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Palm Coast Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 8 years ago



+ Community needs to meet adoptable pets from shelter
Dear Editor:
Recently, in the Palm Coast Observer, you posted a picture of Rex, a German shepherd from the Flagler Humane Society.

Then, you put a follow-up about Rex getting adopted and by whom. As a volunteer at the Humane Society, I think that was great, since these success stories help us to keep encouraged and to keep on trying. Thank you!

Some of volunteers take adoptable dogs to different events, PetSmart, Walmart and now the new Pet Supermarket, among other places, to help these good, wonderful, homeless dogs and cats get adopted to good loving homes.

Many times, we have heard from people stopping by, asking if we had a certain dog whose picture was in one of the Daytona papers.

I am asking, requesting, pleading: Could you please continue putting a picture and a little description of a dog or cat in your weekly paper?

It’s not the animals’ fault they are homeless, and any help that the Flagler Humane Society can get would be greatly appreciated.

JoAnn Smerdon
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: Thanks for your note, JoAnn. We are working with the Humane Society to do just what you are suggesting. Hopefully, there will be many more success stories.

+ ‘There are more important things in life than tax cuts’
Dear Editor:
I take exception to those who write critical letters to you and claim that they speak for all the people because they certainly do not speak for me.

I am retired and don’t need another job, but I recognize that this town does need more environmentally sound, decent-paying jobs for citizens who cannot afford the luxury of retirement.

Palm Coast needs intelligent leadership and in my opinion, we have that in our mayor and city manager.
Bringing in good paying jobs may mean a little more traffic and infrastructure and signage, but, in my opinion, that will be a necessary investment to keep Palm Coast from becoming a ramshackle, pot-holed, high-crime town with more vacant houses. All I ask is that we use good judgment when we solicit corporations to build in Palm Coast.

Palm Coast needs to own an efficient City Hall, and it is my opinion that we should build it now to provide needed construction jobs, even if temporary, and to avoid higher costs in the future.

Just because we voted down a previous proposal to spend $30 million dollars for an oversized City Hall and community centers does not mean that it would be wrong to spend $10 million dollars now for a more modest City Hall.

I like living in Palm Coast, and I don’t need any more tax cuts, and that is a fact. There are more important things in life than tax cuts.

Carl Heldwein
Palm Coast

+ Interchange at I-95 not needed in Matanzas Woods
Dear Editor:
I am in total agreement with Janet Ann Bull’s Jan. 6 letter about the proposed Matanzas Woods interchange at Interstate 95. The amount of land that will be required for the entrance and exit ramps will bring them too close to homes already existing there.

As soon as the interchange becomes active, gas stations and other commercial ventures will follow. The residents on Forest Grove Drive are already suffering from the opening of the high school and the paving of Old Kings Road.

The convoy of school buses, parents, teachers, teenage drivers and commercial and industrial traffic from St. Augustine and Jacksonville already makes life miserable on Forest Grove Drive.

What we sorely need is the Old Kings Road Extension to Matanzas Parkway and the Palm Harbor Extension through the Conservatory to Matanzas Parkway to relieve the traffic nightmare on Forest Grove Drive (a neighborhood road with a 30 mph speed limit).

Perhaps the funds to be allocated for the interchange could be diverted to construct the two extensions (with the proper approval of the governing agencies).

Phillip Khan
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: According to City Manager Jim Landon, no local property tax dollars will be used to fund the proposed Matanzas Woods Parkway interchange at Interstate 95.

A county project, it will be funded largely with federal money earmarked for just that purpose. Local impact fees will also be used.

State studies have confirmed that an interchange at Matanzas is needed. First, it’s needed as an evacuation route for Matanzas residents in the event of fires or hurricanes. Also, the Palm Coast Comprehensive Plan calls for three major east-west corridors for traffic and shopping — State Road 100, Palm Coast Parkway and Matanzas Woods — to alleviate congestion citywide.

Of course, you’re probably not the only one who lives in the northern part of the city and who wants to keep that area quiet. But your neighbors might welcome the idea of not having to drive so far to access I-95 or to go to the grocery store.


+ Does the city address overgrown vacant lots?
Dear Editor:
I have read that our city officials are finally taking action on abandon homes.  Does the resolution include vacant lots?

These vacant lots are breeding grounds for wild animals, snakes, rodents and the vegetation overgrowth that extends beyond their property lines.

I do not know if anyone is aware that Grand Haven has an ordinance that the owner of a vacant lot next to a homeowner’s lot shall have their lot cleared of all vegetation and shall have a lawn installed and maintained year round.

Walter Albano
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: I called Palm Coast Code Enforcement Manager Barbara Grossman to help answer this question.

No, the recently passed resolutions do not address vacant lots — only abandoned real and personal property. Grand Haven does have a rule that if you buy a lot, you must build on it and maintain it, but that’s not the case in the rest of the city.

There are more than 18,000 vacant lots in Palm Coast. If one snake or one rat crawls out of a bush, that’s just nature. Many lots, developed or not, have a snake or two.

However, if there are, say, 1,000 rats, you can call the city, and they’ll investigate the infestation. In that case, the city could declare it a public nuisance for health and sanitary reasons and require the vacant lot owner to take care of it within a reasonable time. If the owner does not comply, the city will abate the nuisance and put a lien on the property.

As far as the overgrown vegetation is concerned: If it’s within 30 feet of your house, it could be a fire hazard. After the 1998 summer wildfires in Palm Coast, the city passed an ordinance giving it the authority to clear vegetation on vacant lots in certain cases.

Grossman said the city does not clear vacant lots completely, though, because that can cause stormwater runoff problems, and any vermin would just relocate (maybe into your yard).

Also, every vacant lot in the city is inspected for fire hazard every two years. Call the city offices at 986-3700 for more information.

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