The Monroe County planning staff proposed raising the height limit for new buildings in unincorporated areas from 35 feet to 38 feet for flood mitigation.
The county’s Planning Commission will review the proposed maximum height February 24.
Florida Keys environmental group Last Stand opposes the proposed maximum-height increase for new construction.
The group’s board president Mark Songer told the Florida Keys News the county staff proposal would have little impact on overdevelopment of flood-prone land.
As the discussion on building height proceeds, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is drawing new flood maps that could raise insurance costs for owners of homes and businesses in the Florida Keys.
The Keys has endured almost 9 inches of sea-level rise over the last 100 years, and climate change experts contracted by Monroe County predict another 3 to 7 inches of sea-level rise by 2030.
A University of Georgia study of varying vulnerability to sea-level rise in areas across the country shows that the Keys is the third-most vulnerable. [Florida Keys News] — Mike Seemuth