Florida Keys Real Estate News

The Florida Keys Build Out, is it Approaching?

February 26th, 2016 12:12 PM by Claire Johnson

Living on islands is an amazing experience but there are some limitations, especially on new construction.  Back in the 1970's, the State of Florida declared the Florida Keys an "area of critical concern."  Development was gaining momentum and that became a concern.  The Florida Keys are a place like no other in the United States!  We have the island life but still attached to the mainland. Our waters are crystal clear, shallow and offer endless possibilities for water activities. Our lifestyle is one to be romanticized!

With the Keys being deemed an area of critical concern, regulations were put on development.  A couple of the restrictions are... 35' height restrictions, a cap on the number of market rate and affordable housing (new construction) building permits issued each year and also for the lifetime of the Keys.  For instance, the Village of Islamorada is allowed 22 market rate housing permits per year and 6 affordable housing permits per year; Unincorporated Monroe County - Key Largo is allotted 61 market rate building permits and for all of Unincorporated Monroe County 71 affordable housing permits each year; Lower Keys are allotted 57 market rate permits and Big Pine / No Name Key are allotted 8 market rate permits per year.  Which is why it takes years to get new construction building permits. 

One of the reasons for this limitations is because of hurricane evacuation procedures.  Due to this, the state will only allow a determined amount of the Florida Keys to be built.  Hence, the issue with the build out.  The state has issued a maximum number of permits that can be issued (I am not sure of the exact number, maybe a couple thousand are left???). 

Discussions are already taking place of what to do with the remaining lots that might not ever be able to get a building permit.  Monroe County is trying to purchase lots, you could put your lot in the building permitting process.  This is something to be aware of and in my opinion, taken seriously.  

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