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Palm Coast Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2022 3 months ago

City plans for westward expansion

Palm Coast is seeking $3.14 million from the state to extend its major arterial roadways west of U.S. 1
by: Jonathan Simmons Senior Editor

Palm Coast wants to open up its west side — the region west of U.S. 1— and might extend Matanzas Woods Parkway, Palm Coast Parkway, Whiteview Parkway and Royal Palms Parkway to do so. 

"This whole area will be looked at in terms of what's the most cost-effective, efficient, functional connection."


— CARL COTE, Palm Coast director of stormwater and engineering

Expanding to the west is third in the city's 2022 list of legislative priorities — a set of issues for which local officials are seeking state legislators' assistance. Palm Coast is seeking $3.14 million from the state to fund the first phase of the westward expansion. 

In the case of the northern of the four arterials — Matanzas Woods Parkway — the city has already bought some of the right-of-way that would be needed for the westward expansion, because it also needs that land for access to the site it has selected for a new public works facility, Carl Cote, the city's director of stormwater and engineering, told City Council members in a presentation at a March 8 council workshop. 

The city is negotiating for more right-of-way in the area, as well as for property west of the railroad tracks. 

City staff have also completed a feasibility assessment for Matanzas Woods Parkway, Cote said, in conjunction with planning for the public works facility and a proposed amenity center for the Sawmill Creek residential development. 

"We were looking hard at where our roadway lighting could go, what the connection access points would be and how that would happen ... minimizing impact to either development," Cote said.

Survey work is underway on land east of the railroad tracks, and the city has negotiated a contract for the design of the roadway extension west of the tracks.  

The area just west of the terminus of Palm Coast Parkway is the site of a planned Flagler Health+ hospital, and the city has negotiated a scope and fee for a feasibility study for the roadway extension there and might undertake a realignment of part of the roadway to ensure it doesn't get boxed in by development that would block a westward extension, Cote said. 

It's a complicated area. 

"There are many private properties and parcels throughout there, vacant and developed, a lot of environmental areas that have to be analyzed," Cote said. "... We know that development will begin, and we are really looking at the final alignment before development occurs."

Whiteview Parkway could be extended westward through a 30-acre parcel of land the city recently annexed to its west, Cote said. 

"There's some initial discussions with those property owners as to how they may develop the property and what an appropriate extension would look like," Cote said.  

On the east end of Whiteview, Cote said, some easements are in place near Interstate 95 and Old Kings Road such that Whiteview could potentially be connected up with that roadway network.

A westward extension of Royal Palms Parkway would be coordinated with the Flagler County government, which is investigating options for extending Lehigh Trail to the west. It would also require the involvement of the Flagler County School District, which owns property on the west side of U.S. 1.

"This whole area will be looked at in terms of what's the most cost-effective, efficient, functional connection point," Cote said. "We really wanted to explore that as well during this feasibility study."

Palm Coast City Council members will decide during a future meeting whether to authorize a $1.8 million contract for the design of the Matanzas Woods Parkway extension and $125,000 for a feasibility study for extensions of the other three roadways.

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