The city proposes allowing the typical 25-foot landscape buffer to be reduced to 10 feet to allow development on small plot of land.
Changes made to the city’s landscaping code last year will let the city approve a proposal to add a Discount Tire store on an irregular lot that would have been too small to develop without the changes, which allow for reduced landscape buffers.
The plot of land is located near the Home Depot and the Interstate 95 interchange on Palm Coast Parkway. Discount Tire had started — and then abandoned — construction of a store in Palm Coast in 2014, in that case on State Road 100.
“We have kind of an unusual feature in our code that allows some flexibility with landscaping,” City Manager Jim Landon said in a City Council workshop Dec. 12. The changes will allow some previously unusable sites to be developed. “This is the first time we’ve actually had that opportunity,” Landon said.
The amendments to the landscaping code were approved unanimously by the City Council in October 2016.
The Discount Tire proposal allows for the city’s usual 25-foot landscape buffer along a fence on the property’s south side to be reduced to 10 feet.
“What’s best for the community: Is it best to follow our code to the letter, or are there some cases where maybe a little flexibility there would be helpful?” city landscape architect Bill Butler said. “In this case here ... when you factor in the 25-foot buffer and the irregular size of the lot and trying to get a development in there, it’s very difficult. Do we want to have a piece of property that’s doing nothing, not creating tax benefits or anything, or do we want to try to bring a business in that wants to come in, but at the same time, it’s going to look good?”
Because the landscaping will be on the Florida Department of Transportation right-of-way, FDOT will pay for its installation — requiring the issue to go before City Council for approval. The council will vote on the proposal at a future meeting.
The city has not yet gone out for quotes for the work. Discount Tire will be required to pay a 10% administrative cost for the city’s work on the landscaping plan.