After locals voice concerns, planning council votes 7-0 against duplex development project
Going against the recommendation of city planning staff, the Palm Coast City Planning Council voted unanimously on April 21 against rezoning that would have allowed the construction of a duplex community on Old Kings Road.
The council’s decision follows public comments from more than a dozen residents of the neighboring communities of Toscana and Hidden Lakes to the east.
“We firmly believe that zoning duplexes will lead to excessive traffic, noise, demand for infrastructure and will devalue our beautiful single family homes.
– DARLENE SHELLEY, resident of the neighborhood
Residents said they were concerned the proposed development – 42.8 acres on the west side of Old Kings Road, just north of Downtown Boulevard – could result in traffic and lower the value of their home.
Representatives of the developer said that rezoning to the city’s “duplex” designation from the current zoning of offices and businesses would not increase the number of daily trips and that the homes would be offered at market rates, not subsidized. as affordable housing.
“Our goal is to provide 196 single-family attached residences in a gated community with a common architectural theme,” said Roy Hubbard, owner representative OKR Investors LLC, to the Planning and Land Development Regulation Board. He posted a picture of the duplexes offered. “This is the style we would prefer, modern transitional architecture. We just want to offer a high quality residence at market price.”
“This is not affordable housing, but it will hopefully serve as housing for the workforce, so teachers, police and firefighters who otherwise may not be able to afford it. to buy some of the single-family homes will have housing. ”
– JAY LIVINGSTON, applicant’s lawyer
Lawyer Jay Livingston, representing OKR Investors, said the development project fills a gap in the housing market, while the commercial and office development market is in decline.
“There’s no demand for this type of use right now,” he said, “and in business development it’s not like the“ Field of Dreams. ”It’s not : “If you build it, they will come.” It’s driven by demand, and that demand doesn’t exist. “
Livingston added that the duplexes on offer would be useful for people who don’t want a single-family home, but don’t want an apartment either.
“This is not affordable housing, but it will hopefully serve as housing for the workforce, so teachers, police and firefighters who otherwise may not be able to afford it. to pay some of the single-family homes will have housing, ”he said.
Board member Sandra Shank asked if there would be any restrictions on using a housing voucher to rent one of the duplexes. Livingston said no, but noted that Section 8 vouchers can be used in most residential areas of the city.
Speaking during the public comment period for the meeting, Tom Barrett, president of the Hidden Lakes Community Owners Association, said HoA had not received notice of the proposed development.
“The problem here as far as I’m concerned is this thing is rushed,” Barrett said. “… A lot of people in the community are worried about the increase in traffic and the increase in housing.”
Arena Lake Drive resident Darlene Shelley noted that the neighboring communities of Toscana and Hidden Lakes have high value homes.
“We strongly believe that zoning duplexes will lead to excessive traffic, noise, demand for infrastructure and devalue our beautiful single family homes,” she said. “This proposed change is not consistent with this high end home zone and in no way complements the community as the current zoning could benefit us.”
Graham Woods Place resident Cindy McDowall urged council not to change the current zoning.
“These people came here and made sure, did their own homework, that you would keep Kings Road zoned for shopping,” she says. “Offices, maybe a shopping center, maybe a cafe. … Our goal is to maintain our values and make them grow. “
Board member James Albano suggested that the board vote against the proposal.
“I think it’s more of an MPD [master planned development], and he just opens a big box of worms with just a rezoning as a duplex, “he said.” … And based on the many iterations of “rental” seekers, this is the reason for my motion. “
Council voted 7-0 to recommend that city council – which will then hear the issue – reject the proposed rezoning.