Home / Spotlight / How Flagler County Is Readying to Upend Bing’s Landing Park to Benefit Private Restaurant–and Political Donors

How Flagler County Is Readying to Upend Bing’s Landing Park to Benefit Private Restaurant–and Political Donors

Where Captain's BBQ will build a new grill during Bing's Landing. (Scenic A1A)

Where Captain’s BBQ will build a new grill during Bing’s Landing. (Scenic A1A)

With small fanfare, yet designed discussion, and with conjunction open notice to adjacent residents nor a open conference other than during an advisory level, County Administrator Craig Coffey is seeking a County Commission on Monday–the final assembly before a new commissioner is seated–to approve a poignant change to a demeanour and feel of Bing’s Landing.

The change, set to be implemented immediately after a vote, would outcome in some drop of a park’s primary immature drift to make approach for a 5,000-square-foot restaurant, shortening a park’s open spaces. The change would also open a approach for a full beer, booze and wine bar in a new restaurant, yet a owners contend they’re not proposing one.

The county bought a 7.5-acre park in 1989 with $1 million out of a county’s voter-approved Environmentally Sensitive Land funds.

The change will be to a advantage of Captain’s BBQ, a privately-owned grill operating during Bing’s Landing given 2012, and whose owners, Chris Herrera and Mike Goodman, are complicated financial donors to county commissioners’ choosing funds. The elect reduction than dual weeks ago allocated Goodman to a county’s formulation board–which progressing this week voted 4-1 to suggest a change (Goodman was not partial of a vote).

Captain’s, that has occasionally altered a layout, is in a smaller building immediately south of a designed new site. “The existent building is descending apart,” Jay Livingston, Goodman’s and Herrera’s attorney, told a county’s formulation house progressing this week. (Livingston is also a inexhaustible donor to commissioners’ debate funds.)

The county leases a building to Captain’s, for $750 a month. Captain’s owners have readied skeleton to build a 5,000-foot grill to a north of a existent building, gripping a aged one going until a new one is prepared so they don’t mislay business and some-more than a dozen employees aren’t out of work. Their profession says impact to trees will be minimal, and they contend they will compensate a cost of construction, (“up to $1 million,” according to documents) yet a county will be obliged for demolishing a comparison building, building additional parking and installing a new building’s septic system. The county supposing zero of those costs in a documents, so stealing a poignant funding for a project.

And yet Captain’s franchise is due to boost to $4,000 a month once a grill moves into a new building, a county will cut that franchise to $1,000 a month, evidently in capitulation for a investment Captain’s is fixation in a new building.

In effect, while a county claims it is not subsidizing a private restaurant, it partly acknowledges doing so in a lease, and is serve subsidizing a private business that pays no skill taxes on possibly a building nor a parking lot that services it, nor use fees for any maintain of a area surrounding a building. The county, as landlord, has used county crews to use a building as well, and will presumably do so once a new structure is built.

That’s a hint of a franchise agreement Coffey is seeking a elect to approve Monday–the same day commissioners will have been on a margin revisit to Princess Place Preserve, another immature space acquired with taxpayers’ Sensitive Lands supports that has turn a small reduction immature given of a devise Coffey and a elect pushed by a few years ago: a set of “eco” cottages that will be rented to tourists and, during times, acamedics.

The county formulation house voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve a site devise for a new building, that is not entrance before a county commission. The formulation house assembly itself was noticed, yet a site devise was not, nor were Hammock residents adjacent a park (or anywhere) sensitive of a tentative plan, as several such residents who found out about by possibility told a formulation board.

For Monday’s meeting, Coffey has finished what county and city executives mostly do when they wish to lift as small courtesy as probable to potentially argumentative items: he’s slipped by a object on a agree apportionment of a commission’s agenda–that apportionment that lists countless equipment and that a elect approves in build, with one vote, yet discussion, unless a member of a open or a commissioner asks to lift a sold object off consent. Yet a object was never partial of a county seminar nor of prior contention during a elect level, and it was not advertised nor were Hammock residents told of it, as is a normal with several land issues. Since a change is holding place in a open park, a supervision is giving a object ironically reduction open notice.

Captain's BBQ and a surrounding parking lot during Bing's Landing. (© FlaglerLive)

Captain’s BBQ and a surrounding parking lot during Bing’s Landing. (© FlaglerLive)

At Bing’s, a county claims a Captain’s BBQ building distance is augmenting usually from 4,157 block feet now to 5,200 block feet. In fact, a 4,157 block feet area a county refers to does not conform with a area documented by a skill appraiser, who has a building during a smaller footprint. County Planning Director Adam Mengle pronounced that’s given Captain’s has such things as an outward cooker and other areas that “are not being tracked by a skill appraiser,” who’s looking “strictly during what’s underneath roof.” (See a size comparison of a dual buildings here.)

The county and Livingston submitted a devise to a Scenic A1A Pride advisory cabinet on Oct. 26 and won a 7-2 opinion of capitulation “with a sustenance that there will be no net detriment of immature space,” Dennis Clark, a group’s chairman, wrote Mengle. “Also enclosed in a suit was a sustenance that any parking changes be reviewed by Scenic A1A PRIDE before implementation. During a meeting, it was transparent that Scenic A1A PRIDE against any boost in building distance or increasing parking mandate as compared to a existent business.” While prior skeleton showed some-more impact to trees, stream skeleton have one live passed ash and one passed ash impacted, and 5 palms, that would be relocated.

Clark himself was one of a dual dissenters in a vote, and he has confirmed his antithesis since, vocalization divided rather than as a deputy of A1A. “This site devise is incomplete,” he’s created in a brief propelling commissioners to check a vote, “without a designed dispersion and parking plan, a new septic system, stormwater management, archeology refuge plan, and sum tree refuge plans. Any capitulation should be fortuitous on a full examination of a whole devise and a sum costs to a County. The septic complement could be outrageous and impact many trees roots.”

A formulation house member questioned Livingston about what will turn of a aged site.

“There was a contention about regulating that area to raise parking,” Livingston said. “At a A1A assembly their recommendation states that they don’t wish any net detriment of immature space. So a wish is, and a applicant supports this, that that area would turn an extended partial of a park. It’s a really good plcae in terms of a perspective of a water, where it is during a behind finish of a existent parking area, so a idea would be to raise that area of a park.”

But there’s zero in essay from any side that certifies that there will be no net detriment of immature space: it’s merely a recommendation, yet a county is looking during other areas for combined parking: “We know there’s a need for additional parking,” Mengle said, “so that’s something we as a owners of a park are going to be holding caring of, so we’ve got a staff, engineering staff is operative on providing that additional parking.” But he didn’t contend where that parking will go, yet it doesn’t have other places to go yet within a acreage of a park, so roughly fundamentally concealment some detriment of immature acreage.

Eight people addressed a formulation house on a due site plan, 7 of them opposed. The one voice in preference of a devise was Bruce Page, boss of Intracoastal Bank, who pronounced he “might have a special interest.”

dennis clark rendering

Dennis Clark, who opposes a designed construction, constructed a above digest of a new building’s footprint. Click on a picture for incomparable view.

“I extol a county for being innovative and entrance adult with a private open judgment to pierce amenities to a adults of this county and a guests, a critical tourists, that is a really critical partial of a economy,” Page said. Acknowledging that he was in a minority afterwards and there, he pronounced Captain’s “truly proven lane record” compelled approval, as does a devise to safeguard no mangle in a business’ operations.

Other views were decidedly opposed. “It might be a pleasing building yet it takes divided all that space that adults can use,” Lynne Rosewater of a Hammock said. “You don’t build a park so people can come to a restaurant, restaurants can set adult wherever they want. This is open land, and on open lands there’s a shortcoming to take caring of a adults who have a right to use it, so we feel like that has been mislaid in this, given a formulation house is saying, is this in a need of a adults where we’re putting it, and I’m observant it’s inauspicious to a citizens. You’re holding divided their space so a usually approach they can come there and use that and have that perspective now is to compensate to lay in a restaurant. It’s a smashing restaurant. we eat there a lot yet that’s not a point, a indicate is it doesn’t go on open land that is a park and use adult adequate of that land that all that immature partial of a park is gone.” She pronounced a house was “eviscerating” a park’s immature spaces, “and we wish we comprehend that given once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Though a house asked comparatively few questions, a shortcoming was to residence a site devise exclusively–not to confirm either a devise was to a fondness or not. Livingston, who reiterated that Captain’s had no goal to have a bar, pronounced it’s not surprising for restaurants to work in open parks. “Restaurants during parks is something that you’ll find via a tate of Florida and in many states of a country,” he said. “Just in Flagler County in terms of open land we have Bull Creek, that is a park, we have Hijacker’s, that is county property, Funky Pelican is during a metropolitan pier, and we have Captain’s BBQ during Bing’s Landing.”

“One thing that wasn’t brought adult during Jay’s arrangement is that it would be probable to reconstruct on a stream property,” Janet Sullivan of a Hammock said. “Yes, it would have an inauspicious impact to employees. Yes, it would have an inauspicious impact to income for a private business. But it’s possible, and if we pierce brazen with this new building, we’re going to have an inauspicious impact to a park and to a residents who wish to use a park. Somebody is going to be adversely impacted.” She remarkable that a county’s devise contradicts a possess extensive plan, that calls for not “adversely impacting healthy resources” in a publicly saved immature spaces.

Moments before this essay published, John Walsh, a Palm Coast Observer’s publisher, emailed commissioners, seeking them to list a object scheduled for Monday. “The optics of this object are pale due to a fact that Captains BBQ owners, Mike Goodman, Chris Herrera along with a HBA donated $4500.00 to a choosing debate of Greg Hansen and unsuccessful re-election debate of Nate McLaughlin,” Walsh, an competition of McLaughlin–and believer of his replacement, Joe Mullins–wrote. “If this object is tabled until a new house members are commissioned it will mislay a optics concerning McLaughlin. And it will give Hansen time to cruise recusing himself from a vote.”

Goodman, however, donated $1,000 to Mullins in mid-October.

Clark, for his part, called a devise “pure destruction.”

The elect meets during 5 p.m. Monday in a first-floor house assembly room during a Government Services Building, 1769 E Moody Blvd., Bunnell.

Watch a County Planning Board Discuss Captain’s BBQ Site Plan:

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