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Palm Coast Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018 1 year ago

County nears agreement with Hammock Beach Club for dune work

Also: Vacation rental legislation stalls in the Senate.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Flagler County is preparing an agreement with the Hammock Beach Club to construct a beach dune in front of the property.

The agreement isn’t quite ready yet, but it’s about “95% there,” County Administrator Craig Coffey told county commissioners at a March 5 commission workshop.

There’s some time pressure for the county to get the agreement approved by the commission, so Coffey brought it up for approval at the March 5 meeting even though it wasn’t finalized.

“We wanted to get it before you, because if we delayed, we for sure couldn’t make the time frame associated with the 1,200 feet north of 16th,” he said.

The 1,200 feet of dune work Coffey was referring to would bolster the sand dune in the area, lessening the likelihood of breaches and flooding during a strong storm or hurricane. A stretch of dune to the north has already been reinforced.

The agreement is with the LRA Hammock Beach Ocean LLC, Coffey said, and the LRA has had some legal concerns that held up the process, some of them involving the golf course.

“What troubles me is that they appear to be dragging their feet, and if they don’t sign, we’re not going to get the sand there and we’re not going to get to protect the residences because of legal wrangling over language,” County Commission Chairman Greg Hansen said.

Coffey said the proposed agreement has “come a long way.”

“The initial draft we got back from them I thought for sure we weren’t going to be able to reach a deal,” he said. “However, we’ve been going back and forth, and for the last two or three weeks, it has sat in our court while I’ve wrestled with other issues. So I didn’t get the language back, so that kind of tightened our time frame a little.”

Coffey said he hopes to finalize it by the end of the week, so that the county can start adding sand by the end of the month.

“Personally, I would like to see that done as soon as possible,” Hansen said. “Because that just needs protection.”

Vacation rental legislation stalls

Proposed legislation that would dramatically reduce the county’s authority to regulate short-term vacation rentals, preempting that authority to the state government, has stalled in the Florida Senate.

“We appear to have achieved victory on that, and it’s going away,” County Commission Chairman Greg Hansen said at the March 5 meeting. “It goes back to the 2014 rules, which we like.”

The legislative session ends on Friday, March 9, and the proposed legislation is not scheduled to be taken up by then.

County Attorney Al Hadeed said March 7 that the bill has not passed all of the committees it would need to pass in order to proceed to a floor vote. The likelihood of it being passed at this point, he said, is "next to nil."

"The failure of the bill preserves the status quo," he said. 


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