The Palm Coast Planning Board has preliminarily approved a site plan for a 216-unit, three-story apartment on Old Kings Road despite some reservations about its potential traffic impact on Old Kings.
The Planning Board approved the site plan in a 5-2 vote, with board members Larry Gross and Sybil Dodson-Lucas dissenting. Gross said his major concern was how traffic on the road would be impacted, saying Old Kings is already a “bottleneck.”
“My major concern is that we're not looking at the whole picture,” he said. “Old Kings Road hasn't been widened yet, they’re [the development] going to come in, a storage place is going in. It's a mess."
During his presentation on the site plan, city planner Bill Hoover said the apartment complex would not negatively impact the neighboring communities.
Deputy Chief Development Officer Ray Tyner said the city uses traffic studies — which are conducted every two years; the most recent began in late October — to model and predict how traffic patterns will change as the city grows.
“We are going to have times of high growth; we're going to have times of not too much growth," Tyner said.
Tyner said the development will have to pay $423,000 in impact fees to the Old Kings Road Special Assessment District, directly into a transportation fund dedicated to the widening of Old Kings Road.
"We sat for so long without growth," Gross said. "And now we have all this growth coming in, so we're, you know, saying yes to everything."
The development — owned by Kings Business Center, LLC, of Wyoming, according to meeting documents — will consist of nine three-story buildings lining Old Kings. The property is 29 acres, 10.5 of which are wetlands that applicant representative Christina Evans said will remain untouched.
The apartment complex will include two retention ponds surrounded by trails. Sidewalks throughout the complex will connect to a future walking trail planned for the east side of Old Kings Road.
The apartments include 24 one-bedroom units, 132 two-bedroom units and 60 three-bedroom units. The one-bedrooms will be a minimum of 1,221 square feet, and the three-bedrooms a maximum of 1,855 square feet.
Gross said his other concern was how close the apartments are to the Toscana community of high-end luxury homes. Board member Sybil Dodson-Lucas said she was very surprised to hear that none of the residents of either the Toscana or Hidden Lakes communities showed up to the public hearing.
"It just concerns me when you say that there were no responses from those folks," Dodson-Lucas said. "I think that at some juncture, there needs to be another outreach to them."
The site plan will next go to the Palm Coast City Council for a public hearing and vote.