Wednesday evening, November 29th at 4pm, residents from both the Hidden Lakes development and Toscana came together to discuss their options in regards to the potential apartment complexes that are proposed to line Old Kings Road. The last minute meeting had an impressive turnout, with at least 30 people in attendance. Also in attendance for this meeting was mayoral candidate Peter Johnson, and City Council candidate Dana “Mark” Stancel. Johnson and Stancel both were there to help explain the situation the residents faced along with answer questions that residents had. Seminole Woods resident Joy Cook was also there to provide advice and support to the residents of Hidden Lakes and Toscana. Joy Cook lead the charge in the Seminole Woods development fight; which they were able to win, resulting in the development staying single family dwellings only.
The impromptu meeting involved the discussion of what the proposed complexes would look like as well as providing a forum for residents to ask questions. Many of the residents in attendance questioned why neither HOA board was notified of the development proposals being that these apartment complexes would be in such close proximity. The developer has stated in the past that they notified both the HOA board for Toscana as well as Hidden Lakes; however officers from both HOA boards were in attendance at this informative meeting and went on record stating that the boards had not received any such notifications for public meetings with the developers.
ScorUSA is the developer for this property, provided that City Council moves forward with the comprehensive plan for the development. ScorUSA is a Florida Foreign Limited Liability Company, with the registered agent being a Winter Park builder Jr. J. Lindsay. The only other point of contact that could be found for this entity during a Sunbiz record search was Steven W. Corbett. ScorUSA’s mailing address and location are based out of Phoenix City Alabama.
This particular issue is currently set to come before the council on December 19th. Residents who plan to speak regarding the potential luxury apartment complex along Old Kings Rd, are encouraged to attend the morning city meeting that day.
Residents who were in attendance at this meeting discussed and questioned not only the concerns they have regarding this potential project, but also what compromises they would be willing to come to with the developer. Currently the group of residents are working together to come up with a message of solidarity that they can use to speak up at the city council meetings leading up to this agenda item on the 19th.
Some of the issues that residents brought up that evening were health, welfare, and safety. Many were very concerned about the increase in traffic that apartments could bring to Old Kings Rd. One resident mentioned that Old Kings becomes gridlocked any time they have to divert traffic from I-95 for any reason. This is already a concern for many residents because it begs the question, can emergency services reach these developments when traffic is bad on Old Kings? Other residents spoke about how crime in their prospective developments are near non-existent, and they fear the addition of rental apartments could bring an increase in crime. Another resident stated a concern about water displacement during rain and storms. Currently there are areas that are having major issues with water displacement especially during storms, and some fear the quick development could cause serious issues with where the water from storms flow.
All of the residents at this meeting agreed that apartments of any kind are not compatible with the area on Old Kings. Many stated they bought in these prospective communities because these undeveloped areas were originally zoned for office space, not multi-family. Other residents were concerned that this would further the issue of displaced wildlife. Currently many residents in Hidden Lakes have issues with wild boar.
The Palm Coast Historical Society has already reached out to the city on the issue of adding apartments along Old Kings Rd. The historical society has stated that Old Kings Rd is a historical Scenic By-Way and thus should be preserved at all costs. Old Kings Rd was the first road built into Florida, and holds significant historical value according to the Palm Coast Historical Society.
Those who attended this meeting were urged to write the city council members, come to meetings and speak, and spread the word amongst the communities of Hidden Lakes and Toscana. Those who attended discussed what they planned to do going forward, as well as their desired goals and a reasonable compromise should they not get exactly what they want. Many of those who attended agreed that they would like to see the land put back to the original zone designation of office space. Most agreed that if that was not possible, they would be willing to accept having single story townhouses. Almost all of the residents stated that they would not be ok with rental properties.