PALM COAST — Plans for a convenience store and gas station at the corner of Pine Lakes Parkway and Wynnfield Drive have been submitted, and no matter how much residents complain, the city essentially said Tuesday that it can’t stop it from happening.
The City Council addressed the issue at Tuesday’s workshop. City officials reiterated private property rights protect commercial development on land that’s zoned for commercial use.
At Tuesday’s meeting, City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo said he has received “quite a few emails” about the plan.
If the city didn’t want the project to happen, it would have three options, Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts said.
The city could try to purchase the property from the owner; the city could try to take the landowner to eminent domain; or, the city could rezone the property.
“Three options that I’m aware of, all of which will cost the city a tremendous amount of money,” Netts said.
A few years ago, the city faced a similar situation when a BP Gas station was planned for the intersection of Palm Harbor Parkway and Fellowship Drive.
Netts called the impact of the gas station on the neighborhood “negligible.”
Cindi Lane, communications and marketing manager for the city, confirmed plans have been submitted.
“They’re under staff review,” Lane said, adding that nothing has been approved yet. “We’re evaluating the site plan to ensure compliance with our Land Development Code.”
Lane said she is aware of one letter sent to the city in regard to the proposal and several phone calls with residents asking questions.
“A lot of the residents I talk to think the city is omnipotent,” City Councilman Bill McGuire said. “They think we can do anything we want to.”
City officials said Tuesday there’s no action for the City Council to take.
City Manager Jim Landon compared the gas station project to the fourth McDonald's that is being built along Belle Terre Parkway.
Landon said he recently got an email from a resident stating that there are enough McDonald's and fast-food restaurants already in town.
"The private market controls that," he said. "We do not."
Click here for a Google Maps image of the intersection where the proposed convenience store and gas station could go.
BOX: In the zone
The land in question is zoned as Commercial-2, meaning the following are permitted without any special exception: houses of worship, bars or nightclubs without live entertainment, liquor stores, sandwich shops, bakeries, dinner theaters, pizza delivery or takeout, restaurants with or without drive-thrus, elementary or secondary schools, medical or dental labs, banks, mail-order facilities, medical or professional offices, outpatient facilities, temporary employment agencies, veterinarians, bed and breakfast inns, hotels, motels, parks, indoor recreation, assisted living facilities, art dealers, hardware stories, retail, florists, model home centers, plant nurseries, sporting goods stories, adult day care centers, bail bonding, landscaping services, automobile driving schools, convenience stores, service stations.
The minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet, and the maximum building height allowed is 100 feet.
Sixty-eight comments were left on the Palm Coast Observer's Facebook page on this story. Here are a few:
Grace Wojcie Zultowski: The area they're talking about is residential! It would perhaps make sense if a gas station went in on Pine Lakes and Palm Coast Parkway or Pine Lakes and Belle Terre, because those are commercial. The Wynnfield location stinks! It should be rezoned. Yes, we do need one on the corner of 100 and Belle Terre!
Beverly Garces: I live in the area & have 3 small children. We use the bike path often. I will not feel they are as safe if you put a gas station there, more traffic, people hanging out, etc. ... It is a residential area, not enough traffic to warrant a gas station. ... No no no ... Put it at Belle Terre & 100, or on US1. There's all sorts of gas stations on Palm Coast Parkway. Leave our neighborhood alone
David B. Hayes: Yes. (We) need one. Have to drive to one of the main arteries to gas up. It's like 7 miles out of the way.
Frank Corsillo: We the residents have the power to boycott a business that will have a negative impact on our community. Any business will not only detract from the beauty of the area, but will also pose a safety issue to children using the school bus, joggers-bikers-walkers utilizing the trail! Pine Lakes Pkwy is bordered by a golf course which adds an additional element of beauty for those using the trail, a gas station will destroy the picturesque quality of the current trail.