Case Studies of this Municipality
Residential building permits in the Florida Keys are regulated by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). The City of Key West was allotted 910 new residential building permits by the DEO, to be doled out evenly over the next ten years. In order to prioritize the allocation of these scarce residential permits with the City's sustainability goals, the Building Permit Allocation System (BPAS) was created.
Prerequisites for the competitive process include building 1.5’ above BFE, installation of a cistern, and obtaining basic green building certification. Additional voluntary options build points towards the application, with the highest scoring applications being granted permits on an annual ranking process.
Key West cares about its skyline and has enacted building height restrictions that can only be changed by referendum. Any mention of tinkering with this restriction immediately brews suspicion that developers are trying to create loopholes for huge condos.
Yet tinkering was necessary. The Biggert-Waters flood insurance hikes could only be solved by raising homes, but the 25-foot height limitation created a ceiling that essentially squished the options in the single-family district. To solve this, staff needed to create very specific language and do a lot of outreach to see that the ballot item passed.