When the Florida Environmental Land and Water Management Act was passed, one of the primary purposes of the building ban was to protect citizens in times of emergency. In order for all residents to safely evacuate the Florida Keys within 24 hours of an emergency, such as a major hurricane, the population must be capped. Experts estimate that this maximum population will be reached in 2023, hence the date for the end of building permits. Proponents of the building ban point to the overwhelming chances of the Florida Keys being impacted every season by a major hurricane to stress the importance of limiting population for public safety. History shows that the Florida Keys, sitting within the warm waters of the Florida Straits, is always at risk for tropical developments and if the population grows too high residents could be at risk of not being able to evacuate in time during hurricane season in the Keys.
Many simply look at the practicality of limiting development to slow population growth in the Florida Keys. The keys lifestyle is a laid back, relaxing way of living where others vacation. Its slow pace, natural beauty, and breezy way of life is what has drawn many to live here. Overdevelopment has led to increasing traffic, and more of a bustling environment than many residents are seeking to limit. Capping development and population will help to maintain the Florida Keys way of life that many are so keen to protect.
Whether you are in favor of enforcing the building ban or eliminating it, as of now it is set for 2023. Those on both sides of the argument have spent years and will continue to make their point of view known until the inevitable date is upon us. Its impact on the Florida Keys home and condo market will surely be felt in a multitude of ways both before and after it goes into effect.
To read about arguments in favor of the building ban as it relates to the environment click here.