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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Economic Analysis of Sustainable Development of Rural Daytona North in Flagler County










Economic Analysis of Sustainable Development of Rural Daytona North in Flagler County
Devrie Paradowski
Environmental Economics
Dr. Daniel Reed
July 31, 2016














Abstract
Flagler County is a developing county in the state of Florida of just over 100,000 residents with some rural, unincorporated tracts of land which are also growing.  The county itself, before the economic crash of 2008, had been considered one of the fastest growing counties in the nation with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and as the national economy began to recover, Flagler County began to see new growth, putting its overall population above that which would define the county as a rural county in general.  A rural, unincorporated community in western Flagler County called Daytona North is surrounded by farmland, timberland, and natural habitats which include marshes, swamps and a tributary of the St. Johns River.  Daytona North, as of the 2010 Census, had a little over 2400 residents, and in 2016, the area which had very little commerce gained new businesses, including the area’s first general store, a General Dollar Store.  Because the population is generally lower-income and because county plans generally exclude major consideration of Daytona North, the focus of this paper is to analyze the effect of the growth of Daytona North on economic and environmental sustainability. 










Introduction
     The central tenant of this paper is to analyze the feasibility of Flagler County re-allocating and developing resources closer to the small community of Daytona North, which exists nearly 10 miles to the west of the county’s incorporated communities and well-established infrastructure (See Figure 1).  Daytona North is not a Census Designated Place, so demographic information about the fairly-well defined community must be gleaned manually from Census information and other data collected by entities such as the United States Department of Agriculture.  The community is unincorporated and so it is governed under the auspices of the general Flagler County government, and town hall meetings by the county commissioner representing the area, informal as they are, generally reveal that the attending citizens are concerned with services such as road improvement and paving, access to emergency services, mosquito regulation, and increased access to commercial goods and services (McLaughlin, 2016). 
     The location of Daytona North, with respect to the growing and more developed sections of the county creates a challenge for future growth considerations.  The City of Palm Coast (See Figure 1) has become a growing focal point of the county with its central location within transportation routes such as U.S. 1 and Interstate 95, but as the rest of Palm Coast continues to grow, growth in Daytona North depends on market behaviors of residents and local industries in relation to surrounding county needs and growth patterns.  The location of Daytona North is in the center of the western, rural agrarian region of the county, and because of that, infrastructure and zoning designations limit the type of commercial industry which avails itself to the location to offer jobs, resources, and services to a potentially growing population.  Considering Daytona North in the context of the environmental economics of Flagler County hinges on analyzing the anticipated growth patterns of the county and Daytona North; how the growth patterns affect the local resources and how the availability of those resources could affect economic drivers from that area on the county; and how policy mechanisms effect the potential market behaviors of residential and commercial variables of Daytona North and surrounding areas.  
Growth Patterns of Daytona North in Relation to Flagler County
     The community of Daytona North is located in western Flagler County, separated from the St. John’s River tributary system on its west by timberland.  To the north, the community is bordered by sod, potato and cattle farms; to its east it is bordered by varying crop farms such as corn, cabbage and potatoes, and to the south, it is bordered by a variety of small farms and forests leading to a state preserve (See Figure 1).  Flagler County, Putnam County and St. Johns County comprise the Tri-County Agricultural Area (TCAA), a historically rural and natural landscape with families of farmers who have worked in the agricultural industry for generations (Millstein, 2009). Daytona North is located in the center of the southern-most portion of the TCAA, which environmental scientists are observing for water usage and pollutants due to the large number of farms which use fertilizers and which rely on water for their crops (2009).  The residents of Daytona North do not have access to a municipal water supply, and therefore, the effect of the agrarian influence on their water supply could be a future concern to county planners.   The balance between the economic benefits of agrarian commerce and the potential for population growth in a resource stressed region poses a considerable concern for Flagler County planners.  The Flagler County Department of Economic Development cites agriculture as a targeted industry for economic growth (2016), and in the state of Florida, agriculture has be one of three main economic sectors contributing to the development of the state (Bloetscher, 2012). 
     Because the county has relied on the agrarian industry as an economic driver, the county has had little economic incentive to develop the growth of the population for Daytona North, but new development in the area could indicate that population is growing more rapidly than anticipated.  A growing rural population could stress the resources required by the primary economic drivers and could require new county considerations for economic growth to accommodate the growing cost of a largely invisible population.  Growth in the larger, more developed region of Flagler County may contribute to population growth in Daytona North, because despite the relatively long commutes to work and to shopping, new residents may be willing to pay for the cost to access to those services in exchange for lower property taxes and property rents.  While cities have garnered recognition as “economic engines,” geographical spatial arrangements in which people commute 20 to 30 minutes to work and commute 15 to 20 minutes to shopping areas have proven successful in allowing for economic growth by allowing access to economic supply chains (Gordon, 2013).  Such growth may not require policy initiatives to develop the rural economy; however, there will be a need to address the resource demand of the growing population. 
     The United States Census Viewer map shows that the concentric area of Daytona North had a population of 2,713, and by enlarging the area to encompass a much larger swath of the unincorporated region on western Flagler County, the population only increases to 3,120 (See Figure 2), which indicates that the specific, non-Census designated community of Daytona North has a relatively densely growing population.  Population estimates from the U.S. Census show Flagler County experiencing a 10 percent increase in population from 2010 to 2015 (U.S. Census, 2015), and an interesting figure from the 2000 Census projections showed that the population in zip code 32110, which includes the incorporated city of Bunnell as well as the unincorporated western portion of Flagler County was 6,696 and projected to increase to 9,910 by the year 2015 (Flagler County Health Department, 2012).  The indication is that a significant population increase is expected in the unincorporated region of Flagler County, presumably where there is some infrastructure and development, such as there is in Daytona North.  The Economic Profile System-Human Dimensions Toolkit (EPS-HDT) measures the change in economic industries to relay potential competitive strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths in economic trends, and according to its profile of Flagler County, the most prominent industry sectors in Flagler County have historically been farming, agricultural services, forestry and fishing; services, and government services to include public education (EPS-HDT, 2014). The EPS-HDT profile also indicates that one of the declining industries of the county is farming and agricultural services, with a 26.5 percent decline in employment in that industry from 2001 to 2011 (2014).  The largest gain in industry employment has been in services related fields, especially with regard to entertainment and recreation, health care and social assistance, transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance, retail and wholesale trade (2014).  The implication with this data is that there is a changing dynamic in the local economy which may influence a growing population’s wants and needs if not reflect those wants and needs.  Considering the agrarian focus of the Flagler County economy for the past few decades, population growth may warrant a particular interest in commercial industry over intensifying agricultural industrial growth; however, farm products continue to be the second biggest export for the county, with annual truck tonnage of 120,137 (Florida Department of Transportation, 2013).
 
Resource Conflict:  Rural Utility of Natural Resources and Demand for Water
     The Flagler County official emblem is a potato.  The potato crop has benefitted the local economy within the Tri-County Agricultural Area (TCAA) with a $100 million annual yield (Munoz-Arboleda, Mylavarapu, Hutchinson, and Portier, 2008), but a challenge ensues when a community which is enveloped by agrarian industry expands.  Furthermore, while there is still room for expansion in the eastern portion of Flagler County, that growth could eventually spill west of the rout U.S. 1 which divides the county between a suburban and rural development.  Population growth in all of Florida has changed the scenery of farmland and its neighboring rural community framework, stressing the conflict over water and property rights between more densely populated rural communities and the surrounding farms (Bechtold and Monroe, 2013).   In 2010, freezing temperatures prompted farmers throughout Florida to spray their crops with water to reduce freeze damage, a technique Florida farmers have used for several decades to save millions of dollars of export, but their constant spraying to preserve their crops resulted in dry wells, damaged wells and sinkholes (2013). A resident whose home was consumed by a sinkhole near Plant City, Florida summarized the problem by lamenting to a reporter that, “You can talk about the weather, the aquifer, the farmers, wells, and people's homes, but it all comes down to a need to restrict water usage"  (Bechtold and Monroe, 2013).   While the farmers admitted that their pumping of water from the aquifer may have been excessive (2013), a compounding factor to their plight was the increased usage of water from the growing populations of people in the once sparsely populated rural communities within their shared watersheds.   For policy makers in local governments and in the water management districts, the economic problem involves weighing the costs of lost agricultural damage to the costs of residential damage caused by excessive water usage.  Bechtold and Monroe explore alternative farming practices which would abate the use of water as well as pollution leeching in an effort to enable the economic growth of the agrarian industry without adding to the disruption of natural resources; however, much of the literature attempting to address the growing demand for resources places the ownership of abatement and mitigation on the farmers.  Economic development and population growth of rural communities taxes those shared resources as well, and policymakers must continue to consider creative measures for sustainable development practices which enable population and industrial growth in those areas in order to maximize the net benefits of both consumer and residential economic variables as well as their agricultural economic variables. 
Policy Measures Affecting Economic Variables of Growth
     The resident whose home was destroyed by a sinkhole called for a policy measure which would restrict water usage (Bechtold and Monroe, 2013), but a blanket policy restricting water usage could be costly from an economic perspective.  If the problem is that there is an increasing need for water and that need is usurping the resource, then the challenge is finding a sustainable measure to use that resource for economic and population growth.  Flagler County still has considerable geographic real estate with which to foster population and economic growth; however, with a relatively quickly growing population in its more commercially and residentially developed municipalities, and with indications that the population continues to grow in Daytona North, planners and policymakers will need to consider why the population is growing in the area and how to manage that growth based on the expected utility of the potentially stressed resources of the area which include water as well as natural resources. Some of the considerations for the economic and population growth of the area are:

The Demographics:  Daytona North is not a Census Designated Place, and without that designation,
demographic analysis of the area is difficult to achieve when the data is aggregated into the sum of a larger unincorporated geographical region in Flagler County.  Information from the Census Viewer Map shows that a significant percentage of the population is older than 45 years old, and Census data for zip code 32110, which does include the incorporated city of Bunnell which has just over 2,500 residents, shows that 20 percent of the population under the age of 65 years old has no health insurance, 17 percent of the population is in poverty, and the average per capita income is $22, 335 a year.   Trulia.com offers a Heat Map of sales prices for homes by zip code, and the median sale price for homes in zip code 32110 is $65,000 whereas it is $150,000 on the eastern side of the county in the more developed zip codes of incorporated Palm Coast and $160,000 closer toward the coast (2016), indicating a lower income demographic for the area.  The growing cost of life “in the city” may steer lower income households toward a low-cost area with low property taxes and no water bills.
Utility of Land:  The rural zoning of Daytona North allows homeowners to raise livestock and horses, grow large gardens, and participate in activities which would generally be not allowed in more regulated incorporated municipalities.  The community has experienced polarized citizen involvement in town hall meetings regarding the paving of roads, with one advocate for paving having been attacked by a dissenter during growing concern for increased taxes and a concern for a changing way of life for rural residents who felt that the dirt roads defined the rural “country” life they bought into and wanted to maintain (De Marco, 1992). 
Economic Indicators of the Rest of Flagler County:  Gordon (2013) explores the perception that underdeveloped localities experience market failures under the assumption that self-containing cities inspire a plethora of networks for creative economic growth, but Gordon finds that economic growth is viable through adjacent networking when the markets expand outside of the city arena.  Two scenarios may exist for the growth of Daytona North when the economy prospers for the incorporated regions in Flagler County.  If higher paying jobs and consumer services avail themselves in town, the population in Daytona North may stabilize if not decline as economic opportunities avail themselves for families who wish to have shorter commutes for services and for employment.   The second scenario is that people migrate more intently to the area for its low property taxes and lack of water bills as the location becomes hyper-ideal when located just outside of a growing, higher cost incorporated municipality. Mishlovsky, Dalbey, Bertaina, Read and McGalliard of the International City/County Management Association (2010) describe rural communities which depend on nearby metropolitan areas through commutes as “edge communities,” which may struggle to accommodate the housing and service needs of new residents. 
     The low-income demographic of Daytona North, the declining job rate of the agricultural industry and the growth of the social service industry in Flagler County indicates that bridging the community to increasing needs and services will serve the sustainability of the area as well as the county.  The challenge in this respect is in preserving the utility of the environmental services which attract and maintain the residential community as well as sustain the economic community such as nearby farmers.  If the economy narrows, as in, nearby job sources decline, rural communities are especially vulnerable to unemployment, poverty and demand for social services which demand revenue which is not fully received by this population due to their low property tax revenues (Mishlovsky et al, 2010).  Another challenge for rural communities is that access to employment, shops, education, health services, and financial services for low-income rural residents proves challenging (2010).  While Gordon’s assertion that adjacent opportunities bridge market failures, the market failures could become complete if the population is unable to access the economic opportunities which exist within that 20 to 30 minute commute.  The distance to town and the economic revenue of low-value homes in Daytona North will create an economic cost of additional infrastructure maintenance, social service needs, and increased services as the population increases without adequate access to services in town.  As of 2016, Flagler County does not have an open public transportation system.  It operates a “demand-response” system which focuses on the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities (Flagler County, n.d.), but the county engaged in a transit study with the input of county residents to initiate a public transportation plan which will make use of funding from the Federal Transit Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation, but the transportation route will not include access to or from the western, rural region of Flagler County (Flagler County, 2014) (See Figure 3).  Because transportation options are limited given the development of Daytona North and its distance to commerce in Flagler County, building on existing infrastructure could ease the potential for a growing market failure in the growing community with a prosperous economy in the western side of Flagler County.  The new transportation fixed-route plan could incorporate the demand-response structure of the county’s current transportation system to enable a bridge to economic opportunity (Mishlovsky et al, 2010) without adding increased demand on local resources by bringing the commerce to Daytona North. 
     New commerce has come to Daytona North, though.  In 2016, a population which exists 15 to 17 miles from the nearest full grocery store got its first retail store, a Dollar General (London, 2015).  Mishlovsky et al suggests economic policy initiatives which could reduce the impact of strain on the resources by incentivizing low-impact development which incorporates compact development design, natural landscaping, rain barrels, permeable pavement, and green roofs.  The cost of future population growth could impact the economy if the local agricultural stress on water impacts the wells and surface ground structure of the local community, but some development initiatives could create local jobs and bring services to the local community, especially if those initiatives incorporate designated growth areas best suited for economic development and use of natural resources (Mishlovsky et al, 2010).   
Conclusion and Discussion
     The feasibility of developing the Daytona North area for the potentially increased population depends on the way in which the resources of the area will be used in the future.  The local economy has seen a decline in jobs supplied by its long-standing industry of farm and agricultural services; however, that industry still creates the second largest export for the area.  The economic opportunities of the population will enhance the revenue sources of the county from that population as it grows by increasing their ability to add value to their homes and to consume the products and services available to them either through adjacent municipalities or through new commerce in the area.  Targeting industry for the area could prove tempting as some farm land becomes vacant due to changes in the economy; however, a thriving agricultural industry still exists, and it will require the use of land and water just as a growing rural population will exert a growing demand on that resource.  A blanket policy which restricts water usage could stifle growth as well as threaten vulnerable crops during cold freezes and droughts.  Rather than issue policy which apparently solves the problem, employing smart development policy initiates to accommodate a growing population while sustaining a primary economic influencer should be a primary goal of addressing population growth for Daytona North.  The community of Daytona North is not a closed market community, but in the system of Flagler County which exists in its bigger system of the state, connective access to economic opportunity could foster economic growth for the area as well as for the county.  Because the population appears to be growing, the utility of the land should be considered when considering economic incentives and initiatives.  The people enjoy a rural way of life which allows them some freedom to use their properties for food production and for rural recreation which would not be allowed in municipalities.  Some commercial development would require infrastructure improvements which would detract from some of the natural amenities the residents enjoy.  Furthermore, excessive commercial development in the area could increase the resource stress on the area. The population will need to access employment opportunities and services in order for the economic growth to be advantageous for the county, and policy initiatives which favor resource conservation and public transportation access to adjacent municipalities could benefit Daytona North as well as Flagler County as a whole. 

       















References
Bechtold, D. J., & Monroe, A. (2013). When it froze in Florida: The challenges that occur when
     farmers and local residents collide. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 14(3), 27-34.
     Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1532987705?accountid=8289
Bloetscher, F. (2012). Protecting people, infrastructure, economies, and ecosystem assets: Water
     management in the face of climate change. Water, 4(2), 367-388.
     doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/w4020367
Dalbey, M., Bertaina, S., Read, A., & McGalliard, T. (2010).  Putting smart growth to work in
     rural communities.  Cooperative Publication of the International City/County Management
     Association and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     file:///C:/Users/devrie/Downloads/10-180%20Smart%20Growth%20Rural%20Com.pdf
De Marco, J. M. (1992).  Street-paving activist punched near home.  Daytona Beach Sunday
     News-Journal.  Retrieved from Google Archives January 31, 2016 from:
     https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1870&dat=19920829&id=3osfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-
     tIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1342,6277745&hl=en
Economic Profile System-Human Dimensions Toolkit (EPS-HDT). (2014).  Selected
     Geographies:  Flagler County, FL.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
    
http://headwaterseconomics.org/wphw/wp-content/uploads/print-ready-measures-pdfs/12035_Flagler-County_FL_Measures.pdf
Flagler County. (n.d). Public transportation.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
    
http://www.flaglercounty.org/index.aspx?nid=127
Flagler County. (2014).  Flagler County transit development program briefing.  Flagler County
     Board of County Commissioners.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.flaglercounty.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4124
Flagler County Department of Economic Development. (2016). Targeted Industries: 
     Agriculture.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from:  http://www.flaglercountyedc.com/targeted-
     industries/agriculture/
Flagler County Health Department. (2012).  Flagler community health assessment:  final report
     2012.  Flagler County.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
      
http://flaglercounty.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/872
Florida Department of Transportation. (2013). Flagler County freight and logistics overview. 
     Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/systems/programs/mspi/pdf/Freight/Flagler.pdf
Gordon, P. (2013). Thinking about economic growth: Cities, networks, creativity and supply
     chains for ideas. The Annals of Regional Science, 50(3), 667-684.
     doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00168-012-0518-0
McLaughlin, N. (2016).  Town hall meeting in Daytona North with County Commissioner Nate
     McLaughlin.  Attended May 26, 2016 at Hidden Trails Community Center in Daytona North.
Millstein, M. J. (2009).  Assessment of academic and stakeholder perceptions of growth
     management and environmental issues in northeastern Florida.  University of Florida.  
     Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024662/00001/pdf
Munoz-Arboleda, F., Mylavarapu, R., Hutchinson, C., & Portier, K. (2008). Nitrate-nitrogen
     concentrations in the perched ground water under seepage-irrigated potato cropping systems.
     Journal of Environmental Quality, 37(2), 387-94. Retrieved from
     http://search.proquest.com/docview/197382637?accountid=8289
Trulia.com. (2016).  National home prices page.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/

United States Census. (2016). Quick facts:  Flagler County, FL.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/12035

Appendix

Figure 1.  Map of Flagler County with emphasis on the location of Daytona North.  Image derived from Google Maps (2016). 


Figure 2.  The Census Viewer map showing the population density of the western unincorporated area of Flagler County, including that of the non-designated community of Daytona North. 


Figure 3.  Planned public transportation routes for Flagler County.  Image derived from FlaglerCounty.org.  


Economic Analysis of Sustainable Development of Rural Daytona North in Flagler County










Economic Analysis of Sustainable Development of Rural Daytona North in Flagler County
Devrie Paradowski
Environmental Economics
Dr. Daniel Reed
July 31, 2016














Abstract
Flagler County is a developing county in the state of Florida of just over 100,000 residents with some rural, unincorporated tracts of land which are also growing.  The county itself, before the economic crash of 2008, had been considered one of the fastest growing counties in the nation with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and as the national economy began to recover, Flagler County began to see new growth, putting its overall population above that which would define the county as a rural county in general.  A rural, unincorporated community in western Flagler County called Daytona North is surrounded by farmland, timberland, and natural habitats which include marshes, swamps and a tributary of the St. Johns River.  Daytona North, as of the 2010 Census, had a little over 2400 residents, and in 2016, the area which had very little commerce gained new businesses, including the area’s first general store, a General Dollar Store.  Because the population is generally lower-income and because county plans generally exclude major consideration of Daytona North, the focus of this paper is to analyze the effect of the growth of Daytona North on economic and environmental sustainability. 










Introduction
     The central tenant of this paper is to analyze the feasibility of Flagler County re-allocating and developing resources closer to the small community of Daytona North, which exists nearly 10 miles to the west of the county’s incorporated communities and well-established infrastructure (See Figure 1).  Daytona North is not a Census Designated Place, so demographic information about the fairly-well defined community must be gleaned manually from Census information and other data collected by entities such as the United States Department of Agriculture.  The community is unincorporated and so it is governed under the auspices of the general Flagler County government, and town hall meetings by the county commissioner representing the area, informal as they are, generally reveal that the attending citizens are concerned with services such as road improvement and paving, access to emergency services, mosquito regulation, and increased access to commercial goods and services (McLaughlin, 2016). 
     The location of Daytona North, with respect to the growing and more developed sections of the county creates a challenge for future growth considerations.  The City of Palm Coast (See Figure 1) has become a growing focal point of the county with its central location within transportation routes such as U.S. 1 and Interstate 95, but as the rest of Palm Coast continues to grow, growth in Daytona North depends on market behaviors of residents and local industries in relation to surrounding county needs and growth patterns.  The location of Daytona North is in the center of the western, rural agrarian region of the county, and because of that, infrastructure and zoning designations limit the type of commercial industry which avails itself to the location to offer jobs, resources, and services to a potentially growing population.  Considering Daytona North in the context of the environmental economics of Flagler County hinges on analyzing the anticipated growth patterns of the county and Daytona North as well as how market variables respond to those growth patterns; how the growth patterns affect the local resources and how the availability of those resources could affect economic drivers from that area on the county; and how policy mechanisms effect the potential market behaviors of residential and commercial variables of Daytona North and surrounding areas.  
Growth Patterns of Daytona North in Relation to Flagler County
     The community of Daytona North is located in western Flagler County, separated from the St. John’s River tributary system on its west by timberland.  To the north, the community is bordered by sod, potato and cattle farms; to its east it is bordered by varying crop farms such as corn, cabbage and potatoes, and to the south, it is bordered by a variety of small farms and forests leading to a state preserve (See Figure 1).  Flagler County, Putnam County and St. Johns County comprise the Tri-County Agricultural Area (TCAA), a historically rural and natural landscape with families of farmers who have worked in the agricultural industry for generations (Millstein, 2009). Daytona North is located in the center of the southern-most portion of the TCAA, which environmental scientists are observing for water usage and pollutants due to the large number of farms which use fertilizers and which rely on water for their crops (2009).  The residents of Daytona North do not have access to a municipal water supply, and therefore, the effect of the agrarian influence on their water supply could be a future concern to county planners.   The balance between the economic benefits of agrarian commerce and the potential for population growth in a resource stressed region poses a considerable concern for Flagler County planners.  The Flagler County Department of Economic Development cites agriculture as a targeted industry for economic growth (2016), and in the state of Florida, agriculture has be one of three main economic sectors contributing to the development of the state (Bloetscher, 2012). 
     Because the county has relied on the agrarian industry as an economic driver, the county has had little economic incentive to develop the growth of the population for Daytona North, but new development in the area could indicate that population is growing more rapidly than anticipated.  A growing rural population could stress the resources required by the primary economic drivers and could require new county considerations for economic growth to accommodate the growing cost of a largely invisible population.  Growth in the larger, more developed region of Flagler County may contribute to population growth in Daytona North, because despite the relatively long commutes to work and to shopping, new residents may be willing to pay for the cost to access to those services in exchange for lower property taxes and property rents.  While cities have garnered recognition as “economic engines,” geographical spatial arrangements in which people commute 20 to 30 minutes to work and commute 15 to 20 minutes to shopping areas have proven successful in allowing for economic growth by allowing access to economic supply chains (Gordon, 2013).  Such growth may not require policy initiatives to develop the rural economy; however, there will be a need to address the resource demand of the growing population. 
     The United States Census Viewer map shows that the concentric area of Daytona North had a population of 2,713, and by enlarging the area to encompass a much larger swath of the unincorporated region on western Flagler County, the population only increases to 3,120 (See Figure 2), which indicates that the specific, non-Census designated community of Daytona North has a relatively densely growing population.  Population estimates from the U.S. Census show Flagler County experiencing a 10 percent increase in population from 2010 to 2015 (U.S. Census, 2015), and an interesting figure from the 2000 Census projections showed that the population in zip code 32110, which includes the incorporated city of Bunnell as well as the unincorporated western portion of Flagler County was 6,696 and projected to increase to 9,910 by the year 2015 (Flagler County Health Department, 2012).  The indication is that a significant population increase is expected in the unincorporated region of Flagler County, presumably where there is some infrastructure and development, such as there is in Daytona North.  The Economic Profile System-Human Dimensions Toolkit (EPS-HDT) measures the change in economic industries to relay potential competitive strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths in economic trends, and according to its profile of Flagler County, the most prominent industry sectors in Flagler County have historically been farming, agricultural services, forestry and fishing; services, and government services to include public education (EPS-HDT, 2014). The EPS-HDT profile also indicates that one of the declining industries of the county is farming and agricultural services, with a 26.5 percent decline in employment in that industry from 2001 to 2011 (2014).  The largest gain in industry employment has been in services related fields, especially with regard to entertainment and recreation, health care and social assistance, transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance, retail and wholesale trade (2014).  The implication with this data is that there is a changing dynamic in the local economy which may influence a growing population’s wants and needs if not reflect those wants and needs.  Considering the agrarian focus of the Flagler County economy for the past few decades, population growth may warrant a particular interest in commercial industry over intensifying agricultural industrial growth; however, farm products continue to be the second biggest export for the county, with annual truck tonnage of 120,137 (Florida Department of Transportation, 2013).
 
Resource Conflict:  Rural Utility of Natural Resources and Demand for Water
     The Flagler County official emblem is a potato.  The potato crop has benefitted the local economy within the Tri-County Agricultural Area (TCAA) with a $100 million annual yield (Munoz-Arboleda, Mylavarapu, Hutchinson, and Portier, 2008), but a challenge ensues when a community which is enveloped by agrarian industry expands.  Furthermore, while there is still room for expansion in the eastern portion of Flagler County, that growth could eventually spill west of the rout U.S. 1 which divides the county between a suburban and rural development.  Population growth in all of Florida has changed the scenery of farmland and its neighboring rural community framework, stressing the conflict over water and property rights between more densely populated rural communities and the surrounding farms (Bechtold and Monroe, 2013).   In 2010, freezing temperatures prompted farmers throughout Florida to spray their crops with water to reduce freeze damage, a technique Florida farmers have used for several decades to save millions of dollars of export, but their constant spraying to preserve their crops resulted in dry wells, damaged wells and sinkholes (2013). A resident whose home was consumed by a sinkhole near Plant City, Florida summarized the problem by lamenting to a reporter that, “You can talk about the weather, the aquifer, the farmers, wells, and people's homes, but it all comes down to a need to restrict water usage"  (Bechtold and Monroe, 2013).   While the farmers admitted that their pumping of water from the aquifer may have been excessive (2013), a compounding factor to their plight was the increased usage of water from the growing populations of people in the once sparsely populated rural communities within their shared watersheds.   For policy makers in local governments and in the water management districts, the economic problem involves weighing the costs of lost agricultural damage to the costs of residential damage caused by excessive water usage.  Bechtold and Monroe explore alternative farming practices which would abate the use of water as well as pollution leeching in an effort to enable the economic growth of the agrarian industry without adding to the disruption of natural resources; however, much of the literature attempting to address the growing demand for resources places the ownership of abatement and mitigation on the farmers.  Economic development and population growth of rural communities taxes those shared resources as well, and policymakers must continue to consider creative measures for sustainable development practices which enable population and industrial growth in those areas in order to maximize the net benefits of both consumer and residential economic variables as well as their agricultural economic variables. 
Policy Measures Affecting Economic Variables of Growth
     The resident whose home was destroyed by a sinkhole called for a policy measure which would restrict water usage (Bechtold and Monroe, 2013), but a blanket policy restricting water usage could be costly from an economic perspective.  If the problem is that there is an increasing need for water and that need is usurping the resource, then the challenge is finding a sustainable measure to use that resource for economic and population growth.  Flagler County still has considerable geographic real estate with which to foster population and economic growth; however, with a relatively quickly growing population in its more commercially and residentially developed municipalities, and with indications that the population continues to grow in Daytona North, planners and policymakers will need to consider why the population is growing in the area and how to manage that growth based on the expected utility of the potentially stressed resources of the area which include water as well as natural resources. Some of the considerations for the economic and population growth of the area are:

The Demographics:  Daytona North is not a Census Designated Place, and without that designation,
demographic analysis of the area is difficult to achieve when the data is aggregated into the sum of a larger unincorporated geographical region in Flagler County.  Information from the Census Viewer Map shows that a significant percentage of the population is older than 45 years old, and Census data for zip code 32110, which does include the incorporated city of Bunnell which has just over 2,500 residents, shows that 20 percent of the population under the age of 65 years old has no health insurance, 17 percent of the population is in poverty, and the average per capita income is $22, 335 a year.   Trulia.com offers a Heat Map of sales prices for homes by zip code, and the median sale price for homes in zip code 32110 is $65,000 whereas it is $150,000 on the eastern side of the county in the more developed zip codes of incorporated Palm Coast and $160,000 closer toward the coast (2016), indicating a lower income demographic for the area.  The growing cost of life “in the city” may steer lower income households toward a low-cost area with low property taxes and no water bills.
Utility of Land:  The rural zoning of Daytona North allows homeowners to raise livestock and horses, grow large gardens, and participate in activities which would generally be not allowed in more regulated incorporated municipalities.  The community has experienced polarized citizen involvement in town hall meetings regarding the paving of roads, with one advocate for paving having been attacked by a dissenter during growing concern for increased taxes and a concern for a changing way of life for rural residents who felt that the dirt roads defined the rural “country” life they bought into and wanted to maintain (De Marco, 1992). 
Economic Indicators of the Rest of Flagler County:  Gordon (2013) explores the perception that underdeveloped localities experience market failures under the assumption that self-containing cities inspire a plethora of networks for creative economic growth, but Gordon finds that economic growth is viable through adjacent networking when the markets expand outside of the city arena.  Two scenarios may exist for the growth of Daytona North when the economy prospers for the incorporated regions in Flagler County.  If higher paying jobs and consumer services avail themselves in town, the population in Daytona North may stabilize if not decline as economic opportunities avail themselves for families who wish to have shorter commutes for services and for employment.  Mishlovsky, Dalbey, Bertaina, Read and McGalliard of the International City/County Management Association (2010) describe rural communities which depend on nearby metropolitan areas through commutes as “edge communities,” which may struggle to accommodate the housing and service needs of new residents. 
     The low-income demographic of Daytona North, the declining job rate of the agricultural industry and the growth of the social service industry in Flagler County indicates that bridging the community to increasing needs and services will serve the sustainability of the area as well as the county.  The challenge in this respect is in preserving the utility of the environmental services which attract and maintain the residential community as well as sustain the economic community such as nearby farmers.  If the economy narrows, as in, nearby job sources decline, rural communities are especially vulnerable to unemployment, poverty and demand for social services which demand revenue which is not fully received by this population due to their low property tax revenues (Mishlovsky et al, 2010).  Another challenge for rural communities is that access to employment, shops, education, health services, and financial services for low-income rural residents proves challenging (2010).  While Gordon’s assertion that adjacent opportunities bridge market failures, the market failures could become complete if the population is unable to access the economic opportunities which exist within that 20 to 30 minute commute.  The distance to town and the economic revenue of low-value homes in Daytona North will create an economic cost of additional infrastructure maintenance, social service needs, and increased services as the population increases without adequate access to services in town.  As of 2016, Flagler County does not have an open public transportation system.  It operates a “demand-response” system which focuses on the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities (Flagler County, n.d.), but the county engaged in a transit study with the input of county residents to initiate a public transportation plan which will make use of funding from the Federal Transit Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation, but the transportation route will not include access to or from the western, rural region of Flagler County (Flagler County, 2014) (See Figure 3).  Because transportation options are limited given the development of Daytona North and its distance to commerce in Flagler County, building on existing infrastructure could ease the potential for a growing market failure in the growing community with a prosperous economy in the western side of Flagler County.  The new transportation fixed-route plan could incorporate the demand-response structure of the county’s current transportation system to enable a bridge to economic opportunity (Mishlovsky et al, 2010) without adding increased demand on local resources by bringing the commerce to Daytona North. 
     New commerce has come to Daytona North, though.  In 2016, a population which exists 15 to 17 miles from the nearest full grocery store got its first retail store, a Dollar General (London, 2015).  Mishlovsky et al suggests economic policy initiatives which could reduce the impact of strain on the resources by incentivizing low-impact development which incorporates compact development design, natural landscaping, rain barrels, permeable pavement, and green roofs.  The cost of future population growth could impact the economy if the local agricultural stress on water impacts the wells and surface ground structure of the local community, but some development initiatives could create local jobs and bring services to the local community, especially if those initiatives incorporate designated growth areas best suited for economic development and use of natural resources (Mishlovsky et al, 2010).   
Conclusion and Discussion
     The feasibility of developing the Daytona North area for the potentially increased population depends on the way in which the resources of the area will be used in the future.  The local economy has seen a decline in jobs supplied by its long-standing industry of farm and agricultural services; however, that industry still creates the second largest export for the area.  The economic opportunities of the population will enhance the revenue sources of the county from that population as it grows by increasing their ability to add value to their homes and to consume the products and services available to them either through adjacent municipalities or through new commerce in the area.  Targeting industry for the area could prove tempting as some farm land becomes vacant due to changes in the economy; however, a thriving agricultural industry still exists, and it will require the use of land and water just as a growing rural population will exert a growing demand on that resource.  A blanket policy which restricts water usage could stifle growth as well as threaten vulnerable crops during cold freezes and droughts.  Rather than issue policy which apparently solves the problem, employing smart development policy initiates to accommodate a growing population while sustaining a primary economic influencer should be a primary goal of addressing population growth for Daytona North.  The community of Daytona North is not a closed market community, but in the system of Flagler County which exists in its bigger system of the state, connective access to economic opportunity could foster economic growth for the area as well as for the county.  Because the population appears to be growing, the utility of the land should be considered when considering economic incentives and initiatives.  The people enjoy a rural way of life which allows them some freedom to use their properties for food production and for rural recreation which would not be allowed in municipalities.  Some commercial development would require infrastructure improvements which would detract from some of the natural amenities the residents enjoy.  Furthermore, excessive commercial development in the area could increase the resource stress on the area. The population will need to access employment opportunities and services in order for the economic growth to be advantageous for the county, and policy initiatives which favor resource conservation and public transportation access to adjacent municipalities could benefit Daytona North as well as Flagler County as a whole. 

       















References
Bechtold, D. J., & Monroe, A. (2013). When it froze in Florida: The challenges that occur when
     farmers and local residents collide. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 14(3), 27-34.
     Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1532987705?accountid=8289
Bloetscher, F. (2012). Protecting people, infrastructure, economies, and ecosystem assets: Water
     management in the face of climate change. Water, 4(2), 367-388.
     doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/w4020367
Dalbey, M., Bertaina, S., Read, A., & McGalliard, T. (2010).  Putting smart growth to work in
     rural communities.  Cooperative Publication of the International City/County Management
     Association and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     file:///C:/Users/devrie/Downloads/10-180%20Smart%20Growth%20Rural%20Com.pdf
De Marco, J. M. (1992).  Street-paving activist punched near home.  Daytona Beach Sunday
     News-Journal.  Retrieved from Google Archives January 31, 2016 from:
     https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1870&dat=19920829&id=3osfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-
     tIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1342,6277745&hl=en
Economic Profile System-Human Dimensions Toolkit (EPS-HDT). (2014).  Selected
     Geographies:  Flagler County, FL.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
    
http://headwaterseconomics.org/wphw/wp-content/uploads/print-ready-measures-pdfs/12035_Flagler-County_FL_Measures.pdf
Flagler County. (n.d). Public transportation.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
    
http://www.flaglercounty.org/index.aspx?nid=127
Flagler County. (2014).  Flagler County transit development program briefing.  Flagler County
     Board of County Commissioners.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.flaglercounty.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4124
Flagler County Department of Economic Development. (2016). Targeted Industries: 
     Agriculture.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from:  http://www.flaglercountyedc.com/targeted-
     industries/agriculture/
Flagler County Health Department. (2012).  Flagler community health assessment:  final report
     2012.  Flagler County.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
      
http://flaglercounty.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/872
Florida Department of Transportation. (2013). Flagler County freight and logistics overview. 
     Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/systems/programs/mspi/pdf/Freight/Flagler.pdf
Gordon, P. (2013). Thinking about economic growth: Cities, networks, creativity and supply
     chains for ideas. The Annals of Regional Science, 50(3), 667-684.
     doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00168-012-0518-0
McLaughlin, N. (2016).  Town hall meeting in Daytona North with County Commissioner Nate
     McLaughlin.  Attended May 26, 2016 at Hidden Trails Community Center in Daytona North.
Millstein, M. J. (2009).  Assessment of academic and stakeholder perceptions of growth
     management and environmental issues in northeastern Florida.  University of Florida.  
     Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024662/00001/pdf
Munoz-Arboleda, F., Mylavarapu, R., Hutchinson, C., & Portier, K. (2008). Nitrate-nitrogen
     concentrations in the perched ground water under seepage-irrigated potato cropping systems.
     Journal of Environmental Quality, 37(2), 387-94. Retrieved from
     http://search.proquest.com/docview/197382637?accountid=8289
Trulia.com. (2016).  National home prices page.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/

United States Census. (2016). Quick facts:  Flagler County, FL.  Retrieved July 31, 2016 from: 
     http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/12035

Appendix

Figure 1.  Map of Flagler County with emphasis on the location of Daytona North.  Image derived from Google Maps (2016). 


Figure 2.  The Census Viewer map showing the population density of the western unincorporated area of Flagler County, including that of the non-designated community of Daytona North. 


Figure 3.  Planned public transportation routes for Flagler County.  Image derived from FlaglerCounty.org.  


Monday, February 15, 2016

Why Bernie Sanders Supporters Say Bern or Bust





The video above, entitled, "Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight" exemplifies the many reasons Bernie Sanders supporters do not feel that a vote for Hillary Clinton, in the event that Bernie Sanders does not win the Primary Election, would be a salve to the Democratic Party.  She is more than an establishment politician.  Many of us want a woman to become president, but we want a woman to become the President to break the status-quo.  We want honest leaders who are committed to ending political corruption, and unfortunately, it is difficult to believe Hillary Clinton is that candidate.

Bernie Sanders supports citizen engagement in our political process.  That civic engagement gives all people, low-income people, wealthy people, women, men, black people, white people, Native people, Etc, a stake in their communities and in their nation.  Civic engagement is the cornerstone of civil rights.  To enhance civic engagement, we need trustworthy political leaders--people who have demonstrated a passion for working for the people.  If we have a political system that comes with a price tag, we no longer have a Democracy, whether representative or not.  If someone like Bernie Sanders can break that film, there is a fleeting chance that other passionate, skilled, intelligent leaders of all demographics can finally enter leadership in our country.