Aug 082018
 

The City Commission amended its transient rental law last night, but only for five property owners around Appelrouth Lane.

For over two years five property owners in the area of Applerouth Lane and Whitehead Street have lobbied the City to be allowed to create new transient rental units despite the prohibition in both the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Code.

Their properties are zoned HRO which doesn’t allow transient rentals, aside from the units that were already renting transiently in 1986 when the City’s new Land Development Code took effect.

The discussion was very short, in part because the controversial item had been placed at the very end of a long agenda.

Just before midnight, the Commission unanimously supported a Motion to Approve made by Commissioner Sam Kaufman, seconded by Commissioner Richard Payne. (Neither asked any questions or made any public comments about this decision.)

Issues raised based on claims made at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • Was it necessary to amend the code in order to “recognize” the “grand-fathered-in” uses of the properties?” [Property Owners’ agent]
  • Was the amendment necessary to allow the owners “to build back” if their buildings were destroyed by storm? [Commissioner Clayton Lopez]
  • Are there truly only 4 long-term apartments on those 5 properties now? [Commissioner Margaret Romero with affirmation by Planning Director, Patrick Wright, Commissioner Clayton Lopez]
  • Would replacing long-term rentals on the properties necessarily result in “no net loss” of long-terms rentals? [Commissioner Romero with affirmation by Planning Director, Patrick Wright]
  • Does the amendment allow the property owners to expand and create new transient rental units on those properties – and even those that have none now? [Commissioner Romero with affirmation by Patrick Wright – claim they are not able to do so]
  • Did the previous Planning Director reject the property owners request and why? [Planning Director Patrick Wright says not true]
  • Is the Commission allowed to adopt zoning legislation that benefits only a small exclusive group of people?

This week The Blue Paper will fact check those claims and report back to you.   

Stand by.

UPDATE:  See our fact check article published 8/12/18 here: APPELROUTH AMENDMENT: ALL CLAIMS SUPPORTING SPECIAL EXEMPTION CHECKED FALSE

For background see related articles below:

 

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Arnaud and Naja Girard
Arnaud and Naja Girard, publishers and editors of the new, digital, Key West the Newspaper (The Blue Paper) previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery of and extensive research surrounding the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island but are also responsible for top investigative stories including breaking news coverage of the highly controversial in-custody-death of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the catastrophic police tasing of Matthew Shawn Murphy, and the property tax scandal involving Balfour Beatty to name a few. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.

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