Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Special meeting on senior housing plan

KEY LARGO -- Neighbors in the mile marker 105, bayside, community of Stillwright Point have prompted a county-organized special meeting regarding a senior housing project.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center. According to County Planner Joe Haberman, the meeting is purely informative and comes at the behest of people living near the proposed site.

Currently, the decision to approve the developer's request to build the 47-unit housing project lies with Monroe County Planning Director Townsley Schwab.

Expecting an appeal either way, Schwab has delayed making a ruling and is mulling whether to take the decision out of his hands.

"This is a bit of an unusual situation," Haberman said. "We're trying to find a way to send it up to the Planning Commission."

The proposed site has been before the Planning Commission but only for discussion purposes. Key Largo resident Ron Miller, who serves on the five-person board, is supportive of the project but hopes it is targeted to Key Largo residents.

However, the developer, Gorman Co., is pursuing an agreement to purchase the 2.6-acre property at 2 Blackwater Lane and intends to use Low Income Housing Tax Credit funding to complete the project. The use of such funding opens tenancy to anyone who qualifies under federal guidelines, including non-residents.

The units would be approximately 700 square feet and run about $850 per month. One of the units would house a property caretaker.

Emilie Stewart, who has opposed this project from the beginning, plans to attend the special meeting to hear what the developers have to say. Stewart's complaints are similar in nature to most in the neighborhood, ranging from sewer issues and traffic to illegal subleasing.

During the meeting, which is expected to last about 90 minutes, Gorman officials will present their project to the community and county staff will be on hand to answer questions.

At press time, a meeting agenda had not yet been written.


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