Discount stores

Small-box discount moratorium passes with 4-1 vote from Palm Coast City Council

A 150-day moratorium on small discount stores was approved 4-1 by Palm Coast City Council on June 16, allowing the City of Palm Coast to review regulations and ensure residents have a sufficient contribution on all future stores, such as Dollar General, which may offer to build in residential areas.

City Councilor Jack Howell voted against the moratorium, saying the companies he spoke to believe a moratorium is “authoritarian.” He believes a moratorium makes the city hostile to business, whether or not the business is covered by the moratorium.

Howell claimed that two aerospace companies that could have created 250 jobs, starting at $ 60,000 in wages, in Palm Coast withdrew after the idea of ​​a moratorium began to be discussed earlier this year.

City Councilor Nick Klufas said it was an “extravagant” claim, and he challenged Howell to put him in touch with businesses as proof. Howell refused to do so and accused Klufas of using the moratorium as a campaign ploy. Mayor Milissa Holland defended Klufas, saying his stance on the moratorium has been consistent for months.

The ultimate goal, Klufas said, is to help residents. “We’re going to allow more power and more input into this process, which is a good thing,” he said.

“It’s not about cutting the small big box stores in Palm Coast,” Holland added. “It’s just not based on reality. This is where it should be located appropriately.

Councilor Bob Cuff suggested the moratorium may not be necessary, given that so many months have passed since the first reading vote on March 17. But he voted in favor of the moratorium on June 16.

Once staff have made suggestions, the Town Planning and Land Use Planning Regulatory Council will discuss adjustments to the regulation of small-box discount stores at its next meeting on July 15. City council would then be presented with options on August 4.