The Real Deal Miami

Keys landowner denied chance to develop protected island

State appellate court sides with city, county and state in eight-year-old case
November 07, 2013 10:11AM

An aerial shot of Monroe County in Florida

An aerial shot of Monroe County in Florida

The Third District Court of Appeal in Miami has denied the owners of Bamboo Key the ability to build anything on the nine-acre island. Considered a bird rookery since 1997, Bamboo Key is protected from any kind of activity besides camping. The owners of the island had filed a lawsuit in 2005 claiming the Monroe County land-use restriction was tantamount to unlawful government seizing of private property. The case has bounced from circuit court to appellate court over the last eight years, culminating in Wednesday’s ruling.

Gordon and Molly Beyer acquired Bamboo Key in 1970, when zoning allowed one residence per acre, Daily Business Review reported. They did not attempt to develop the island until 1997. Gordon Beyer died while the case unfolded.

Several species of birds and insects live on Bamboo Key, which is a short distance from Marathon. [Daily Business Review]Eric Kalis