The Palm Coast City Council has approved a petition to expand the Landings Community Development District to include the Cascades development.
A CDD is a special-purpose government that functions as a way for developers to finance the infrastructure costs of a large residential community, senior planner Phong Nguyen said. The Landings CDD, located south of Seminole Woods and Citation Boulevard and east of Highway U.S. 1, originally covered 204 acres.
After the inclusion of Byrndog PCP’s Cascades development — which includes the 44-acred “hook piece” owned by JTL Grand Landings — the CDD now encompasses 560 acres. The Palm Coast City Council unanimously approved the petition at its Feb. 6 business meeting. Council member Cathy Heighter was absent from the meeting.
Nguyen said one of the benefits of a CDD is that the city is not responsible for the costs of installing infrastructure.
“The city doesn’t have to use up funding in order to support this project,” he said.
Jeffrey Douglas — the Cascades developer — is the chairman on the Landings CDD board of supervisors. Attorney Michael Chiumento represents the Cascades development and, according to the CDD website, is the CDD’s district counsel.
The petition to expand the CDD was first heard at the Dec. 5 City Council meeting and was approved with the provision that the petition was corrected to reflect the accurate number of residential units that would be in the new Landings boundaries.
The Dec. 5 version of the document listed the total units as over 1,000 in some places and 801 in others.
The number of units in the petition are used to estimate infrastructure costs, Nguyen said. The original petition was filed in October, before the Cascades was limited to a total 416 units.
The corrected documents approved by council on Feb. 6 reflected the actual total number of residential units, 913. The Cascades has 416 units, the JTL hook parcel has 93 units and the original Landings CDD has 399.
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES $450,000 DEPOSIT FOR PROJECT DESIGN ESTIMATE THROUGH FPL
A ballpark cost estimate to move transmission facilities could cost the city $3.3 million.
Relocating transmission facilities is part of the city’s Matanzas Woods Parkway westward extension project, which entails adding additional railroad crossings from the Florida East Coast railway to access city land on the west side of the railroad. The project requires coordination with the FEC, Florida Power Light and the Florida Department of Transportation.
“The FPL relocation is our critical path method to moving forward to construction of the roadway,” Stormwater and Engineering Director Carl Cote said.
FPL is responsible for moving transmission facilities and provided the city with the cost estimate. The scope of work is listed on meeting documents as “the temporary relocation of transmission lines that will provide a working area for the bridge construction over railroad tracks and the installation of taller permanent poles due to the elevated road crossing.”
If the city wished for a detailed design and cost estimate, FPL requires a $450,000 deposit of the overall project cost, according to the meeting documents. City staff asked the council permission to pay the deposit for the detailed estimate.
Council member Theresa Carli Pontieri said the ballpark figure does not allow the city to budget appropriately.
“This is a ridiculous letter, to me,” Pontieri said. “I just find this to be incredibly unprofessional on behalf of FPL and I would hope that in the future. This is not the type of communication we get from FPL.”
Council member Nick Klufas agreed, pointing out that FPL is in a position of power where it can name its terms.
Cote said the estimate is an “engineer’s estimate,” that uses previous, similar work to gauge the cost of a project, a tactic the city itself has used in the past. The overall cost estimate could go up or down, he said, and the funds would be reimbursed by a future FDOT grant.
The council did unanimously approve the $450,000 deposit. But the council also agreed that this communication from FPL required a discussion about future communications and estimates sent to the city.
“I think at the end of the day, what I'm looking for from FPL is a recognition that we're not a small city anymore,” Pontieri said. “We have a lot of money. They're a very large service provider for us, and I think we deserve a little bit better.”