August 13, 2017

Issues surrounding three of Key West’s hottest topics will go before the City Commission on Tuesday, when the board will tackle resolutions addressing congestion, housing and the amphitheater at Truman Waterfront Park.

An amendment to the city’s sound ordinance will add the zoning district that houses Truman Waterfront Park to the guidelines of the commercial core districts. The amendment is needed because when the district (HRCC-4) was created in 1999, the sound control regulations weren’t updated, according to City Manager Jim Scholl.

The change is not designed to allow additional major events at the venue, which will still adhere to the rule that a location can only be granted six noise exemptions per year, Scholl said.

“Any time that any event may exceed (the sound limits), then a noise exemption will be required,” Scholl said.

The amendment also adds language to the ordinance specifying that noise readings will be taken “at a location that is closest to the complainant’s property line.”

The city should conduct a sound test to determine if large acts will violate the city’s noise ordinance, which would limit the number of large acts to six per year, the report states.

If sound measurements taken at the property line don’t exceed acceptable levels, the number of major shows will become a management decision.

The board will also vote on a special event permit to use the amphitheater for a costume ball on Feb. 3, organized by non-profit Krewe of Key West.

If approved, the event will be held 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with an expected crowd of 250 people, according to the application.

The board will also vote to reinstitute the Homebuyers Assistance Program, which will provide mortgage loans up to $20,000 for the purchase or construction of single family homes.

Established in 2008 and operated by the Housing Authority, the program provided 10 $20,000 home loans in 2009, but fell by the wayside due to a lack of funding since the initial loans.

If the program is reestablished, a $200,000 transfer from the Affordable Work Force Housing Trust Fund will provide the initial funding.

A proposed $6.7 million, 80-unit expansion project at Ocean Walk Apartments will also go before the board. The expansion, which has been in the works for several years, will add 24 affordable and 56 market rate units to the development at 3900 S. Roosevelt Blvd. which currently has 296 apartments. The new units will be a mix of one and three bedrooms, according to project documents.

The city’s effort to battle traffic and parking issues will continue with the creation of a seven-member temporary advisory board tasked to “accumulate information, review effective strategies in other communities, formulate suggestions and recommendations to alleviate congestion, encourage public transportation, reduce reliance on personal vehicle use and improve parking availability.”

Committee members will be selected by members of the city commission and the group will expire after 120 days and a presentation of findings to the commission.

The commission will convene at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

sunger@keysnews.com