The city of Flagler Beach could challenge Sea Ray's plans to expand its Flagler County, Fla., facility, the Palm Coast Observer reported.
Flagler Beach City Commissioner Jane Mealy has requested that the commission discuss at its meeting this week a state challenge to Sea Ray’s plan to build an employee parking lot on its property.
The Flagler County Planning and Development Board voted last week to approve Sea Ray's request to rezone 24 acres from conservation and low-density residential to high-density commercial to allow construction of the lot.
The full County Commission, which will make the final decision, is scheduled to vote on the issue Monday.
“We need a parking lot for the convenience and safety of our team members, and to improve the operational efficiency at our plant,” Sea Ray Operations Manager Craig Wall told the planning board at last week's meetings.
Sea Ray has gone from producing three models to 17 models at the Palm Coast facility as the company consolidated operations. The additional molds needed are now being stored in the employee parking lot, forcing employees to park on the road.
Opponents of the rezoning have said they are concerned that it will eventually lead to expansion of Sea Ray's manufacturing at the facility, but Sea Ray officials said there are no plans to do so.
Sea Ray employs about 675 people in the county.
As an employee of a manufacturer, communities have this belief that companies, because they are large are profitable. Most companies in the U.S. Struggle everyday and they need reasonable rules from their communities in order to expand and employ Americans. The comment that residents fear that this new parking lot may lead to expansion of manufacturing misses the point that unless they expand, there's less employment. In a country needing decent paying, middle class jobs, we need to support the responsible expansion of manufacturing or all that will exist is low paying service jobs.