duck key

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys



























The various subdivisions on Duck Key have evolved as amendments from the original subdivisions as set up by the developer. Because of this history, there are various "exception" lots contained within Duck Key. That is, lots which the developer sold before re-subdividing the property and imposing deed restrictions. Thus, the discussion of deed restrictions while encompassing most lots on Duck Key does not encompass all lots. The deed restrictions concerned discussed herein relate to the plat set up in Plat Book 5 beginning at page 82 of the Public Records of Monroe County, Florida.


The leading deed restrictions are in Official Records Book 339, page 111 and Book 362, page 604.

These restrictions encompass all of Center Island less 12 early parcels (pre-1964 exceptions), most of Yacht Club Island excepting 21 lots numbered 43 thru 55 of Block 1, and 1 thru 8 of Block 3. Restrictions apply to lots 1 thru 42, and lots 55 thru 139 of Block 1 and all of Block 2 of Yacht Club Island. Restrictions apply to Blocks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 9 of Plantation Island, but not to 71 lots in Blocks 5, 6, 7, and 8.

A large parcel of land at the end of Yacht Club Island was reserved by the original builder for placement of a Yacht club and a good sized portion of Plantation Island was reserved for the building of a country club and thus some lots of both islands have no original deed restrictions.

Together with the original 12 parcels there are 104 lots excluded from the Deed Restrictions in the Record Books.

This does not include Harbour Island which also has no leading deed restrictions.

Subsequent plans by developer, Florida Southern Land Corporation, called for private homes and apartments on Center Island. Harbour Island was planned for small groupings of apartment buildings with their own pool, tennis and cabana area. Plantation island was to have private residences, apartments, or additional quest accommodations and facilities. Yacht Club island was reserved for building private estates. Land was sold, and changed ownership many times over the years. Houses were built in sections and warranty deeds make reference to lots being subject to conditions and restrictions of record but on many lots the original deed restrictions were never imposed.


Official Records Book 1082, page 2386 contains the deed restrictions set up by Hawk's Cay Investors Limited for the property owned by Hawks Cay Investors. These restrictions specifically empower Duck Key Property Owners Association or its successors as having the right to enforce the deed restrictions. Official Records Book 428, page 1061 contains amendments to the deed restrictions or certain lots on Block 2 of Center Island and the warranty deed recorded at Official Records Book 805, page 85 from D.K.L.S. Inc., (Duck Key Land Sales) to the Brenner family on a number of lots on Center Island imposes two deed restrictions. One of them is a restriction which appears in none of the other deed restrictions effect to the island which is a prohibition on modular residences.


A listing of the major areas of restriction contrasted in some instances with County Code requirements is provided below.

It also should be noted that with the reduction in FEMA flood zone height on Duck Key making it possible to build three story homes under the County 35 foot height limit, some residences in recent years have been built in varience with the deed restriction allow ing only one single family dwelling not to exceed two stories in height.



 Front line 25 feet, side (interior) 10 feet, rear 20 feet (except 15 feet for screened pools), docks no more than 5 feet into a canal or channel and must be located in no less than 7.5 feet from interior lot lines.

The County Code setbacks are less strict. The two sides must total 15 feet. One side yard must be at least 10 feet.
( Statute 9.5 - 281)

No pool exception.



The deed restrictions in Official Records Book 339, 362 & 645 allow nothing other than one single family dwelling not to exceed two stories in height, together with a one or two car garage or carport. Interestingly, three car garages appear to be prohibited, boat houses are allowed with approval of the developer or its successors. Those lots on Center Island governed by the deed restrictions in Official Records Book 428 allow for waterfront duplex lots with two unit dwellings, no more than two stories in height.

County Code - all residential subdivisions zoned IS - Improved Subdivision



Most residences are required to be no less than 1,000 square feet exclusive of garages, carports and open porches. Certain lots may contain homes of no less than 800 square feet excluding those garages, carports and open porches.



The deed restrictions in Official Records Book 339 requires buildings, alterations or additions to be approved in writing. The deed restriction in Official Records Book 645 allow the subdivider the right to approve the location or design of buildings, alterations or aditions



The deed restrictions are consistent in this area in that fences and hedges shall not unreasonably restrict or block the view from an adjoining lot. There is a height limit on fences and hedges of 5 feet and there is to be no wall or fence in the front set back unless deemed "ornamental and desirable".

County Code - Generally fences shall not exceed 6 feet in height, except 4 feet in front or side yard (Statute 9.5 - 309).



These provisions are quite complete. Prevented are obnoxious or offensive activities.The use as a residence of any structure of a temporary character which would include trailers and garages is prohibited. A trailer or "a similar structure" should not be placed on a lot except as a construction shack. No tractor or trailers may be parked over night on "streets, roads or lots".

No sign is allowed on any lot greater than 5 square feet advertising the property.

Trash, garbage or other waste must be kept in sanitary containers.

No weeds, underbrush or unsightly growth shall be permitted. If the owner fails to keep the premises free of weeds, underbrush or refuse piles or unsightly growths, the subdivider or successors may enter and remove those items at the expense of the owner.


County Code - Mowing at least once each three months (Statute 8. - 30).

County Code - Owner assessed for county cleaning and/or mowing assessments and County may file lien (Statute 8. -31).

County Code - County regulations on trailers, RV's, etc. (Statute 19.- 129).



There should be no breeding of dogs or cats. Dogs and cats shall not be permitted to make noises which constitute an annoyance to the neighborhood.



Any owner of a lot subject to the deed restrictions may bring suit to enforce the deed restrictions, in addition, the rights and duties of the subdivider have devolved to Duck Key Property Owners Association which is also a proper party as an entity to enforce the deed restrictions.



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