Palm Coast is a city in Flagler County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 75,180, reflecting a drastic increase of 42,448 from the 32,832 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 19,445 from the 14,287 counted in the 1990 census, making it the most populous city or town in Flagler County. Palm Coast is part of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach, FL metropolitan statistical area.
|Palm Coast, Florida|
Princess Place Preserve
Location in Flagler County and the state of Florida
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 used 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.
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. As of 2012, the city 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.
As of 2012, industrial parks within the town house more than 30 mid-size businesses with the largest one, the "Palm Coast Data" company, employing close to 1,000 people. Flagler County has had one of the highest rates of population growth in the United States since 1990, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. However, the area was hit extremely hard by the housing bust’s recession. In December 2009, it had the worst unemployment rate of the state of Florida’s largest metropolitan areas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was 16.9 percent.