The city agreed to dismiss its legal challenge of the county and Sea Ray, and the boat manufacturing company will be bound by certain conditions.
Flagler Beach has dismissed its legal challenge to the county land use change that will allow Sea Ray boats to build a larger parking lot on its property just west of the city, freeing the marine company to begin construction.
In return, Flagler County has agreed to apply its industrial performance standards to the Sea Ray property, and Sea Ray agrees to send the city and county copies of any requests for permits to increase it emissions — public records already available online.
The Flagler Beach Commission didn't have much time to consider its options before it voted on the settlement agreement at its 5;30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 meeting. The city had only received the agreement at about 3 p.m. that day. The vote was divided 3-2: Commissioners Joy McGrew, Steve Settle and Marshall Shupe voted for the agreement, and commissioners Kim Carney and Jane Mealy voted against.
A resident, Roseanne Stocker — who lives near the plant and has organized much opposition to the parking lot plan — pleaded with the city not to back off. Stocker, warning as she has at previous government meetings that the parking lot plan could be used as cover for an industrial expansion, said that Sea Ray hasn't conceded much, as most of the documents it has offered to provide are public records the city could get on its own. Carney agreed.
But most commission members didn't want to continue fighting what they feared would be a costly, losing battle.
"I don’t want to be sued by the county and by Sea Ray and by (Sea Ray parent corporation) Brunswick, and have them sue the city of Flagler Beach because we can’t come to an agreement," Shupe said at the meeting. "We’ve got something. It isn’t really everything we wanted, but there’s a lot of discussion that goes back to how far this can be taken."