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Palm Coast Tuesday, May 17, 2022 6 months ago

Three-story Hunter's Ridge storage facility approved

Also, Hunter's Ridge CDD dissolved, and Plantation Bay will add 131 homes
by: Brian McMillan Contributing Writer

Two communities that straddle the Volusia-Flagler County line continue to grow.

The developer of Hunter’s Ridge earned Flagler County Commission approval for a planned unit development plan on May 16, enabling the owner, U.S. Capital Alliance LLC, to build a three-story, 102,000-square-foot storage facility in the community. The land had long been zoned industrial — “since the beginning of time,” according to the developer’s representative — but it’s the first industrial development in Hunter’s Ridge, and many residents had protested the proposed facility at the planning board level.

As a result of those protests, the developer was given a number of stipulations for how the storage facility could look and be operated. For example, there must be a vinyl fence at least 8 feet tall around the building, with landscaping on the outside of the fence; all outdoor lighting must point downward; operations are limited to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Still a handful of residents cordially asked for further commitments from the developer, such as to make the building only two stories tall, rather than three. One man requested that the planned wet retention pond be moved.

Chuck Merenda, assistant director of growth management for Flagler County, said, “We’re looking forward to this project; it’s much needed in that area.”

The developer’s representative pointed out that the land could have been developed with a more intense use, but the storage facility was chosen because it was the most compatible.

“This just comes down to a property rights issue,” County Commissioner Andy Dance said. “It’s an allowable, permitted use, and the owners have accommodated by adding some additional buffers. I think it’s been vetted.”


Looking for Ormond input

The County Commission also approved a request to dissolve the 964-acre Hunter’s Ridge Oaks Community Development District, which is just a portion of the overall Hunter’s Ridge development. The CDD had been established in 2016 and could have been used to borrow money for community improvements, but it never collected any money from residents, and it never borrowed any money.

The CDD “just existed on paper,” county attorney Al Hadeed said.

As part of the dissolution process, city staff contacted the government staffs in Ormond Beach and Volusia County, and Ormond Beach responded with a letter to express concern about how water and wastewater services would be handled in the Flagler County portion of Hunter’s Ridge. The developer, U.S. Capital Alliance, has had an agreement to for utility services with the city of Ormond Beach since 2017.

To allow for further input from the city of Ormond Beach, this agenda item will be given a second reading on June 6.


Buying back school site

The County Commission, on May 16, also granted U.S. Capital Alliance’s request to remove its obligation to reserve space for a school to be built in the boundaries of the Hunter’s Ridge. Instead, the developer will pay Flagler Schools $2 million in impact fee credits and another $1 million as a donation. Medium density residential can now be built on that 45-acre property, instead.


Plantation Bay homes

About 48 acres in Plantation Bay have been approved for more homes.

The parcel, known as Section 2A-F, Unit 12A, is located south of Old Dixie Highway, between U.S. 1 and Interstate 95. WL Residential Land was granted approval of a preliminary plat for 131 single-family homes.

Many of the proposed lots have dimensions of 60 feet by 144 feet, and the new homes won’t have backyard neighbors.

The development will have multiple access connections to Stirling Bridge Drive, which curves around Unit 12A, according to county documents.

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