Jul 082016
 

sunset marina

by Arnaud and Naja Girard.......

“I love the place,” says Bryan, a taxi driver, who lives on a boat at Sunset Marina on Stock Island, “I can’t believe we’re going to have to move.” Living aboard -- this Key West style solution to affordable housing -- is in jeopardy at the marina.  While discussing the approval of expanded development during the City Commission meeting last Wednesday, Barton Smith, the developer, revealed that liveaboards would no longer be tolerated at the docks.

Smith, an attorney, is suing the City over the location of the marina’s next door neighbor homeless shelter but has apparently become the City Commission’s new best friend. He needs their approval to build 62 new apartments on top of the marina’s parking lot. But he only wants to build 7 low and median-income affordable units -- unless the City waves $245,000 in fees and allows him 5 more market rate units, in which case he would agree to provide 12 low and median-income units.

Questions surrounding Smith’s new development plan turned this week’s City Commission meeting into a scene out of Gulliver’s Travels.

Under the current city code “at least 10% of all new multifamily residential units constructed” must be reserved for low-income affordable housing and at least 20% must be for “median income" affordable housing.

But according to Smith’s reading of the code, what the law intended was for the developer to first choose how many market rate units he needs (he chose 23), then multiply that number by 30% to figure out how many low and median income units he’ll need to add to the 23 market rate units. Then use another section of the code to add a number of “middle-income” units (in this case 18) and then some “moderate-income” units (in this case 14) and end up with only 5 median-income units and 2 low-income units; a total of 7 - instead of 18 (30% of 62).

Would it surprise the Key West readers that this convoluted code slashing, cherry-picking interpretation of the affordable housing regulations instantly appeared letter perfect and crystal clear to most of the City Commissioners? Well, it did.

“Certainly the developers made out,” said Commissioner Sam Kaufman, the only dissenting voice heard on the dais, “People are congratulating each other over this development and patting each other on the back as though we’re providing this great mix of affordable housing. But the developers received a great benefit which doesn’t seem consistent with the code. And in the end the requirement for 30% low and median was not satisfied.”  Kaufman is a practicing attorney.

The “damage” at Sunset Marina could in fact be much more substantial. According to dock owners interviewed by The Blue Paper about half of the 118 slips at Sunset Marina are used by liveaboards. Under city code slips used to store boats require only 1 onsite parking space for every four slips whereas slips that harbor liveaboards require 1 space per slip. With liveaboards in the picture Smith's new project wouldn’t be able to provide all the parking required.

Some dock owners said they’ve been renting to liveaboards for years.  They claim they were not notified about the City Commission meeting regarding approval of the project: “I have a mortgage at the bank. It shows I own a dock and some baybottom at Sunset Marina,” says Captain Sadler James who claims he happened upon the meeting by chance. James challenged the Commission on both the notice and the parking requirements.  “I also pay real estate taxes.”

According to City Code 90.683(2) notification of all property owners within 500 feet of the project is mandatory. “All 92 slip owners should have been notified of every public meeting that was held for this project. We are just inches away.” said James.

The City has a declared deficit of low income affordable rental units (with rents this year capped at $1535 a month), but according to Comprehensive Plan data it has a surplus of moderate-income rental affordable housing (rents at $2322).  The Commission recently spent all $12.5 Million of its Land Authority affordable housing funds to preserve the moderate and middle-income affordable housing at Peary Court [this year rents capped at $2322 and $2709/month - 2-bedroom units].

This week on Craig’s list 2-bedroom market rate apartments are offered at Ocean Walk for $2160/month.  Yet the City Commission abandoned the plain reading of the law requiring that 30% of all new units being built be reserved for low and median-income residents and the occupants of approximately 50 or so liveaboard vessels are now very unsure of their fate.  The Commission approved a deal whereby 89% [55/62] of the new units to be constructed onsite will be allowed to rent for more than $2300/month.

Under City Code Sections 90-682 (11) and 108-198, the City Commission is empowered to add reasonable conditions or restrictions to development agreements as necessary for the welfare of the City's residents. The City fathers claim to be consumed by the pleas of low-income employees unable to pay their rents, yet developers always find a majority on the dais willing to minimize affordable housing requirements.

In 2008 a lumberyard on Simonton Street was considered enough of a preexisting development to bypass the 30% rule even though dwellings had never existed on the site.  At the other end of Simonton in 2014, 44 trailers were bulldozed and replaced by high-dollar homes.  In that case Commissioners had decided not to apply the 30% rule either. The transformation of the trailer park, they said, qualified as “redevelopment” therefore the gentrification was not to be affected by the 30% rule requiring a ratio of affordable housing.

Commissioner Richard Payne let slip an interesting insight into the underlying contempt of some in the establishment for the 30% rule. “I’m wondering,” said the former Judge during the debate, “The different types of people you’re gonna have in the affordable units from the people who are paying the market rate, mixing so close in proximity.  Is this a good idea that they’re all together?”

This was followed by a few politically correct remarks by the developer and several others, on the dais, about our “One Human Family.”

Sunset Marina already has 4 affordable housing units onsite. Under City regulations enforcement of the deed restrictions is left to the Key West Housing Authority. Interestingly enough the 4 existing affordable housing units at Sunset Marina never made it to the Housing Authority’s list of restricted units.  The deed restrictions for those units were filed in February of 2010, eight years after they were required to be filed as per a previous development agreement. But even then they were left off the list and have never been monitored at all for compliance. They should rent [or sell] only to those eligible at the median-income level.

As to the proposed affordable housing deed restriction declaration for the 7 new low and median –income affordable housing units, it makes no mention of any required number of low or median income units and specifically ties all "39" of the "affected" affordable units to the section of the code that allows for moderate and middle income rentals [$2322 and $2709].

This brings back the familiar question: Is there any point fighting for a certain percentage of affordable housing units if the deed restrictions are not going to be enforced?

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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. Additionally the Girards have become well known for their in-depth investigations into local governments' sometimes questionable dealings with high dollar developers. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.

  20 Responses to “Sunset Marina: Liveaboards in Jeopardy and More Afforable Housing Hocus-Pocus”

  1. That’s really funny. I guess we should call those calculations Key West math. Looks like you can get away with just about anything in KW for a little payola!!

  2. I wuz there, I saw and heard it with my own two eyes and two ears. Sam Kaufman stood alone, bless his heart, on the dais.

    The developer, represented by local lawyer/Jim Hendrick protege Barton Smith, who, with his family, own at least part of the existing Sunset Marina development and will do same with the new addition thereto, and City Planner Thaddeus Cohen cherry- picked from two different city “regulations”, to give Barton the most bang for his and his parents’ bucks, and the least actually fordable housing for the city. Surprise?

    When Smith made his slick presentation, he went out of his way to avoid saying what the actual rents would be for the “affordable” 2-BR apartments. He used formulas, which mean zero to 99.99 percent of the Key West population. He said the apartments would be rented by school teachers, police officers, fire fighters and rescue workers, for examples. It took some effort by Kaufman to get Smith to admit the actually $$ rents. Knocking out of contention for those units all but perhaps well-paid school teachers. Knocking out of contention hundreds of city employees altogether.

    When I was interviewed on 106.9 Island Radio recently, by Wayne Dapser, he asked what all I would try to do with affordable housing, if I am elected mayor in November? I said one thing wiill be for the city to stop using formulas and start using actual dollars per month rent, when talking about affordable rental housing, so the public will know what the rents actually are.

    Smith told the city commission that he didn’t know what the actual “affordable mix” would end up being, because he didn’t know what the mortgage financing would be, what he would have to pay out each month. I mentioned that during my citizen comments, and said there are many moving targets in this deal, and you really don’t know what you are being asked to approve here. No problem. Smith called it affordable housing. Cohen called it affordable housing. The mayor and several city commissioners called it affordable housing. Even though most school teachers, city police officers, fire fighters, rescue workers and hundreds of other city employees cannot afford it.

  3. And in the end when you factor in the eviction of live aboards it sounds like the whole project will result in the net loss of about 50 affordable housing “units”…. there was no gain in affordable housing here…. just the usual loss in total.
    It seems every project like this is a step forward followed by 10 steps back. We should not be fooled by all the fancy numbers. In the end the developer wins and the citizens lose.

  4. Affordable housing talk always about only government workers. “”He said the apartments would be rented by school teachers, police officers, fire fighters and rescue workers” All government workers. All make more money than restaurant and hotel workers. where is affordable housing for them?

  5. If you bribe the right people in KW anything will get approved. In time there will be no low income workers because affordable in KW is 2 people both working 60 hours a week to pay rent. And if you work in KW you can never retire or buy a house. Look at the mess on Simonton st where the trailer park was. Still not finished and likely will go bankrupt. Will KW ever learn from mistakes ?

    We enjoy Key West as visitors about 6 times a year. Glad we did not buy anything because it is turning ugly with corruption and housing. It is slowly being destroyed by rich developers that only build high end rentals. Either wages go up or workers will leave. If voters won’t fix it then get ready to live on Wisteria, it is the last affordable place to live if you call that living.

  6. I’ve lived here a long time. Going back some years; turbulence, dishonesty and corruption were a part of Monroe County’s effort to promote “affordable and workforce housing”. Many misguided relationships between commissioners, staff and developers were birthed and promoted. We’re living with the results of their malfeasance; environmental destruction and quality of life infringements.

    It seems the City of Key West is seeking to enter into another ‘real estate transaction’, or better put, misadventure’. Predictably, the city’s narrative will not be based on the facts or law. Twisted words, distorted reasoning and convoluted contractual agreements; will ultimately rule the day.

    During my lifetime, I’ve come to the conclusion that the government should not be in the real estate business. As a simple man from the South Bronx, “Affordable & Workforce Housing” are: “Living in a house or apartment that you can afford to live in.”

    The Florida Keys are “built out to the max,” thus the need for deceptive (feel good) language, myths and notions; such as the politically correct and deceptive terms (affordable//workforce housing). These descriptions are necessary, so a justification may be proffered for excessive building and over-development, which continues to erode the quality of our lives and communities.

    Denser, congested and crammed ‘housing projects’ are being built throughout the Keys. Some of these developments lack proper planning and access for emergency vehicles. Many of them appear to have insufficient parking; along with inadequate accessibility for vehicles to safely merge onto and exit from US 1.

    With these types of politically correct terms (affordable, workforce & medium-income projects) it becomes simple and convenient for governments to give developers what they want. In addition, ‘Waivers’ are granted to builders allowing them to by-pass ‘set back requirements,’ while ignoring ‘space ordinances’ that at one time required homes to have a set distance from one another. In many instances, re-planting trees and plants, which have been illegally destroyed because of the “excessiveness” of a particular development are not required of the builder.

    Traveling the Keys, I’ve witnessed construction materials being amassed at some development sites, which appear to be significantly inferior in quality to the products I utilized in building my home. Craftsmanship and adherence to hurricane building code practices do not seem to be enforced.

    Profitable businesses and cities taking in billions of dollars in taxes, revenues and fees have the capacity to pay their employees’ salaries commensurate with the wealth they’ve accrued.

    Some businesses and municipalities provide unique living quarters which are extremely clean and beautifully constructed for their employees. Both private and public domains have offered these benefits and services to staff with extraordinary success. Why isn’t a provision of this type ever discussed?

    In closing, keeping one’s eye on the ball concerning South Florida’s vanishing water supply is another area of critical concern. A clear and present danger effecting this ‘Life Sustaining Sustenance’ will become a reality, as the cessation of a clean and secure source of drinking water becomes a reality.

    Contamination of the Biscayne Aquifer via a plethora of intrusions still hasn’t been adequately shored up. It appears the official response to these foreboding breeches has been a continuation of building and over-development, by whatever means possible.

    Continuing to strangle ourselves with copious amounts of debris, waste and filth, resultant from disproportionate development; is an extreme and regrettable form of suicide.

  7. Actually, I believe the developer said that the other part of the proposed project was ALL moderate / median.

    But as was said during the Commissioner / Mayor comments, why do we have to fight so hard against ALL new development? What the community needs is MORE housing. By waiting around for “perfect” housing and fighting every project on technical grounds, we get NO housing. By adding ANY units of ANY price-point to the available mix, we will lower housing prices. By fighting each and every proposal, there will be no new units and the prices will continue to rise. (Price= demand / supply)

    Where is the push to rehab all those vacant and dilapidated units in Key West, anyhow? These units don’t need ROGOs and could be fixed up for cheap!

    And if that guy hadn’t spoken against the noticing requirement, they probably wouldn’t have “noticed” that we had 60 illegal liveaboards at Sunset Marina. HE was the reason that we are going to now need that many MORE units of affordable housing!

    • The law of supply and demand – yes – can’t disagree – if we can build enough market rate units that cater to locals to make a difference then the rental prices will go down. Not sure we have enough BPAS to do that since many will go to luxury second homes.

      But on the question of whether we need to watch what our elected officials are doing as they process development agreements and speak out when there is a problem- can’t agree – we must watchdog this and we must push for intelligent interpretation of our laws and for the amendment of laws when necessary if they are not accomplishing what is intended. In this case, applying the law as written would have, for once, accomplished what was intended.

      Legitimate governments don’t enforce their code in the way this Commission did on Wednesday night.

      They sat there and pretended to comprehend the code in a way that is totally repugnant; an interpretation that produced a result that is far from what was intended. The Commission has systematically refused to properly apply the 30% rule. This is just another example.

      Should the people be concerned when the Mayor, who is not an attorney, chastises a fellow commissioner who is an attorney – pretending that he knows better how to interpret legislation?

      Cates told us all that we had to look at the code section title and disfigure the text of our code in order to figure out that the law meant the developer could exchange a portion of the low and median-income requirement for moderate and middle-income units.

      Another Commissioner, former Judge Richard Payne, could have put a word in but remained silent on the matter of how to interpret code. He had campaigned on his experience on the bench and how it would serve us well when it came to creating and interpreting legislation. Should we not be concerned about that?

      No, the developer did not say that the “other part” of the proposed project would be ALL moderate and “median”. He spoke of “moderate” and “middle” and explained that was because one can’t get to the allowed cap on the rent roll if all rents are at as low as “moderate”. “Middle” is the $2709 rate. Moderate is $2322.

      Obviously, we are talking about caps here – the MOST they can charge. If the market doesn’t allow it – then the rents will be lower – but that is the same with all market rate apartments.

      If the market allows the developer to get to the max allowed by law in these “extra affordable” units then the developer will be able to have 18 “middle -income” units at $2709/month and 14 “moderate-income” units at $2322/month.

      Right now one can rent an unrestricted market rate 2-bedroom at Oceanside [with swimming pool etc] for $2160/month – so right now one could say that all of those “affordable” units at “moderate” and “middle” are actually functionally – in terms of rental price-tag – “market rate”.

      Now the individuals who live there will need to earn at least 70% of their income in the Keys [an online company, I believe, can qualify – but that needs verification], and they will need to earn less than the income caps. A “middle-income” married couple must make no more than $128,426.20/year. A “moderate-income” married couple must make no more than $110,080 a year.

      We are calling it affordable housing yet it applies to households that make up to $128,000 a year. The County did not go so far as to create a “middle-income” category. – they stopped at “moderate”.

      Now, there is nothing wrong with housing for households that make over a hundred thousand a year and there is nothing wrong with developers making money – even lots of money – but why call it “affordable housing” when it equates to market rate [for rentals].

      And – most important – and the point of the article: Our code says that in a development that has market rate units, at least 30% of “ALL new multifamily units constructed” in the project must be for the low-income and median-income earner.

      The developer can do WHATEVER HE WANTS with the other 70%. He is allowed to make them ALL market rate and call them market rate and not have any restrictions on them. Or, if HE WANTS he can make some of them “affordable”. Just like when you have a vacant lot: you can build a market rate house with a market rate BPAS or you can chose to build an “affordable” house with an “affordable BPAS.” Up to you. No restrictions by code. You choose.

      But the code doesn’t say your requirement to build 30% of “all new units being constructed” for the low and median income earner is diminished because you chose to build some other higher income “affordable” units because maybe it was easier to get those BPAS than market rate BPAS.

      Doesn’t say that. The City Commissioners just let that happen – they “played smart”. They pretended the developer’s interpretation was just perfect. Staff backed it up. The commissioners backed it up.

      While the fact that more rental housing is going up may be a good thing, there is some hesitation in rejoicing at full voice when you see nearly all of your elected officials playing games with an issue they claim is at the forefront of their concerns.

      And we heard them once again saying oh my maybe our code isn’t the way it should be. They’ve been saying that for years. Yet they have allowed their staff, over the years, to shove that aside. Where is that amendment proposal? How much longer will it take and what will it look like?

      It took exactly one week for an amendment to the drinking in public ordinance to get on the agenda when a local judge set some homeless guy free because the officer hadn’t actually seen him drinking out of the can.

      No one – besides Kaufman – is pushing for immediate and drastic reforms in the face of the “crisis” they have all acknowledged. And none of our elected officials besides Kaufman is trying to influence those reforms in a way that would help those that are truly cost burdened in the community. There are many young Conchs who want to live in their home town but can’t unless they stay on their parents sofa for the rest of their lives.

      On the other hand, the “crisis” is being used to justify higher buildings, less on-site parking, and smaller setbacks. That is what’s coming up next on the agenda as announced by developer Ed Swift at the meeting.

      The ‘affordable housing crisis” would have been better mitigated if they had stuck to the plain reading of our code and its intended purpose and required the developer to provide the 6 low-income and 12 median-income units and simply said ‘why thank you for providing those extra higher end affordable in place of some of your “market rate units’ [not in place of the required low and median affordable units].

      There are only about 700 -750 housing units left to dole out. Will that be enough for this supply and demand concept to kick in and force prices down naturally? How many of those BPAS will turn into luxury second homes and have zero affect on mitigating our “crisis”?

      Sam Kaufman is the only Commissioner who has shown the political will to try to make sure the remaining BPAS are used for the low and median-income workers. He is being pushed back – even chastised by the Planning Board and the Mayor.

      Low-income cap for a single person is $48,100. Median-income cap for a single person is $60,200. These are not people working at McDonalds for minimum wage who qualify for HUD housing. These categories include entry level teachers and police officers as well as the large majority of service workers. A 2-bedroom median-income unit can currently rent for $1935 a month.

      • I understand there may have been shenanigans going on the other night. And if so, then it was the City administration who allowed it.

        But once again, getting more units is the real solution to the affordable housing problem. Enforcing deed restrictions and making development unprofitable by using all the BPAS/ROGOs for low income might only exacerbate the issue by making the 700 ROGOs essentially unusable. Getting deep into discussing rent limits and AMI is really missing the forrest for the trees.

        But like I said, there are quite a few unused housing units in the community that would not require ROGOs to be developed. The City and County, as part of a comprehensive strategy should provide incentives to get those units back on the market. And develop HUD nonprofit housing. And use the ROGOs. And explore other ways to increase the supply. This will lower the price of the land, structures and rents.

        I hope that is what they will work toward. The current plan just ain’t workin’!

  8. Social engineering via government and free market collaboration, “For the Good of Themselves”, is at the core of this nonsensical and ineffective approach to intervene on matters unrelated to the business of governing.

    Housing projects under HUD authorship in this nation, for the most part, are dens of evil. Prostitution, drug gangs, child rape, domestic violence, murder and assaults of every type and kind occur daily; in epidemic proportions. I’ve lived in this type of squalor.

    Taxpayers are forced to pay for the construction and maintenance of these caverns of inequity, while individuals are rounded up and placed into these abominable settings. No help is ever received nor gotten. Money is wasted, that could have been put to much better use.

    One person’s position (vote) on the city commission, whom aligns himself with a particular point of view, yet is unable to convince his colleagues of the validity of his position, is worthless and means nothing.

    It is the job of any minority, elected official, to so compassionately, energetically and convincingly persuade his fellow members on the dais, to view and understand the matter that is before them, in a coalescent manner, so as to cause those who initially stood in opposition to his point of view; to now eagerly await the opportunity to rise up in support of his minority position.

    Outworking, out-thinking, and orchestrating brilliant presentations, with a plethora of dynamic visual effects; along with witness testimony from impacted children, disabled, elderly and ordinary hard working folk; can be photographed and videotaped with their accompanying stories on social media, newspapers and the internet.

    Pictures and interviews of those families being thrown out of their homes and into the street can be the basis of a nation wide personal interest story and a class-action law suit against the “Home of Our One Human Family”.

    There’s a lot of ways to go. It just requires will and effort…

    At some point it time, we must address the fact that the fragile aquatic ecosystem, which is the Florida Keys, is over-built and overpopulated…No more development and no more people…May be the way we are required to proceed…

    • It is an appropriate role for government to play in “setting the stage” and “priming the pump” to encourage activity that benefits the public at large. Clean and safe housing is certainly something that benefits everyone. Affordable housing even more so.

      By “HUD housing” you are undoubtedly referring to PHAs: Public Housing Authorities, an underfunded and difficult to manage project that has been beset in recent years with many maladies in many areas. (In some places, it is still working, and quite well, thank you.)

      But PHAs are only one part of HUD. Other parts include single family new construction and rental housing (HOME), CDBG funds that benefit low income census tracts, housing for veterans (HUD VASH), HOPWA for persons with AIDS, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and emergency housing, among others. All of these programs are funded with about $50 billion annually. The mortgage deduction for first (and second!) homes alone costs $100 billion or more—our priorities are skewed a bit here.

      To underfund something for 30 or 40 years and then complain that it isn’t working is a weak argument at best.

      A bigger issue in Key West is that some of the housing stock has been allowed for decades to be converted into a small supply of very expensive units while other units have been lost due to neglect and age into slum and blight. There is more housing here than you think, but we’re not using it to good advantage.

  9. Where exactly are the LOW income people living. I am talking about your $10 to $12 an hour workers ? If they work 70 hours a week they can’t find much more than a shed or couch to live on and dam little to eat.

    Your concerns about evacuation are a joke. Most have no cars to leave in. The live on boards at best have mopeds. Key West is small enough that most can do without a car and many can not afford to own a car. Just how will they leave ? Truth is 50% will not be able to leave the island. The truth is your commissioners other than Kaufman do not care as long as it is not them suffering. Major problem seems that bribes are the normal way of getting what you want.

    Must assume all the low income workers live on wisteria or other illegal rentals. You had a chance to build low income with the 12 million you gave away.

  10. Just a short comment: Beginning at Duck and 14th St. there are 13 one-story buildings that contain 78 living quarters. If these were converted to 3-story buildings, you would end up with something like an additional 160 low income units as not all of them have the same amount of apartments. Then, at Northside Dr. and 14th St. there is room to build probably another 175 apartments, maybe more. So, there you go – a potential of 335 low income affordable units right there, AND, those areas are already being used for low income housing.

  11. What some are missing here is the profit for a developer. He must see a reasonable return after all costs such as mortgage, insurance, taxes, upkeep, wages for staff. Yes are many salvageable homes but the cost is mostly the property not the building. Some like Mr. Chapmans home are too far gone and costly to salvage. Are also empty lots. Problem is no private landlord will spend a million dollars to collect maybe $2k a month.
    This is where the 12.5 million should have been used or have built low income housing on land KW already owns. But we all seen how that game was played. Hope they enjoy the GIFTS they got for letting it happen. Truth is nobody other than the city could or will build anything for the low income workers and any chance of that went away for Peary Court. Total waste of tax dollars. And the rents will not change. It was and still is too costly for low income workers. And now while illegal to live on docks will put 60 more looking for a home. Guess we will be seeing 60 more boats on Wisteria soon. Without the low income workers KW can not survive. You do not need more moderate or what you are calling affordable housing. What you need is LOW income housing. Just how can a taxi cab driver pay $2500. We need him but he must have a place to live. If not the city then who will provide ?
    Start voting and get people like Cates out of office. Seems like you only have Kaufman even trying. But I do not expect it will happen because the elections are rigged. Tourist will stop coming when is no service. Key West is slowly going to be destroyed because of greed and corrupt government.

  12. Might add that you can’t just simply add floors to one floor buildings. The footers were not designed for the weight and far more costly than building new.

  13. Convert – Meaning, to change configuration from one-story to 2-3 stories with new construction.

    • While that certainly is doable it seems rather wasteful to destroy an existing building. If you had no other available property then yes is a solution. But in this case you would first be creating a shortage. Where would they live while waiting ?
      The solution is build addition housing on vacant property. Start thinking about small , simple basic housing. Perhaps prefabs that are built where wages are low. That is also a much faster solution. Could be done in less than 30 days. A bank would lend on such a condition of land as down payment.

      • JIMINKEYWEST,

        RE: “Where would they live while waiting?”

        Sorry I didn’t reply to your question sooner, but I thought you’d figure it out, anyway – in regards to the Duck/14th St. and Northside Dr./14th St. properties. Build units on vacant Northside Dr. first, relocate the tenants from Duck there, then build 2-3 stories on Duck.

        Just a comment as a point of conversation about the lower income affordable housing topic.

  14. Will make an offer to Key West. If you will be as generous with me as you were for the buyer of Peary Court and GIVE me enough property to build LOW income property, make it non taxable and wave all fees I could get a bank to put up the money to have some 500 sq foot studio apartments built. Just think how many could been built with 12.5 million on land already owned. Yes something that could easily be rented for under $1400 a month and likely even less. But they won’t because real story is they are not interested in helping them $10 an hour workers.

    Looking at recent sales in Konk Life July edition

    Now just who do you think bought them ? And they will not be likely rented to even high income people. They are the rich that likely paid cash and will use as second home.

    Get past the idea of just create more housing at any price. You have plenty of moderate income housing. That just creates a higher need for low income workers.

    Look at Craigs list for help wanted. Problem is they do not pay enough for a worker to live on . Will we soon be seeing a thousand boats on Wisteria ?

  15. Key West will be receiving approximately $2 million per year for more housing, so the $12.5 million that was used will be replenished in a few years. The planning alone could take 2-4 years so let’s turn the page and look forward.

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