MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners originally planned a public hearing at its Jan. 23, 2019 monthly meeting regarding “Goal 109,” which is a proposed comprehensive plan amendment that provides incentives to development of workforce housing. But with the complexity of the issue, a separate public hearing will be held instead on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at 10 a.m. at the central location of the Marathon Government Center.
Goal 109 includes proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code that streamline and incentivizes workforce housing projects in unincorporated Monroe County for two years to help with the recovery from Hurricane Irma.
Workforce housing is for people who derive at least 70 percent of their income from work done in Monroe County, and who meet maximum income criteria set by the County Code. For years, there has been a shortage of affordable places for working people in the Keys to live. Hurricane Irma destroyed many workforce homes and made the situation worse.
Goal 109 increases the existing workforce housing density by 50 percent for housing projects for people in median-, low- and very low-income categories and in three zoning categories. Under the proposal, density for qualifying projects would increase to 37.5 units per buildable acre in areas zoned urban residential and to 27 units per acre in areas zoned mixed-use and suburban commercial. These units would be deed restricted for 99 years.
The Monroe County Planning Commission recommended approval of Goal 109 with some revisions at its October meeting. The BOCC will discuss the proposed amendments, including the Planning Commission’s recommendations, at the special meeting in February.
If the BOCC approves a version of the proposed amendments, they would be sent to the State Department of Economic Opportunity for review due to Monroe County being in an Area of Critical State Concern. State agencies have 60 days to review and then send comments back to the County.
The tentative BOCC adoption date would be based on this required rendering period and be held at another public, monthly Commission meeting.