Condo project threatens Sea Ray boat plant

BUNNELL, Fla. – A vote to allow construction of 300 condominiums near the Sea Ray boat plant in Florida’s Flagler County could eventually force the company to move to a different location, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported in an online story this morning.

The Flagler County Commission voted yesterday to allow a controversial condominium project, which calls for the construction of condominiums on 48 acres adjacent to the Sea Ray boat plant, to move forward. Sea Ray officials have said residences built so close to the plant, which employs 600, would be like a “death of a thousand cuts,” with continual complaints from residents about traffic, noise and odor, the News-Journal reported.

Dan Goddard, general manager of Sea Ray, told the newspaper that the company must explore all of its alternatives, including changing locations, in light of Monday’s vote.

“It’s a fact that has to be considered when a company such as ours is faced with something of this magnitude,” Goddard said.

Boston Whaler, Sea Ray’s sister company, was faced with a similar situation earlier this year in Edgewater, Fla., when it objected to a 580-condo development being built next to its plant. But in that case the city and the boat manufacturing company compromised with developers, agreeing to chip in money for improvements to the plant that would reduce its odor.

Flagler County Commissioners were hoping for a similar compromise in this situation, according to the News-Journal. But while Sea Ray and Landmar, the developers, came close, the question of who would pay for odor-reducing improvements to the plants became a sticking point.

It would cost an estimated $6 million to make such improvements to Sea Ray’s plant, with pledges totaling $4 million from the county and Landmar, leaving a $2-million shortfall. Sid Ansebacher, another Sea Ray representative, said the company recently spent $2 million on similar improvements and doesn’t want to spend another $2 million, the newspaper reported.

Jim Cullis, Landmar’s regional manager, told the News-Journal that the developer is committed to working things out with Sea Ray.

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