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Opinion
Palm Coast Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 5 months ago

3 letters: Holland Park, Hammock's Beachwalk, fraudulent permits

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Here's what your Palm Coast and Flagler County neighbors are talking about.
by: Guest Writer

Jim Holland would not want $10 million wasted in his name

Dear Editor:

I keep reading about the vast amount of money we are spending or maybe wasting on James F. Holland Memorial Park. From the little information available I believe it's around $10 million and counting. I'm going to go look at it; I'm expecting huge buildings with Corinthian columns, marble statues, fountains with exotic fish swimming in them and green Bermuda grass that would put Augusta National to shame. I went; to say I was disappointed would be the understatement of the decade.

If we paid over $2 million for the whole kit and caboodle, we was robbed! I'm not saying that someone in Palm Coast got kickbacks, but I am saying I hope someone got some of the money; I hate to think all this money left town. The people responsible for this fiasco are qualified to be in Washington, D.C., where they waste billions.

Looking at this park, I told myself, Boy, you were in the wrong business; you should have been designing and building parks. Do that for a few years and you would be flying your own Lear jet, driving a Lamborghini and hobnobbing with the Clintons, the Obamas and various other swindlers.

I have lived here for over 32 years, and I knew Jim Holland; he was a good man and a smart man, and if he could see what we have wasted $10 million on, he would make us remove his good name from this example of local government waste!

On the plus side, the restrooms in the park were clean.

Douglas R. Glover

Palm Coast

 

Why the Beachwalk development is bad for The Hammock

Dear Editor:

A Jacksonville-based developer made a veiled threat of legal action vs. Flagler County unless a zoning variance was granted to build a 50-home Beachwalk development in The Hammock community. The Jacksonville developer front man, Ken Atlee, said to the County Commission, "We gave up on many requested changes to work with the community in good faith."

I say, "Bull dung."

Now without much of a difference in the proposal, three of the county commissioners reversed their No vote to a Yes vote six months later, and a 50-home development has been approved on 12.44 acres of land.

I, Bob Jones, am seeking the District 5 seat on the Republican primary date of Aug. 18, 2020, vs. Donald O'Brien, a first-term incumbent. His change of mind gave the developer the third vote that was needed to make big money for the Jacksonville developer, and, in effect, tells the local Hammock Community Association members to drop dead.

His third vote to change from No to Yes has told the members of HCA who came out on Sept. 16 in force to tell their elected leaders that they were opposed to the 50 new homes crowded on only 12.44 acres.

The only good thing about having 50 new homes on less than 13 acres is that the new homeowner will be able to easily ask their new neighbor's if they can borrow a cup of sugar, from their opened kitchen window. The return of the cup of sugar can be done without you ever leaving your home.

Bob Jones

Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: County Commissioner Donald O’Brien responded in this way to Jones’ accusation: “I voted no to the original request to re-zone on March 18. The request I voted to approve on Sept. 16 was not the same request that came before us in March. So, not a reversal. The revised project was the result of a proposed mediated settlement between the developer and county staff that included public participation. The revised project had several improvements including wider landscape buffers, lower density, better roadway design and the addition of an ingress/egress to Jungle Hut Road. I voted to approve the proposed mediated settlement."

 

Press should investigate defrauding contractors

Dear Editor:

Joey Pellegrino and I both attended the City Council meeting on Oct. 15 — he as a staff reporter, and I as a taxpaying homeowner and advocate for honesty on the permit application.

Many seats were occupied by the 22 T-shirt-clad students being honored for attending Citizens Academy. Earlier, proclamations were issued by the vice mayor and a councilman to well-deserving groups serving members of the community in both the mental health and domestic violence areas.

But what was missing in the reporting was any mention of the matter that I have previously, and at this meeting, addressed in the two three-minute segments allotted for public participation: the issue of the faulty permit application that a contractor completes before being issued a permit to begin a job.

Since no verification is required of the contractor to legitimize the value of the job he is to do for the homeowner, he can insert any amount that he wants for his benefit, thus defrauding the city of proper fees and causing great harm to the homeowner. So if the job will pay him $23,500 and he states the value to be $2,200, it is easy to see that the city is losing out on revenue, and the homeowner never receives the proper oversight of inspections.

Further, because no backup information is required, the contractor is able to minimize how extensive the job actually is. Therefore, if the job is to restore a severely damaged upper deck that took six weeks to reconstruct and the description says merely that it was to “repair an existing beam,” how can the permitting department properly protect the interests of the homeowner?

To me the permitting department seems content to be aiding and abetting. The power of the press must prevail.

Phyllis Robbins Scheffler

Palm Coast

 

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