Islamorada Planning Agency Debates Zoning Changes Amid Public Concern

The Islamorada Local Planning Agency recently convened to discuss several contentious zoning and land use matters, stirring public concern and debate. Central to the meeting was the discussion over the potential rezoning of conservation areas to commercial fishing designations, a topic that drew attention from community members and environmental advocates. Amid these deliberations, there were also discussions about historical zoning issues, the use of properties as vacation rentals, and the implications of zoning changes for the local community.

During the meeting, the proposal to change a property’s zoning from conservation to commercial fishing became a focal point of contention. Community members voiced strong opposition to the change, citing environmental concerns, such as the decline in marine life, water quality, and the preservation of the area’s natural habitat. They argued that the current non-conforming and illegal practices, like debris piles and questionable living facilities on the land, were already problematic and that a zoning change could exacerbate these issues. Speakers underscored the importance of considering the long-term consequences of such a decision and the need to defend the village against overdevelopment. The potential adverse effects of this rezoning on wildlife and property values were also highlighted.

In addition to the environmental concerns, the meeting touched on the broader implications of zoning and land use changes. There was a warning against allowing the council to take over as the Local Planning Agency, with speakers urging the board to maintain its advisory role and give due consideration to public comments and the unique nature of properties in the Keys. The need for a comprehensive strategic growth plan was discussed, emphasizing the challenges faced by the narrow island and the importance of avoiding short-term fixes in favor of a holistic approach to development.

The board also addressed a request from a property owner to rezone her land to allow for commercial use, specifically for a greenhouse. The discussion brought forth differing opinions, with some individuals supporting the request, mentioning the need for corrective zoning due to historical issues that had devalued properties. Others expressed concerns about the potential domino effect on neighboring properties and the environmental impact.

Further, the meeting delved into the issue of vacation rentals and their impact on the local community. Concerns were raised about the increase in density and intensity these rentals might bring when compared to single-family residences. The board contemplated future land use map changes and zoning map changes, especially for Windley Cove and Isles A. Moreover, the placement of property notices became a point of discussion, with suggestions for secondary signs at major entry points to the community to ensure adequate public notification.

One specific case involved the Island Community Church Inc, which had submitted requests for amendments to the future land use map and zoning map. Public comments included concerns about historical use of the property and whether proper notification had been given. Ultimately, the church’s request to revert a property back to highway commercial zoning was approved, with a nod to its historical significance as a former movie theater.

The meeting also saw the approval of amendments to the future land use and official zoning maps for Windley Cove LLC’s properties. This was after a debate that encompassed the addresses of the properties, their historical changes, and the potential implications of their use as vacation rentals.

Finally, procedural matters were addressed, such as the tabling of certain items due to earlier posting requirements not being met. The importance of public comment and proper notification was reiterated. The issue of scheduling future meetings was raised to avoid conflicts with Council meetings, and a motion to adjourn concluded the session.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Joseph “Buddy” Pinder III
Planning Board Officials:
Cheryl Culberson, Patrick Foley, Deb Gillis, Tony Hammon, Lorie LaLonde, Susan Raffanello, James Rhyne, Jennifer DeBoisbriand (Planning Director)

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes