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FOLKs is a group of concerned residents who want to preserve the low-density community character of the Lower Keys. We oppose adding 1300 more ROGOs (building allocations) because they undermine 30+ years of science-based and court-approved growth limitations for the Keys. Hurricane evacuation becomes more dangerous and everyday traffic unbearable. Our fragile environment cannot stand more development: the marine ecosystem is continuing to deteriorate even without additional development. We say NO to 1300 more ROGOs!

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HERE'S WHY WE SAY "NO" TO 1300 MORE ROGOs

The State is offering the Keys 1300 more ROGO building allocations. But this wouldn’t solve our workforce housing problem. It would add more danger to hurricane evacuation, more hassles with daily traffic, more pressure to increase density, greater strain on our infrastructure, and it would undermine the growth limitations, which preserve what makes the Keys unique.  We have plenty of ROGOs that can be dedicated to new workforce housing. Adding more ROGOs just creates more problems.

  • While the 1300 ROGOs were offered to the Keys to aid our workforce housing crisis, they are not designated for workforce housing, and the additional thousands of new residents would be dangerous in a hurricane evacuation, not to mention adding to our already congested daily traffic.  

  • The 1300 ROGOs are intended for housing about 4,000 additional residents who would be required to “early evacuate” 48 hours before landfall. Most Keys residents have a 24-hour evacuation deadline. But there’s nothing to enforce this “early evacuation” deadline and we all know many people wait as long as they can to evacuate.  As we saw from Hurricanes Michael, Harvey, and Andrew, storms can intensify more quickly than forecasters predict. 

  • The 1300 more ROGOs would undermine well-established legal growth limitations, which have protected the beauty and natural resources of the Keys for more than 30 years. 

  • Without the legal protection of ROGO, which is based on extensive scientific research and court-approved development limitations, many thousands more ROGOs could be added at any time.

  • And, if ROGO’s growth limitations are undermined, taxpayers could face millions of dollars in property rights judgments against the County.

  • There are still plenty of ROGOs that can be dedicated to new workforce housing. Adding more ROGOs just creates more problems – all without a shred of scientific data to support it – and undermines a successful 30+ year growth limitation plan.

A Court-ordered peer reviewed study back in the 1990s analyzed the Carrying Capacity of the Keys (think the maximum sustainable development pressure on roads, hurricane evacuation, drinking water, wastewater, and near shore water quality). It’s the basis for our limited growth under the ROGO system, which is used to protect the Keys residents, infrastructure, natural resources, and quality of life from unregulated development. 
A Court-ordered peer reviewed study back in the 1990s analyzed the Carrying Capacity of the Keys (think the maximum sustainable development pressure on roads, hurricane evacuation, drinking water, wastewater, and near shore water quality). It’s the basis for our limited growth under the ROGO system, which is used to protect the Keys residents, infrastructure, natural resources, and quality of life from unregulated development. 

THE LEGAL CHALLENGE   

In the past year, 14 environmental, civic, and neighborhood organizations, representing thousands of voters and property owners have joined together to “Say NO to 1300 More ROGOs”.  However, the municipalities of Key West, Marathon, and Islamorada have all voted to accept their respective share of new ROGOs.  And Monroe County has adopted a “wait & see” position – ready to take their share if the legal challenge is defeated.  This legal challenge is pending. A final hearing will begin December 9th at the Marathon City Hall (9805 Overseas Hwy., Marathon, FL).

Say NO to 1300 More ROGOs

Click the title above to open the position Statement from 14 environmental, civic, and neighborhood organizations

Mattino v. City of Marathon - Legal Challenge to Increased Development Plans*

Click the title above to open the Petition for a Formal Administrative Hearing

*These documents reference Marathon, but the Legal Challenge for all 3 municipalities have been combined into one hearing – December 9th, 2020 at Marathon City Hall.

According to the BOCC's
own by-laws:
"In no event shall an amendment be approved which will have an adverse change in the community character to the sub-area which a proposed amendment affects or to any area in accordance with a Livable CommuniKeys master plan pursuant to findings of the BOCC [Section 102-158(d)(2)(7)(d)].”

Community character was first recognized as an important planning element of the Florida Keys in the 1986 Comprehensive Land Use Plan.  Planners and elected officials realized that if we did not protect the unique character of the Florida Keys, in both the built and the natural environment, that what makes the Keys distinct would be lost and/or damaged.