duck key

Duck Key image

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys
























News Article : Hawk's Cay Draws Interest of Investigator


A story published on Sunday April 25, 2004 in the Key West Citizen written by staff writer Laurie Karnatz provided a great deal of history on the approval of the expansion of the Indies Inn which we now identify as the Hawk's Cay Resort.

In addition to reporting on the subpoena of official Monroe County records dealing with the expansion of Hawk's Cay Resort, the three page article provides a detailed and thorough account of the development process from 1986 to the present.

Quoted are local residents Pat Reeder and June Helbling, Lilo Hagbeck, villa investor William Paul , developer Pritam Singh, Attorney Hendricks, and Mary Hansley and Alicia Putney, former Planning Commissioners.

Some quotes from the Key West Citizen article taken out of order may be found below:


Pat Reeder - "A lot of people are disappointed," said Reeder, whose property is located across a canal from the resort's employee housing. She said this week that many promises have been broken by both Singh and the county.

"The reaction I get is most people think the whole place is awful," she said.

June Helbling - But June Helbling, who at one point publicly expressed exasperation over continuing changes to the Hawk's Cay expansion, said this week that she thinks it has benefited Duck Key residents.

"I think Hawk's Cay has, as far as my personal real estate holdings, done nothing but enhance the value," she said, referring to the high prices being paid for the resort units.

Pritam Singh - It cost Singh $1.5 million to buy the land and the sewer plant, he said Saturday. "Don Johnson had no obligation to give it to the county because the option had expired," he said. "It was a fair deal, otherwise the county would have had to pay the $1.5 million. It was good business for everybody and it was all done very, very publicly."

Hawk's Cay is scrutinized far more than some other developments because of its size, Singh said. "Developments of Regional Impact are extraordinarily controlled and the smallest change has to go before all these public hearings, which then gives people a chance to speak out," he said. "People think I'm less controlled, but I'm more controlled than anyone would ever dream of being."

He added: "The development is the largest and most successful resort in the Keys, by far."




Mary Hansley - "Well, you can call it a den if you like, but when it's adjacent to a full bath, I call it an additional bedroom and to me you're adding 50 additional bedrooms. You're not taking them away," Hansley said to applause. "So I don't see you decreasing the amount of bedrooms. I see you increasing them significantly."


Lilo Hagsbeck - "Liesolotte Hagbeck, a Duck Key resident before Cohee's original expansion request, questioned the equity of the project in a Dec. 7, 2001 letter to the planning commission. "If county staff would compare the initial and by-all-parties-agreed-upon plan ... motel rooms were converted to townhouses and owner-occupied homes, so-called vested rights were claimed and given up in exchange for certain privileges and then reclaimed, the density increased from 6.7 units per acre to 10, deals were negotiated and then negated," she wrote. "

"Many modifications were made and it was agreed [there would be] 269 units of the type that are presently built," William Paul told the planning commission. "Everything merged in that [1996] agreement. There aren't [any] units left. ... You're talking about something that doesn't exist. There isn't a right to build more."


Alicia Putney - In her dissent, former planning commissioner Alicia Putney said, "If you look at the application from [Singh] in this matter that's before us today, on attachment E, it says, quote: '... the 1996 changes reduce the total number of new units from 444 to 269 and reconfigures the units to provide for multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.'"

Putney also pointed out earlier documents prepared by the resort and submitted to various state and county agencies that indicate "building permits have now been issued for all 269 units approved in the development order," and "this addresses all the units through build-out."

"I could go on and on," Putney said at the time.


The informative article is well researched and explains how the resort expanded in size from 178 hotel rooms in 1986 to the complex it is today with the addition of 295 villas plus several more pools and ancillary buildings.


!986 Agreement

The article doe not describe the 1986 Agreement between the Duck Key Property Owners Association and Hawk's Cay Investors. The agreement stipulated provisions on noise and marina use which were directed at protecting the residential community adjacent to the resort property.

Declaration of Covenants, Conditions  and Restrictions


Back to [ Website Index] [ Archive Index ] [ Main Community Index ]