duck key

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys

























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TO:   Mayor Dixie Spehar

FROM:   Timothy J. McGany, AICB   Director of Growth

DATE:   May 30, 2003

SUBJECT:    Duck Key and Tier System


Recently, the Board of County Commissioners received a letter from Dennis D'Angelo and an e-mail from Marcel Damiecki -Betsy Conrad raising concerns about the Tier designation of non-water front vacant, upland lots on Center Island, Duck Key. Basically, these property owners are concerned that the preliminary Tier IT designation of these Iots would have a negative impact on the development of the lots.

'Tier Designation and Revision Process

The staff wants to assure the BOCC that Tier designations are not done haphazardly, nor arc revisions made without careful scrutiny. The. designations and any revisions to these designations are done following specific criteria supplemented by field investigations; however, due to the geographic scope and number of individual. properties involved, errors and omissions will occur. New information or the results of the Livable CormnuniKeys Program may result in further need for revisions.

With that being said, the Tier System maps which the Board will be asked to approve on June I8, 2003, are not without some minor flaws. Although the designation of the County into three tiers was done in accordance with specffc criteria, which will be provided to the Board in next month's agenda package, further amendments may be required over the next year until these designations arc officially adopted as a zoning overlay next year.

In recognition of this need for flexibility, the draft Interim Development Ordinance, which will be considered by the BOCC on June I8 th that approves the Tier maps, provides a process for revisions



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to be made to these maps during the term of the proposed moratorium. A process has been already been established by the County staff, which is memorialized as policy in the proposed interim ordinance, that provides for consideration of map revisions.

Specific Staff Response to Puck Key Concerns

In the case of the vacant non-waterfront lots owned by Mr. D'Angelo and Mr. Damicki(Ms. Conrad, these lots had been initially designated Tier II due to lack of development and presence of wetlands on some of the properties. Most of these lots had been deemed unbuildable by the Year 2010 Comprehensive Plan until the County adopted procedures and regulations that allowed development of disturbed wetland lots.

Initially, all of Duck Kcy, which includes three subdivisions, was considered for a Tier II designation, as less than. 50.. percent of the. lots were developed with the presence of isolated environmentally sensitive wetlands in the middle of Center Island. However, as is the case with other subdivisions in the County that have clearly delineated developed and undeveloped areas, it was decided by staff to separate Duck Key into two different Tiers with the vacant non-waterfront and wetland lots on Center Island as Tier LI and the remainder of Duck Key as Tier Ill. The reasoning was that it would not, make sense to designate the waterfront .l&ta, as Tier II, since most of the lots were developed and the vacant lots contained no significant environmental features.

Ever since this initial designation, the staff has debated the validity and purpose of designating the middle of Center Island as Tier II while the surrounding areas and the remainder of Duck Key were designated Tier III. from a planning perpective, the proximity and central 'location of the nonwaterfront lots to surrounding developed lots . and available infrastructure make these lots desirable for infill development. Furthermore, the lack of significant environmental features worth preserving, except for a few isolated "Red Flag" wetland Jots that are unbuildable, serves little public interest in retaining these lots for conservation and open space purposes.

Based on these planning concerns, the staff. was. directed to follow-up with a field investigation to determine if the initial designation was-appropriate. The investigation was recently completed and it was determined that the Tier- III dtslgtiatiom is the more appropriate designation for all of Center Island for the reasons it" in -the above paragraph.

The Tier Maps will be revised to reflect this revision to Center Island, Duck Key. The maps to be presented to the BOCC for approval on June 1 8 will reflect this revision.

Should you have any questions or need further clarification please don't hesitate to call Ms. Marlene Conaway or me.

cc:   Board of County Commissioners

   Planning Commissioners

   James L. Roberts, County Administrator

   John R. Collins, County Attorney

   K. Marlene Conaway, Director of Planning and Environmental Resources

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