Land Scarcity Chessboard – Look Ahead

chess-145184_1280There has been lots of action on land use/planning/code issues lately.  The Blue Paper has been monitoring the convoluted manipulations surrounding the Oceanside Marina project.  Very interesting indeed.  Links provided here, here and here.

Oceanside Marina is a complicated matter, but it’s got big implications for the Florida Keys community.  It calls into question the integrity of the county’s planning and zoning process.  Is it fair?  Are laws being enforced uniformly?  Are they being enforced at all?  Are special exceptions being made?  If so, why?

Apparently, county commissioner Heather Carruthers had this to say about the first article:

“Have you seen this article?” asked Commissioner Heather Carruthers in an email to the Planning Director, Mayte Santamaria, “Are the premises correct? Have we been hoodwinked? Or do they not have all the information? I think this warrants a response.”

When I run this through the bullshit-to-English translator, here’s what I get:

“Oh shit.  We’re busted again.  Get the spin machine moving.  Throw together some official-looking documents to mislead the unwashed masses.”

Your mileage may vary, of course.

I’m also told that the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently shuffled some ROGO’s and Key Largo may have gotten the shaft.  Research pending.  The Citizen/Free Press propaganda machine published this article about political priorities in Key Largo.  Affordable housing is mentioned as one such priority.

Key Largo leaders say their punch lists for 2017 include moving forward with affordable housing, securing safety equipment and filling an open board seat, among other matters.

Traffic on U.S. 1, which has been slow going through Key Largo and Islamorada due to tourism, accidents and gaper delays, also has their attention.

“We are either being loved to death or ignored,” Monroe County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said regarding the recent traffic and added that “it will take a miracle” to get it resolved.

She remained hopeful that it will soon dissipate, since her main goal for the year is workforce housing.

“We have to finish what we started with the Affordable Housing Committee, and try to get the Plantation Key courthouse figured out,” she said in reference to the planned renovation of county offices at mile marker 88.7, bayside. “Little by little and month-to-month, we are just trying to make the county a better place.”

So the Odious Sylvia Murphy (OSM) claims that workforce housing is her main goal.  But workforce housing for who?  I highly doubt that would be workforce housing for Key Largo, especially if the ROGO situation is, in fact, true.  My assumption is that the purpose of this article is supposed to give people in Key Largo the impression that they will benefit to an equitable degree when it comes to spending on affordable housing projects.  We all know, based on past experience, that this will almost certainly not be the case.  It is not the case with wastewater funding.  It is not the case with fire and emergency vehicle replacements.  It is not the case with animal control.

Let’s not forget that the the county’s own report shows that Key Largo has a large number of ALICE families (see page 12).  ALICE stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed.  In other words, ALICE households are the very people most in need of affordable workforce housing and a large proportion of them reside in Key Largo.

Interesting times ahead.  Looks like the taxpayers are in for another good fleecing, especially Key Largo taxpayers.  I wonder what would happen if Monroe County and the City of Key West enforced their own laws and stopped creating loopholes.  Would there be an affordable housing crisis at all?

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