“There are lots of reasons to oppose this 7-Eleven,” Nelmar Terrace Neighborhood Association’s Skip Hutton says. “One is the public safety issue of a dangerously congested intersection becoming more congested and more dangerous, resulting in more accidents and more injuries.
“I wish our City was concerned about people’s safety and I wish 7-Eleven was too.”
With zoning already in place for the project, PZB was asked only to approve removal of protected trees. Opponents hope to use the tree appeal to argue greater concerns before the commission. The neighbors are consulting with attorneys; they have 30 days to appeal the July 3 decision. An opposition petition is also circulating.
Flagler’s Abare, in a letter to Planning and Building Director Mark Knight, asked for “additional time to address some of the concerns expressed by members of the Planning and Zoning Board at its meeting on July 3.”
PZB members John Valdes and Jerry Dixon led arguments for denial of the Flagler Planned Unit Development (PUD) in a 4-3 vote. Valdes, finding a reason to reverse an earlier approval vote, noted he hadn’t considered the safety of students crossing Cordova Street to and from the proposed 400-student facility. But his real concern was “allowing PUDs to weaken one of the city’s best ideas, Historic Preservation Districts.”
Dixon argued, “PUDs are not intended for new construction,” nor classrooms for historic preservation districts.
Flagler could gamble on the commission overriding its lower board, modify its plan to be more acceptable, or offer the alternative of building without the PUD, which would eliminate 1-story connections between three classroom buildings, two of them 2-story.