letter to the editor

Opinion: JUST SAY NO to 1300 MORE ROGOs

Letter to Editor by ‘Friends of the Lower Keys’

The State is offering the Keys 1300 more ROGO building allocations. But this wouldn’t solve our workforce housing problem. It would add more danger to hurricane evacuation, more hassles with daily traffic, more high-density apartment complexes, greater strain on our infrastructure, and it would undermine the growth limitations which preserve what makes the Keys unique.

  • The 1300 more ROGOs would be dangerous in a hurricane.  They would overcrowd evacuation and slow it down for all of us. The 1300 ROGOs are intended for housing about 4000 additional residents who would be required to “early evacuate” 48 hours before landfall. Most Keys residents have a 24-hour evacuation deadline. But there’s nothing to enforce this “early evacuation” deadline and we all know many people wait as long as they can to evacuate.   As we saw from Hurricanes Michael, Harvey, and Andrew, storms can intensify more quickly than forecasters predict.
  • The 1300 more ROGOs would undermine well-established legal growth limitations which have protected the beauty and natural resources of the Keys for more than 30 years.
  • If ROGO’s growth limitations are undermined, taxpayers could face millions of dollars in property rights judgments against the County.
  • Without the legal protection of ROGO, which is based on extensive scientific research and court-approved development limitations, many thousands more ROGOs could be added at any time.

We need real workforce housing for Keys residents. The County and the Cities can offer tax relief, subsidies, and interest-free loans to property owners willing to deed-restrict for workforce housing. Strict illegal vacation rental enforcement would return more housing units to our workforce.

We have plenty of ROGOs which can be dedicated to new workforce housing.  Adding more ROGOs just creates more problems.

14 civic, environmental, and neighborhood organizations, representing thousands of voters and property owners throughout the Keys, urge Monroe County and the Cities:

Just Say No to 1300 More ROGOs

Florida Keys Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America,Florida Keys Citizen Coalition, Florida Keys Environmental Fund, Inc, Friends of the Lower Keys (FOLKs), Island of Key Largo Federation of Homeowner Associations (IKLFHA), Key Deer Protection Alliance, Last Stand, Lower Keys Alliance, Inc, Save Summerland Native Areas, Upper Keys Citizens Association, Cudjoe Gardens Property Owners Association, South Point Homeowners LLC, Sugarloaf Shores Property Owners Association, Upper Sugarloaf Residents Association

For more information go to: www.friendsofthelowerkeys.org

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