Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Message from Bob Kelly

Bob Kelly, through his web site The Real Key West (http://therealkeywest.blogspot.com/ ),
provides a real public service in keeping Key Westers informed on important issues. He is correct in that a Land Development Regulation cannot be changed by a "resolution" of the City Commission. Any changes must first be vetted by the Planning Board to be sure that they are "consistent with the Principles for Guiding Development for the City of Key West," and then must be reviewed by the state Department of Community Affairs.

I was a Planning Board member when the "transfer ordinance" came up for consideration, and I recall that we reworked it considerably.

The proposed transfer of transient licenses from Pritam Singh's Parrot Bay Resort and Condominiums on North Roosevelt Boulevard (the former Hampton Inn) to fourteen properties in Old Town, nine of them owned by one of Ed Swift's companies on Simonton and Dey Streets, is once again on the Planning Board's agenda on March 20th.

Singh and Swift have been trying to pull off this switch since last Fall but haven't been able to get an up or down vote from the PB. They pulled the application from the agenda at the last minute in the last two Planning Board meetings, apparently recognizing that they don'thave the votes for approval. Last Stand has now filed a suit against the transfers, seeking to have the transfers declared illegal, since the Code of Ordinances and Land Development Regulations don't permit transfers out of zoning districts where transient licenses are already permitted. The developers are relying on an approval of these transfers in the development agreement for Parrot Bay, granted in 2006 under a previous City Commission. However, the development agreement was approved in a resolution, and amendment of LDR's via resolution is not legal.

Many of the subscribers to this list have been out front on the issue of transient licenses for as long as I can remember. The Planning Board meeting on the 20th is another opportunity to tell the board that we don't want transient licenses to be used to extinguish rental housing and especially in Old Town. I hope that many of you will come.

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