HERE'S WHY WE SAY "NO" TO 1300 MORE ROGOs
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 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.
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. Unincorporated Monroe County had adopted a “wait & see” position – awaiting the outcome of the legal challenge. However, at the recent 2/26/20 BOCC meeting, the Board voted 3-2 to accept their share of the ROGOs. The legal challenge is still pending. And, even when the Administrative Law Judge rules on the case, it will be a "recommendation" only and return to the FL legislature for final decision. This is why it is important to sign our Petition and make our voices heard. We plan to send the Petition to the current Governor and ask him to follow the will of the people (not just the developers)!
Read the recent Blue Paper editorial from Mayor Heather Carruthers (who voted against accepting the ROGOs):
Click the title above to open the position Statement from 14 environmental, civic, and neighborhood organizations
Click the title above to open the Petition for a Formal Administrative Hearing
Click the title above to open the Press Release.