Construction for the new 15-acre ocean-front park is expected to begin by the end of the year.
Flagler County had a public meeting on Feb. 15 to present the conceptual plan for a public park on Bay Drive in the Hammock, a park that was decades in the making.
The park will be built with a $2.3 million grant on two adjacent parcels of land: 13 acres purchased by Flagler County in 2009 and almost three more acres of dedicated public park property owned by the county since 1985.
“This was a rare opportunity for Flagler County to create a more than 15-acre park with ocean access,” Environmental Planner Tim Telfer said. “Absent the housing recession, there would be a development of some sort there.” The zoning on the 13 acres would have allowed 91 residential units.
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 in the sand.
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.
For decades, different Flagler County Board of Commissioners have vote repeatedly to keep the area as it was intended, for public use.
In the early 2000s, Bay Drive Park 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.
Flagler County applied for a grant in February 2011 to develop the park, which was still called Bay Drive Park. The state awarded a $2.3 million grant to the county, because of the property’s unique character and to preserve public beach access.