, is a DRI. The city approved the Palm Coast Park DRI in 2004. It sprawls over 4,600 acres, straddling U.S. 1 from just north of Hargrove Grade to Matanzas Woods Parkway. (There’s nothing “park”-like about it: the name is purely utilitarian.)
Spring Lake is the third large subdivision in Palm Coast Park, but the first in the southwest portion of the DRI, so it’ll stand out at first, as it has since the acreage was cleared of trees and vegetation.
The development will have two access points to U.S. 1. Its western limit is the Florida East Coast Railway corridor. But the vast acreage along the rail line is to remain in conservation. Infrastructure construction–roads, intersections, ponds, a lift station–began after 2021. Homes are next.
When it is built out, the development will have 101 fifty-foot wide lots, 74 sixty-foot wide lots, and 246 seventy-foot wide lots. The minimum lot size will be 4,000 square feet. Minimum building setbacks will be 5 feet to the sides, 20 feet to the front and 10 feet to the back. There will be an amenity center.
The next step for Reverie/Spring lake is the pulling of building permits.
Separately last week, in a development that does not require City Council action–not at this stage–the Palm Coast Planning Board approved a 110 single-family development called Palm Coast Seascape in Town Center. The 72-acre development will rise on the north end of City Place, about 0.2 miles north of Lake Avenue, or just north of City Hall and south of the canal along Royal Palms Parkway. It’ll be luxury homes.
That development will be more dense than the one along U.S. 1, with 58 homes on 40-foot-wide (5,200 square foot) lots, and 52 homes on 50-foot wide (7,000 square foot) lots. There’ll be one and two-story houses.
“Essentially this project will assist in getting some use out of the public infrastructure that already exists, and it will provide numerous construction jobs while the project is being built,” Palm Coast Environmental Planner Jordan Myers said.
The site has been cleared, though it is currently vacant, and includes 32 acres that will remain in conservation. Normally ahead of a development the city requires the developer to host a neighborhood public meeting for residents who will be affected. But there are no immediately neighboring residents, and no neighborhood meeting was required.
The next step for the development is for a preliminary plat approval, which would be done administratively, before a final plat goes to the Palm Coast City Council.
“It’ll be a nice community to drive into,” Michelle Widick, the project engineer, said of the development, which will also include an amenity center. “Their motto is affordable luxury for this community. So it’ll be nice looking homes at an affordable price,” she said of the developers, Toll Brothers, which dubs itself “America’s Luxury Home Builder.”
“We’re coming in at an affordable luxury price point,” a Toll brothers representative told the planning board. The homes the company advertises in the Jacksonville area are in the half million dollar range and up.
Town Center developments are exempt from having to meet school concurrency, Ray Tyner, the city’s chief planner, said, meaning that they do not have to match up with available seating in schools. The school district has been warning of a coming crunch in enrollment, though the crunch has yet to materialize. A majority of the people buying homes are retired or without children.
Meanwhile, what enrollment increase may have taken place has for now been countered by a drain on that surplus provoked by a surge in public school dollars underwriting private and home school education. Just today (Feb. 21) the Florida Senate’s Education Committee approved another vast expansion of public-dollar subsidies for private education.
Seriously does Palm Coast need any more sub divisions!?! How is all of this impacting the infrastructure of what was once a quaint town? The increased traffic on our roads The increased demand for water and sewage. Lot sizes have decreased drastically while water and sewage costs are astronomical. Who or what entities are researching the impacts of all these sub divisions? Palm Coast is going to look just like Orlando and Daytona!
Katie Berry says
I know. It’s so sad for the people who just wanted the quite town, it’s like they don’t care what happens to PC at all or the neighboring areas.
David Schaefer says
Just wait till summer let the foreclosures begin. The 3% interest rates are over people….
Jim Dana says
Totally agree. Palm Coast makes so many questionable decisions since we moved here in 2015 beginning with that crazy purchase of the old Sears building then the land by the library – and now all these housing developments – there isn’t even any decent income earning jobs here – who is going to buy all these houses? Guess all retirees – certainly no one who needs a decent paying job to pay for these homes – not to mention the homeowners insurance that has skyrocketed.
Hopefully we can vote these people out and get some with common sense.
Katie Berry says
Does not affect any neighboring communities is an idiotic statement. It affects the entire city. Stop all the unnessacary building so the city can work on the infrastructure first. I95 is not ready for this. 382×2 cars=764 cars not including surrounding areas building communities just like this! I95 cannot handle this and neither can the schools, roads, police, sheriff’s and emergency departments. Stop and think for God’s sake before you overbuild, it DOES affect every community citizen when you build.
Any impact fees paid? Anyone?
Just what Flagler County needs. More Yanks.
ROBERT COHEN says
Unless you can date your heritage in this state back 3000 years, don’t be talking about origins!
Robert: I can date my heritage back to conception, in Hollywood, Florida, 70 some years ago. I’ll say what I want.
How Exciting says
Wow. More homes.
Where are the good paying jobs? White collar, $55,000 starting? Oh yeah, not coming here. Going to Blue states and cities instead.
Dennis C Rathsam says
Its sad to see the killing of Palm Coast, What was once, will never be again. I hope the folks that vote for these clowns are satisfied.Everyone on this forum, and anyone you talk to is sick of all the traffic. Rush hour is a nightmare, for a place with no industry, where the hell are all these people going? The hospitals now cant handle the amount of new people, hostital halls now hold sick people. Listen to the people, Mr Stuff Em In. Fix the congestion, widen some roads, fix the roads the builders destroyed with thier home building. The City is falling apart from inside out. Pipes are failing, Camera,s dont work, what else is failing, that we havent been told yet? TRANSPARENCY ANYONE? I had to buy the lot next to my home, to stop a builder & keep my privacy & sanity.
Yes. We waited 15 years to move here two years ago in a 30 year old existing home. We visited during those years and the Palm Coast was a Gem. In the past two years it’s nothing but massive house farms by the thousands, litter, disappearing palm trees and the rudest people alive. And I’m from up north! We deliberately bought an established older home with character on a quiet, beautiful street that had many vacant lots for years. Now every lot has been razed to the dirt and a cement block planted. This in addition to the massive house farms. This is Not what we waited 15 years for. A shame.
jeffery c. seib says
This scenario will be playing out every city council meeting from now on. Roadways are already more packed than ever before. Who benefits from this? Residents must know by now when we hear ‘expand the tax base’ it’s a complete fallacy. New growth never pays for itself. Why does anyone think our taxes went up 14% this year, and every year after will be another double-digit increase. Big business owns the property that’s true, but we need to have some sort of orderly process. Right now, it’s mayhem. The trouble is one candidate is the same as the next. People want something or someone different, then vote for someone different.
New home owners pay property taxes at market values until they get homesteaded. Many of the longer residents pay real estate taxes about 1/2 of market value of a new build. A developer will only over build in town once since the market dictates his/her/ their success.
I95 is just that, an intestate highway. Did you know there are some states where i95 is only 2 lanes in 75 percent of the state? Connecticut with 3.5 million people in a small geographic area.
ITT planned on 200,000-240,000 people in Palm Coast. Maybe they were wrong, they are gone. Let the market decide with city planners because Palm Coast can only do 2 things…grow or shrink. It will never stay the same, nothing ever does and I get reminded everyday when I look in the mirror.
Ed: Shrinking would be very desirable! Our taxes and fees will never go down with this growth. All services will be continuously strained.
We live in the Hammock (which is not Palm Coast) and it was the forgotten place for ages. People used to drive though it on A1A, until I-95 came along and people took that road instead. The thing is, all that time, the Hammock was just fine. When we moved here, we learned that people knew people from Ormond Beach to St. Augustine, so it would behoove someone to be careful what they said about others! Now, there is frequently a long line backed up and over the bridge, west past the light on a Wednesday afternoon! Short term rentals are popping up in single family neighborhoods. All strangers. Like Dennis stated “Where the hell are all these people going?” It’s mind boggling, and depressing as well.
The only people who get anything out of this are the developers, investors, insiders (politicians) and northerners who have no idea what a scrub jay or gopher tortoise is, nor do they care. Meanwhile, your quality of life goes down.
I don’t matter anymore. China and Russia will be sending ICBM’S this way shortly. World War 3 is underway now in Ukraine . The Anti-Christ is here now. The Rapture will begin shortly after the first Nuke wipes out New York. The 4 Horsemen just saddled up.
And worse of all Fresh Water has run out in the West, and Florida will be out of water by Hurricane Season.
Goodbye Cruel World
Think it Through says
Why does everyone who has already bought a home think that theirs should have been the last one built. Most of them live in homes that earlier settlers did not want to see built either.
Think: Because there should be a balance between the natural Florida and the overbuilt, over clear cut, and over burdened streets and neighborhoods, and developers don’t give a damn about that. All they care about is lining their pockets, and purposely attracting northerners to their investments with videos and vacation junkets. I’ve seen it all my life.
If you live in south Florida, you have to get in your car and travel quite a ways to see a natural area like the Everglades or Loxahatchee. Here, you still had natural areas, often within walking distance. The developers, real estate agents, Chamber of Commerce and politicians don’t give a damn about that, money is their religion. You and I end up with concrete, congested traffic, pollution, water shortages, garbage issues, soaring prices and shrinking natural areas to peacefully enjoy, cookie cutter businesses like McDonald’s and Bronx Pizza making a beautiful area look like any other damned area in the United States. All the same.
In less than five years time, I’ve seen quaint and lovely Flagler Beach turn into a crowded traffic jam, with little parking. Yet, they will continue to build without providing additional parking for the new restaurants and hotel. In less than two years, I see a lot less deer, herons, fish, eagles, manatees and dolphins as the increase of cars and boats take their toll.
So, I ask you: why do people find a quiet, quaint, lovely area, and change it as fast as they can? Why change quiet, quaint and lovely to the same old, same old? Money, honey. Try Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nevada, Arkansas, New Mexico, Utah and other less chilly areas instead.
That was always the plan! You seriously need to look up how when and why Palm Coast was even developed. Haven’t you ever borrowed all of the roads were paved way before any houses were built. Decades! Don’t be upset about growth. Some people thrive on it. You can always move.
Emily: What ITT thought about years ago, is history. It is not something we need to live up to. Apparently, it was a bad plan. Let me quote you: “You can always move.”
Bob Weatherwax says
It seems we always destroy what we love! Paradise Lost! When the drinking water disappears ,when the sinkholes engulf the houses and the beautiful Crystal clear Florida water becomes thank you with sewage and the rolling blackouts continue on a daily basis, maybe then there will be a serious discussion on human impact on what once was a beautiful state. Wildlife? Who cares? Garbage? All over the place. And the developers become incredibly wealthy as do Town council people. This is not Paradise!
In 2011, I heard a song, “find a new paradise.” If your lucky to be able too. I agree with you. Which implies, what you would naturally expect, LA, the “new Tennesee” Indiana, or tropical islands.
Joseph Barand says
How can 40 to 50 foot wide lots be considered luxury homes? 20 foot front setbacks won’t even accommodate pickup trucks or sedans. The utility easements, sidewalks simply compound the problems. Old Kings is a death trap already and no plans to address the bridge under I-95. The Imagine Shool has turned a public street into a parking lot multiple times each day. I think all the unthoughtout approvals is primifacial evidence of corruption of our City elected officials and the staff who plans for these foolish activities.
Donna heiss says
Ummm, how about some industry on Rt. 1?
Donna: Um, how about not? I doubt that many people realize that out around US1 it used to be scrubland. That means it had its own ecosystem with plants that only grow in scrublands, and scrub jays, and other birds, gopher tortoises, deer, cougars, bobcats and the like. A gigantic amount of that scrubland was wiped out to plant pines, all those pines you see now. Some of the wildlife survived, some did not or moved on, which rarely works out for them. Now, the pine lands will be clear cut. When does it end? When Florida collapses?
James Rossow says
Look on the bright side, it’s not another storage facility.
This town was once know as tree city with tons of natural woodlands and scenery. Now just paved roads strip mall and gas stations traffic and crime. Where were all the so called environmentalist protecting the natural resources? Under table$$! I know alot of people who are leaving the area for smaller quieter towns. Just wait till the section 8 communities popup, palm coast Jacksonville Daytona Orlando will all be the same crap holes
Guessing all those new people will be clogging up Palm Coast Parkway since I don’t see any grocery or retail stores being built that way anytime soon. City is going to have to add more stop lights so current residents can access the parkway safely from their neighborhoods.
Alfin rides again more developments but never resolves current issues the taxpayers are constantly asking for. Traffic is horrendous and never resolved, town needs sidewalks and never resolved, town needs street lights and never resolved.
Alfin doesn’t care what the taxpayers of PC who pays his ridiculous salary that we never voted for. He is a Mayor only out for himself.
Drove through this area just yesterday, amazed at the natural beauty there. I think I might like to ask Mayor Alfin and Councilman Danko why it was they moved here. Was it greed or political ambition? I am not seeing anything else coming from either one of you. That is a serious question.
JOE D says
And did these new developments pass the Florida “16 hour EVACUATION rule” for hurricane and flooding disaster approval?
Most recent developments (including poor devastated FT MYERS) have gotten exception “waivers” from the Government ( some waivers from as high up as the Governor’s office) for a FT Myers development still in the planning stages, which safety inspectors said would take OVER 48 hours to fully evacuate!!! Not even sure the people purchasing these “wavered” home are even OVERTLY told ( probably buried in 400 pages of HOA paperwork)….their safety was “negotiated away” to get approval
I agree with one of these prior blogs…”The local Town Councils have never met a developer they didn’t LIKE “ $$$$$
Jay Tomm says
The major problem is they don’t care. Meeting after meeting in PC goes by & people express concerns & they just ignore them. Complain too much & you get flagged on the naughty list.
PC is getting kickbacks from everyone involved. $$ is what’s driving the building.
The dude says
There’s 382 inadequate impact fees the county won’t collect on in a timely manner… if at all.
Wow! Another cookie cutter development with zero character added to the present over capacity volume of vehicles on roads. Are these homes purchased pre construction? Or is it;”Build it: they will come”? I’m no economic expert; but: I predict unoccupied structures. Exactly who…( names )…?…. Is/are determined to make sure all these developments go up and why? Who could possibly say that they enjoy horrendous traffic, bumping into each other in stores, fast food that’s impossible to get fast, doctors forced to makes appointments 2 months out, more school buses, etc… please answer this letter if you truly like this stuff. Everyone I talk to is disgusted. Again: who are these powerful people who are so respected by whoever approves this stuff? Names please.
I agree with all the comments that preceded this.
Where are the trees 🌳. Where are the displaced wildlife and birds 🐦 ?
I seriously need to know which governmental employee(s) are profitting off the clear cutting? Someone sold the trees; unless I was just not invited to the Bonfire !! 🤔
And the money hungry , greedy local politicians continue to fill their greedy little pockets while the rest of us suffer , with traffic problems , etc! My only advice is to vote these greedy politicians out the first chance we get !!!
PC Citizen says
Growth is not a bad thing, but one must know when to stop.
Welcome to Levitttown, Florida style.
Save the Wildlife says
Palm Toast has reached its end. Hurricane season will be here sooner then June 16. Super Hurricane Cat8 will LEVEL this crap hole and return it to the SWAMP it was before the 70’s.
They’ve cut most every forest down. Where’s the PC city planning dept? It’s all about graping the land and throwing up thousands of cookie cutter stucco houses. There’s no good jobs or decent culture here. Too many cars and trucks on the road spewing exhaust and no emission control just a lot of obnoxious noise. Holiday Builders tearing down trees at 8:30 pm (pitch dark) on Pritchard Dr. for hours couple weeks ago. How is all this allowed?!