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Opinion
Palm Coast Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012 8 years ago

LETTERS: on city signs and property rights

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City violates own code in building Palm Harbor signs

Dear Editor:

Ray Thomann’s portrait of Palm Coast government in the Sept. 1 edition of the Palm Coast Observer was spot on, and the blatant violation and misuse of the Palm Coast Land Development Codes is another example.

Enacted in 2008, the code binds citizens to the letter, whoever they may be, but, would appear open to another interpretation accommodating the city? The city has spent hundreds of thousands of tax dollars constructing signs; one of those is situated on the corner of Palm Harbor Drive and Palm Coast Parkway.

The city-approved sign clearly advertises the Palm Harbor Golf Course. The city insists, however, that the sign is merely a “wayfinding sign.” What or who is correct?

The city’s golf course sign is clearly a “monument off-site advertising sign” because the advertised property is located 400 yards away through and beyond two residential communities. Clarification is in the Land Development Code, Chapter 14 glossary, which says a monument sign is “supported by a structure in-ground and wholly independent of any building”; an off-site advertising sign is one “identifying, advertising, or directing public to a business at a location other than on the site on which the sign is located.” Conversely, a wayfinding sign “is a directional sign placed in the public right of way to advertise businesses in the immediate area.”

The glossary pictures of monument and wayfinding signs are without question, quite clear, that what the city has constructed is a monument off-site advertising sign; not even children could or would interpret one for the other!

The city’s manager and lawyer have verbally advised the City Council that what the city has interpreted and constructed is legal! Why should citizens, businessmen, and builders be held to the Land Development Code, but the city immune? What if the Cobblestone Village or Pines Golf Course wanted monument off-site advertising signs on the parkway? The city says no because, they are private businesses!

The code is clear: Between U.S. 1 and the Hammock Dunes Toll Bridge, “off-site signs are prohibited.”

Why the city would violate and misuse the code does not make sense unless it is masking some unknown objective! Why purposely violate the codes? Why such a hurry to erect signs? The people of Palm Coast need to question the city’s unethical violation and abuse of the code and the use of citizens’ money for projects that really are not necessary during a time when many are in fear of losing their jobs, their homes; it’s a time to postpone nonessential projects and avoid increasing property taxes.

Is the city government spending our money wisely, or is our city government just as Ray Thomann stated? Isn’t it time that the people we elected and hired begin to serve our interests and not theirs? It is definitely time they be held accountable to the people of this city, and if they abuse our trust and their duty, then they should be removed. The golf course sign violates the Land Development Code at its location and definitely needs to be removed — and maybe some senior city officials!

Robert W. Repsher
Palm Coast

 

Palm Harbor signs are welcome and beautiful

Dear Editor:
As a homeowner and resident of Covington Park subdivision, I applaud the city for constructing both the city of Palm Coast sign and the Palm Harbor Golf Club sign at the intersection of Palm Coast Parkway and Palm Harbor Drive.

These signs and the new landscape have a professional appearance and nicely compliment our neighborhood. Many of my neighbors have expressed to me their appreciation of the city's construction project that also included upgrade of sidewalks, new pedestrian crossing, new drainage and landscaping.

I had the opportunity during the past few years to attend several meetings with City Manager Jim Landon and city staff, where we discussed the size, type and location of the signs. The city staff (including the former golf course general manager, Tom Cioffi) shared their concepts and ideas about the signs.

During one of the meetings, the city made a PowerPoint presentation with examples of the proposed signs and a virtual rendering of the city sign. The signs that are currently under construction are exactly what I expected.

Thanks for being diligent in making Palm Coast a beautiful city that we call home.

Bob Gilfilian
Palm Coast

Election signs should be removed, according to the rules

Dear Editor:

City ordinance requires all election signs be removed within 14 days after the election has occurred. Why then, are we forced to look at these eyesores throughout our city a month after the primary elections?

I have spent a good deal of time reading articles about the pros and cons of yard sales, along with all the arguments from city representatives discussing all the unapproved signs that these sales generate. Everyone is expending a great deal of energy on this debate.

Almost every weekend morning, you can spot city trucks patrolling the city removing signs that have only been up for a few hours. However, there are dozens of large and small election signs still littering the roadway along U.S. 1, State Road 100 and other major intersections throughout Palm Coast.

Why are campaign signs allowed to remain for weeks, but an average citizen has his sign removed in a couple of hours? Shouldn't city and county government officials be held at least to the same standard as the average citizen?

These candidates and representatives should be forced to remove these signs at or before the deadlines in place, or be subject to the same citations and punishments that they levy upon the citizens.

Frank Rausch
Palm Coast

‘Not having traffic on my street’ is not a right in this country

Dear Editor:

How can one city councilman be so right on some issues and then lose complete touch with reality?

Jason DeLorenzo was against the city takeover of landscaping duties. Excellent! Then, he turns around and wants our local government to weasel onto our private property! More specifically, our garages. That's more than one foot in the door.

Mr. DeLorenzo, “not having traffic on my street” and “not having parking on my lawn" do not qualify as "rights" in this country. These are simple, self-inflicted, city ordinances. And "not having traffic on my street" doesn't even fall into that category.

I believe the city already has a structure in place to enforce these ordinances. Ray Thommen pointed this out eloquently! A phone call from an offender’s neighbor should equal a visit from the city and a knock-it-off conversation.

This is not about $5 and a permit. It’s about the permit and further government intrusion. And the response to the permit should be, "I will not comply.”

Citizens, beware! This is the beginning of the end, if we do not stand. Agenda 21; International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, Redevelopment Districts, red-light cameras, forcing people into condensed urban areas while re-zoning open land into "conservation" areas. Maurice Strong introduced this in the 1970s. Bill Clinton gave it teeth in the 1990s. And now Agenda 21 permeates all government entities from the feds to the states to the cities. Our Constitution and our God-given rights mean nothing. We are being herded like sheep.

Educate yourselves. Take a hard listen to Rosa Koire. She has spent 30 years in charge of California’s eminent domain property assessment department. She's an "insider" and a Democrat and she's telling it like it is!

Timothy Hall
Palm Coast

 

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