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PALM COAST, FL – February 14, 2017 – Flagler County is hosting a public meeting on February 15 to present the conceptual plan for a public park on Bay Drive in the Hammock that is decades in the making.
The park will be built with a $2.342 million grant on the combined acreage purchased by Flagler County in 2009 and adjacent to the nearly 3 acres of dedicated public park property it has owned since 1985.
“This was a rare opportunity for Flagler County to create a more than 15-acre park with ocean access,” said Environmental Planner Tim Telfer. “Absent the housing recession, there would be a development of some sort there.”
GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF PARK SITE NORTH OF SEA COLONY
Historically, beach access in this area was known as Deauville Beach or Main Street Beach. The road itself, Main Street, was referred to by locals as the “Double Brick Road” because it had been stabilized with brick to provide residents and visitors public beach access with some assurance they would not get stuck en route.
The County Commission required the developer in 1985 to relocate the previously used beach access road to Bay Drive, and to provide a park on the beach to mitigate for the loss of Deauville Beach. Several boards of the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners vote repeatedly since the park property was first dedicated to the residents of Flagler County to maintain public beach access in this location.
Bay Drive Park in the early 2000s was made part of the A1A Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan, the Florida Scenic Highway Designation Application and the Guide to A1A Old Florida Coastal Byway.
The additional 13-acre property purchased in 2009 been zoned within the “Mixed Use: Low Intensity, Low/Medium Density” designation for future land use within the Comprehensive Plan.
“At up to 7 units per acre, this land use could have allowed for up to 91 residential units in addition to retail and office space,” County Administrator Craig Coffey. “This park will be a very nice amenity for all of Flagler County.”
Flagler County applied for a grant in February 2011 to develop the park, which was still called Bay Drive Park. The state awarded a $2.342 million grant to the county, because of the property’s unique character and to preserve public beach access.
As a condition of receiving this grant, the county is required to construct a number of amenities, including: reasonable access for the observation and appreciation of the natural resources; a functional nature trail; a dune crossover; outdoor recreation, or open space; interpretive kiosks; parking; bathroom; safe pedestrian sidewalk between the park and State Road A1A; and, stormwater facilities that both treat the stormwater and provide wildlife habitat.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. February 15 at the Hammock Community Center, 79 MalaCompra Road. It is an open-house format, with a briefing from the County’s park engineer followed by a short question and answer session. This is not a public hearing.
Comment sheets will be provided for public suggestions, or written statements can be mailed to Flagler County, 1769 Moody Boulevard, Building 2, Bunnell, FL 32110.