A developer seeking to build a still-unnamed residential and commercial development on land recently annexed into Palm Coast off Old Kings Road has lowered the number of planned residential units from 232 to 210.
The Palm Coast Planning Board unanimously approved the developer's application for 210 single-family homes on the property at the board's Sept. 19 meeting.
The Flagler County government had approved plans for 232 homes on the site in 2005. The development sits on the east side of South Old Kings Road, next to Flagler Beach Polo Club West’s west border, where Steeplechase Trail meets Old Kings Road.
The City Council annexed the property from Flagler County into Palm Coast at a Sept. 19 meeting. Palm Coast Deputy Chief Development Officer Ray Tyner said during the Planning Board meeting that when land is annexed into the city, the developer or owner must submit a land use application and a zoning application to ensure that the property's land use and zoning designations are compliant with city code.
Now that the Planning Board has approved both applications, the City Council will review them.
The commercial land in the project has also been reduced from the approved 36,000 square feet of commercial on 4 acres to 30,000 square feet of commercial across 2 acres of land on the southwest corner of the property.
Palm Coast Senior Planner Bill Hoover said the reductions in units and commercial space will put less demand on city utilities.
Attorney Michael Chiumento, representing the applicant, Geosam Capital Florida, LLC, said that the developer is retaining the 30,000 square feet as commercial space at the Palm Coast City Council's behest to allow for neighborhood commercial opportunities, like daycares.
“We did not believe and still don't believe that commercial on this section of Old Kings Road would be viable,” Chiumento said. “However, at the request of City Council members asking that we do retain some opportunity … we agreed to include the two acres.”
If the City Council approves the applications, the land use will change from the county designation of a Planned Unit Development with residential and commercial use to Palm Coast's designations of residential and mixed-use.
The zoning will likewise change to single-family residential and general commercial.
Chiumento said Geosam Capital Florida has been working with the residents of Flagler Beach Polo Club West to address residents' concerns.
We did not believe and still don't believe that commercial on this section of Old Kings Road would be viable.”
— Michael Chiumento, attorney for Geosam Capital Florida, LLC
During the Planning Board meeting, Polo Club West resident Christine Kraus said she appreciates the decrease in the number of units but has concerns about the development's boundary and the number of trees that could be removed from the property.
"This community and this subdivision is going to directly affect our community," she said. "Our value of our homes and our community ... is going to go down if [the developers] don't do the right things."
City Attorney Neysa Borkert said voluntary agreements and restrictions are private agreements between the residents and the property owner and are outside of the city's purview.
"Whatever is permitted in these zoning districts, if approved, that's what they can do," Borkert said "[The private agreement] — it's not a requirement as part of the rezoning."
As long as the developer meets the Land Development Code's requirements, Tyner said, the city can't hold the developer to any agreements made between the two private parties.
During a Sept. 5 City Council meeting, when the council reviewed the application to annex the land into Palm Coast, Chiumento assured the council that the developer intends to honor its agreements with the residents, including providing a fence or wall between the two subdivisions.
“We are committed to abiding by those commitments,” Chiumento said at the Sept. 5 meeting.