In the southwest corner of Palm Coast’s R-Section, a short walk from Rymfire Elementary School, is a 35-acre parcel almost in the shape of a square, undeveloped and forested, but long zoned for apartments. It is one of just two large tracts reserved for apartment construction in the R-Section, which has many more tracts zoned for duplexes.
Wednesday Evening, the Palm Coast Planning Board recommended approval of a development plan for a 216-unit apartment complex there. It is to be called Red Mill Pointe, and would become the first large-scale apartment complex of the R-Section. The second tract zoned for it, in the central-west portion of the R Section, is yet undeveloped.
The complex will be located north of Regency Drive, South of Red Oak Place and west of Reynolds Place, fronting on Red Mill Drive. Construction is expected to start in March and be done by March 2023. Despite its proximity to the school, there are no sidewalks proposed. “The developer only has control over the frontage of their property and not the entire length of Red Mill,” the developer noted at a neighborhood meeting. Nor will there be direct access to adjacent U.S. 1, which is not in the developer’s authority to build.
The apartments will be built in three phases of 60-some units each, with a 10-foot green buffer surrounding the complex. Areas to be preserved, almost 13 acres of wetlands, make up 36 percent of the land. See a preliminary layout of the development here. The project will generate $3.5 million in impact fees for Palm Coast. (Impact fees are the one-time levies used to defray the cost of the “impact” of development on roads, schools, fire departments and so on.)
All the buildings will be two stories, with three-bedroom units of 1,750 to 2,000 square feet at building ends, and more interior units running from 1,400 to 1,500 square feet, to be marketed as two-bedroom apartments. The cost of the apartments is unclear. The developer has not yet decided whether to sell or rent the apartments, or have a mixture of the two options.
Apartment complexes in Palm Coast are required to have garages for at least a third of their units. “This is the first time I remember that we didn’t have to fight with the applicant to get one-third of the garages,” Senior Planner Bill Hoover said. “They actually gave everybody a garage plus 30 of the units actually have a two-car garage.”
Some 30 people neighboring the property attended a neighborhood meeting the city required the developer to host, to hear and address concerns. “I don’t think there’s 30 people here tonight on the project because the neighborhood meeting did work,” Hoover said. Only one person addressed the planning board–a resident wondering if the new development would provide bus-stop pads for students. The developer could not answer just yet. At the neighborhood meeting, there’d been concerns about vehicular and pedestrian traffic, given the proximity of Rymfire Elementary.
A traffic study “projected that we were to operate satisfactorily within the adopted level of service standards for that area,” the developer told the planning board.
The developer is Robert Kociecki, president of Orlando-based Brite Group Holdings of Florida and Brite Homes, who describes his company as “the most technologically advanced builder in the U.S.,” with a particular focus on solar-ready homes. “We build energy efficient homes,” Kociecki said. “We incorporate LED lighting, energy efficient appliances. We do build a product that generally has everything that you want as a new homeowner in it already as a standard feature.” An amenity center will include an exercise facility, meeting rooms, offices, an outdoor pool and a playground.
The company has been building in Palm Coast since 2018, closing 85 homes locally, 95 by the end of the year, including 25 in the R-Section.
“There was also a school impact analysis done and that was conducted by Flagler County Public Schools,” Kociecki said. “The immediate school that this would be affecting would be Rymfire Elementary, they predict an additional 18 seats from this development and that is comfortably within the available balance of seats as Rymfire Elementary is currently under capacity.” But that statement drew a “clarification” from Patty Bott, the school district’s representative on the planning board.
“Rymfire Elementary, true, does have capacity because we’re moving sixth grade to middle school,” Bott said. “However, you have not received a concurrency reservation through the school district because we are over capacity at the middle and high schools. That will require mitigation.” By “mitigation,” Bott was referring to the construction of a middle and high school later this decade. To finance that, the district says it would require doubling school impact fees. The school board has approved the doubling. But it must get approval from the County Commission as well. The commission so far is resisting, under threat of a lawsuit from the Flagler Home Builders Association–which would have to name the county as a party even if it’s displeased primarily with the district. The school, superintendent and the home builders are to negotiate again in January. Meanwhile, the district is withholding signing off on “concurrency” requirements of new developments–that is, signing off on the impacts developments will have on the district. The district’s position is that absent the impact fees it is asking for, it cannot ensure adequate school capacity for those new developments.
“It’s going to be a good 30 to 60 days before we can approve a mitigation through our school board, which you really need before you get that approval through the council,” Bott said.
Neighbors at that end of the R Section have complained of low water pressure in their homes, and now worry that the development will further lower the pressure. But the developer is installing a parallel water line that will run connections that will eventually improve water pressure for both the development and neighbors, Hoover said.
The developer is calling the eventual structures “town homes,” but the city isn’t buying the designation. “Townhouses would require the developer to apply for a Subdivision Master Plan,” a city planning analysis states. “In this case the developer has applied for a Master Site Plan as the developer does not plan on platting the units individually. Thus the units will either be sold as condominiums and/or rented as apartments.”
Wetlands on the east side will buffer the apartment complex from single-family homes. The west side of Red Mill Drive is currently forested, but that’s deceptive: the area all the way to U.S. 1 is zoned mixed-use commercial.
The Red Mill pointe Application:
Diane Ramirez says
They are developing this city too fast with too much density. Most of us like it here because it was nice and quiet with good amenities. The traffic has increased exponentially over the past two to three years and is already seeming overcrowded. What is this city going to look like in another 10 years, Miami?
Wilma Allen says
I hate what they are doing to our Town. It’s going to be a mess. I moved here because it was amazing and friendly. Now forget it. We have gangs. Drugs and violence. What a shame. All in the NAME OF MONEY.
MS in the house says
I live within 1\2 mile of this development. The original information states “townhouses” but it seems the city approved townhouses and apartments for rent. Seems like the homeowners in the area should have been made aware of this little bit of information. The additional traffic situation has not been addressed at all. People speed up and down Red Mill now. Can only imagine how much worse it will be. Are these low income town homes and apartments? So much for peaceful living and feeling safe.
Another thing…why in the world would you include the phone numbers and emails of the people that attended the meeting in November?
I live within a half mile of this proposed development and would certainly have attended the meeting if I had been notified of it’s happening. The Rymfire/Red Mill intersection is an absolute CLUSTER during school pickup/drop off, and it’s only going to get worse. A child is going to get hurt from this. It’s absolutely unacceptable that this is being done with no consideration of the surrounding families who own homes and properties nearby.
S. Peters says
Where in the world are we going to put all these people in this county? This is out of control. Traffic is already insane. Remember when PC Pkwy was the only way to get to the west side of PC? We now have 3 ways and it’s still bumper to bumper on PC PKWY. When Pine Lakes Apts. were first built, my daughter, a little girl at the time, said “Palm Coast is going to be just like Kissimmee”. We used to live there and her grandparents lived there as well. All these complexes are awful in my opinion. But who care what I think right?
There goes the neighborhood says
What a complete and utter nightmare.
Richard Smith says
GREAT more people!!
This is exactly why I bought another home in Alabama.
Palm Coast Government has absolutely ruined this city, all in the name of the mighty dollar.
Great no jobs more people why not more traffic and crime this is why I am moving palm coast sucks now because of there greed
I have to ask Are most of the people complaint here .native to Florida .or did most move here from other states?
Rosco P. Coltrane says
What’s your point? In the past most Florida Natives didn’t even want to live in Palm Coast. They’d claim Flagler Beach or Bunnell. Like I said a million times on this site. The only time you saw the so-called natives is maybe at our one Publix and the teeny, tiny Walmart we used to have where Staples is.
They thought is was hilarious us Northerners were buying lots and putting houses in the swamps and woods they used to hunt.
Now when you look at social media post and various articles you’d swear they were the progressives and the rest of us didn’t have a clue. I guess the choice now is take what’s coming in the future or stay like Bunnell, which can stand as a backdrop for a Dukes of Hazzard reboot with Cooter and the rest of the gang.
This is not where apartments belong! Everyone needs to fight this stupidity.
We all moved here because it was quiet and uncrowded. When thousands and thousands of people move to the same quiet and uncrowded area, it no longer is that way anymore. The population increases every year and some of that increase winds up here. Flagler Beach is changing the way they do the fireworks and 4th of July events because it cannot handle dozens of thousands of people. It’s happening everywhere.
Jay tomm says
Great, more people, more cars, more traffic, more street lights, if I wanted this I’d never move here. PC needs to put a brake on building. The last year I sit on Rymfire waiting to get through the light. Never was like that 2 years ago.
They put up all these bright street lights in the R section, REALLY?
It’s all about $$ now. Not what residents want.
And with this building OUR taxes go up!
Vance Hoffman says
I moved here to take care of my elderly
father because it was nice and not like other over crowded cities, looks like I was wrong. I will be selling and leaving I would vote in New official’s here soon more people no new roads great plan.
Why not just stick an apartment complex on RT 1 just before 95?
Yes, I moved here from elsewhere but an apartment complex doesn’t belong in a residential neighborhood, imho!
Don’t worry about the traffic because the way gas prices are going nobody will be able to afford to drive shortly.
Oh my I can see all the daily drug dealing on all the corners now. This town has become a huge joke. I think Jacksonville Orlando would be safer places. For all the people that moved here recently. You made a huge mistake.!
So dramatic. You obviously never spent real time in Jacksonville or Orlando.
The Unvarnished Truth says
LOL. You are so right. Obviously, this is someone who never had to live in a section of a city in which he describes. A city in itself isn’t dangerous – just the sections people don’t care about…
Get these dumbasses who are ruining this City out of office!
Toni Leslie says
Keep me informed. Thank you.
Has the real estate crash of 2007-2008 been forgotten, no lessons learned? Besides, the biologist E. O. Wilson coined a term that is appropriate- “biophilia”- “the rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms”. It’s a form of prosperity that money can’t buy. Besides, ever think that all the extra population will be competitors for available long term jobs, more than the amount of jobs ( like transient jobs in construction) that would be created? And the first thing developers do when projects hit hard times is to apply for “hardship” tax relief… there go your ratables!
We moved here. They are building based on projected population growth. I find d these comments very interesting. Some of the people are moving here fir some of the same reasons we moved here. They do have that right. This has been going on for eons, cities grow cities build. Cities stop growing cities slow their building.
The good thing is a lot of Dems are moving here. Hopefully we will give Des. the boot out of office.
They are destroying our way of life and the reason many of us moved here. Vote them all out.