January 19, 2021

Dear County Commissioners:

Last Stand represents hundreds of residents concerned about environmental and quality of life issues in the Florida Keys. Last Stand has and continues to be opposed to the additional ROGOs offered by Governor Scott’s 2018 Keys Workforce Housing Initiative. We ask that the allocations be rejected.

Last Stand asks the BOCC to reject these building allocations for the following reasons:

  • The 300 ROGOs are for permanent residents, yet these particular residents are required to evacuate early at 48 hours, rather than the 24 hours mandated for other residents.
  • The ROGO allocations authorized in 2012 have already exceeded the 24-hour safe evacuation time by 2-1/2 hours due to since-acknowledged errors in the 2012 evaluation.
  • Rapid Intensification of hurricanes has become a commonplace terminology throughout the 2020 hurricane season in weather reporting – no longer an occasional occurrence or warning by the NOAA Hurricane Center.

Therefore, whether these ROGO building allocations are named “early evacuation” allocations or not, this entire concept has become a misnomer. Weather experts repeatedly state, one cannot expect 24-hours’ notice to evacuate, much less 48 hours. And, more development is still more development – no matter what these ROGOs are called, they still exceed the growth management system implemented decades ago.

In the face of scientific evidence and expert testimony about rapid intensification hurricanes, in opposition to so many residents’ concerns about overdevelopment and in conflict with the state statute to limit growth, the BOCC is again voting to accept these ROGOs, but only for the purpose of exchanging them with existing Affordable Housing allocations and that any such exchanged Affordable Housing allocations would be used to settle takings claims. Again, banking these 300 ROGOS for future use is still adding 300 ROGOs to the total number of available ROGOs and we oppose this action.

Please support residents and stop the overdevelopment of this unique and precious resource – the Florida Keys.

Respectfully submitted,

Last Stand Board