The Palm Coast City Council on Sept. 21 recognized a local resident and four city staff members who helped rescue 17 dogs and cats from a sweltering U-haul truck in July.
The local resident, Andy Duncan, had called the Flagler County Sheriff's Office from the parking lot of the Harbor Freight store after seeing a woman open the liftgate of the truck to reveal over a dozen animals in clear heat distress.
The woman started spraying the animals with water, but that wasn't enough: Duncan told her to remove the pets from the back of the truck and not leave until Sheriff's Office deputies arrived, according to an FCSO news release.
Deputies and city staff members arrived and removed the animals from the truck, poured water on them and gave them drinking water.
There were 13 dogs and four cats in the truck, according to the news release. The animals were dangerously dehydrated, matted and covered in feces. They were taken into the custody of animal control and taken to a veterinarian.
The woman and the man she'd been traveling with were both arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
At the council meeting Sept. 21, council members thanked Duncan and four city staff members — Chip Rish, Heather Priestap, Patrick Arena, and Rich Sagala — for aiding in the rescue, and presented each with a certificate.
"Thank you for your efforts," Vice Mayor Eddie Branquinho told them. " ... You are heroes in my opinion, and you represent Palm Coast in my book. Couldn't ask for any better."
City Council approves rezoning for residential, commercial developments
A rezoning necessary to convert a vacant, 72-acre plot of land on the north side of the intersection of U.S. 1 and Seminole Woods Boulevard into a community of up to 653 homes earned the Palm Coast City Council's approval on Set. 21.
The proposed development, called Seminole Pointe, would consist of duplexes, triplexes and other horizontal multifamily housing constructed in two phases.
The first phase would include about 180 homes.
The development would also have some commercial properties fronting U.S. 1, while the residential part of the development would share an entrance road with the neighboring Integra Woods apartments.
The council voted 3-1, with Councilman Victor Barbosa and Councilman Eddie Branquinho abstaining, to approve the developer's request to rezone the land from master planned development and general commercial to multifamily commercial and high-intensity commercial.
The developer will also need to submit a site plan for the council's approval before the work can move forward.
Another development off Seminole Woods Boulevard — this one about 2.5 miles south of State Road 100 — also was granted a Future Land Use Map amendment and rezoning at the Sept. 21 meeting.
The 70-acre, development, Seminole Trails, could have up to 227 units. The council voted 5-0 to approve a request to change its Future Land Use Map designation from mixed use to residential and a rezone it from Master Planned Development to single-family residential.
The City Council also unanimously approved a rezoning for a proposed commercial property on the eastern side of Old Kings Road a mile and a half south of Palm Coast Parkway.
That proposed development, called Secret Gardens, would convert a 52-acre parcel of vacant uplands into a landscape nursery and a set of offices and retail showrooms for residential tradespeople such as plumbers, electricians and HVAC contractors.
The proposal requires rezoning the land from a designation of general office zoning to a mixture of high-intensity commercial, preservation and public/semi-public. The council approved it.
The rezonings for both proposed developments won the city Planning and Land Development Regulation Board's approval before going before the City Council.