Palm Coast, Florida

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Palm Coast is a city in Flagler County, Florida. As of 2006, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 68,013; it is the most populous city or town in Flagler County.[3] Palm Coast is a principal town of the Palm Coast, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, designated in 2007. The town of Palm Coast, and Flagler County in general, have been rapidly growing locations in population, having increased their populations from 14,287 and 32,732 respectively, from the 1990 census to the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Developed by ITT Community Development Corporation (Levitt) in 1969, the original development plan encompasses 48,000 home sites on approximately 42,000 acres (17,000 ha) of the 68,000 acres (28,000 ha) owned by ITT. Paved street and central water and sewer serve all lots developed within the plan. An extensive water management system was designed to replenish the area's water table, which includes 46 miles (74 km) of freshwater canals and 23 miles (37 km) of saltwater canals.

In 1975, the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners established Palm Coast Service District, which included almost 40,000 acres (16,000 ha). Funds for the district were derived primarily from ad Valorem taxes and were utilized to provide fire services, fire hydrants, street lighting, animal control and emergency services.

Florida had its first serious "wildland urban interface" fire in 1985 with the Palm Coast Fire, which burned 131 homes. Research on this fire indicated that the most important factor was the proximity of heavy ground vegetation to the structure. Thirteen years later, fires struck the same Palm Coast subdivision. The 1998 fires were national news because the whole county was ordered to evacuate, and 45,000 people were displaced. Fire suppression organizations responded from 44 states, and Florida hosted the largest aerial suppression operation ever conducted in the United States. Because of the massive effort, only 71 homes were destroyed.[6]

In September 1999, the citizenry of Palm Coast voted overwhelmingly by a margin of two to one to incorporate as a council/manager form of government. On December 31, 1999, the City of Palm Coast was officially incorporated. On October 1, 2000, all services were officially transferred from the former Service District to the City of Palm Coast. The five-member City Council is elected at large and serves staggered four-year terms. One member is elected as mayor. The promulgation and adoption of policy are the responsibility of the Council, and the execution of such policy is the responsibility of the council-appointed city manager. The city hired its first city manager on April 17, 2000.

The city provides a wide range of services including development services, fire services, street construction and maintenance, parks and recreational activities. Palm Coast contracts with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement services. The city currently has plans under way for a new City Hall, a town center, new fire stations, and additional lands for parks. Preservation and protection of environmentally sensitive lands is a key goal of this city as it prepares for the future.

Geography

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