Building-height limits may rise in the unincorporated Florida Keys

The motivators include more frequent flooding, sea level rise, and property insurance costs

Mar.March 11, 2017 04:05 PM

An elvevated stilt house on Big Pine Key (Credit: Nancy Klingener / WLRN )

Monroe County may raise the maximum heights of buildings in such unincorporated areas as Key Largo and the Lower Florida Keys.

The county proposal is a response to more frequent flooding, ongoing sea level rise, and costly property insurance.

Maximum building heights in Monroe would rise by up to three feet for new homes. Owners of existing homes in unincorporated areas would be permitted to raise their property’s height by up to five feet.

Forty feet would be the maximum building height under the new county rule, if they’re implemented.

The Monroe County Commission is preparing for upcoming public hearings on the proposed building-height increase in Key Largo and Marathon.

The height increase would constitute an amendment to the county’s land use plan, and it would be subject to state review because the state has designated the Florida Keys as an “Area of Critical State Concern.”

Key West residents voted in 2014 to increase the maximum height of buildings by four feet. [WLRN] —  Mike Seemuth

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