Some might say, “Not in my backyard.” But one resident of Londonderry Drive, whose backyard — and left yard and right yard — have all been cleared of trees in recent weeks, says he’s happy.
“We got our sunsets back,” said Steve Ricke, who has lived in the home since 2001.
When he first moved in, he said, he could see U.S. 1 from his backyard because the 1998 fires had cleared away any underbrush and many trees. In fact, the power pole in front of his house still bears the charred scars of the fire about 12 feet up. After a few years, when he moved in, “It was beautiful, like an African savannah,” he recalled.
Today, SeaGate has cleared trees for 50 homes in a 17-acre triangle to the left and rear of Ricke's home, stretching behind four other existing homes as well. By coincidence, the lot on Ricke’s right was also recently cleared for a single-family home, leaving his fenced lot as a sort of peninsula surrounded by dirt on three sides, and Londonderry Drive in front.
Ricke said he opposed development in the area in previous years, but that was when apartments were proposed; now, they’re single-family homes. In the end, he said, it was “inevitable” that the land would be developed.
To ease his mind, he drove through a similar SeaGate neighborhood already built in the L-section and thought it looked great.
“You couldn’t ask for a better developer,” he said. “It should beautify the street.”
From Jan. 1 to Oct. 4, 2020, there were 877 single-family permits in the city of Palm Coast. In the same period in 2021, there were 1,747.