Last Stand board is endorsing a Yes Vote for the Key West March 13, 2018 special election. The ballot question is simple and straightforward. If approved, the city charter will be amended as follows:
The maximum allowable height for habitable space on approximately 2.62 acres of City owned property on College Road in the HDR-1 zoning district shall be 40 feet for those projects that are devoted entirely to affordable workforce housing.
The commission agreed to add the bold, underlined language after considering Last Stand’s suggestion.
The board carefully evaluated the proposal for unintended consequences. The subject property is not within the Historic District, so any concerns there are satisfied. The structure will not block access to the ocean or views of other residential properties. The mayor and several commissioners assured us, in response to our concerns about using affordable housing allocations for the right income levels, that this site will be used for Low and Very Low income levels.
Because of the flood zone for this property, the first floor must be raised 11.5 feet. With a 25 foot maximum height in this location, there would only be a potential for one story of livable space. At 40 feet, Key West will be able to have two stories and fully utilize the number of units according to the density assigned to this location. With the proximity to jobs and public transportation, this project would provide affordable housing in the right place without burdening surrounding properties and neighborhoods.
Based on this evaluation, the board is endorsing a Yes Vote. We will continue to monitor developments for this project and provide input to make sure the intentions expressed by the commission are implemented when the development agreement is finalized.
Hi! I think we need a new structural approach to the worker-affordable housing challenge in the Keys. Rather than sabotaging the 35-foot height limit by building 40-foot high, (including stilts), middle-class-looking two-story buildings as in other ugly city housing projects, let’s build more cigar-makers’ cottages over there on the Stock Island portion of Key West. I’ve seen plenty of cottages with sleeping lofts in the attic rather than an entire, 8-foot high, second story for bedrooms.
This solution is cheaper and cuter than 40′ too-high shoeboxes in the sky. ;=]
The best answer is to build “flood-thru” houses just a few feet above the ground (like the original houses in old town), that can survive an occasional, rare, two-hour saltwater flooding. I.e., NO dissolvable sheetrock walls. and just replace the electrical outlets. Mount the appliances on 2-foot pedestals above the floor so the water won’t corrode the electrics. Pressure-wash the interior after a flood and move in after it dries. It’s not rocket science.
We do not have to vote to weaken the wonderful 35-foot Keys height limit when the referendum happens.
Well, the vote was FOR the abuse of the height restriction in favor of “affordable housing.” There are other ways to build affordable housing in the Keys than by going high.
There are “Tiny Houses” which are cheaper than big square bldgs. There are shipping container cottage conversions which can be made from used containers costing $2500 available in Miami.
Tolerance for ocassional storm flooding can be built into these cheap abodes.
Last Stand could and should have remained neutral in this debate rather than support the developer-favored elevated-apartments option. Their big foot is now deep in the door of blanket approval for high rise construction to destroy the Keys ambiance.