When it comes to solving the shortage of workforce housing in Key West, city Planner Thaddeus Cohen says it’s time to look up.
The allowable height for buildings, which in Key West is limited to 40 feet for certain homes in the flood plain and lower in other neighborhoods, may need to rise to 60 feet for affordable apartments, according to city planners and hired consultants.
“We believe you’re going to have to increase the height. We believe you’re going to have to increase the density,” Cohen said. “How high will we be prepared to go for affordable housing?”
Monroe County and the Keys’ other municipalites have building-height restrictions similar to Key West’s.
Cohen calls the 60-foot suggestion for Key West merely a conversation starter because any change to the building-height law would require voters’ approval. But on an island where land is dear, building higher makes sense when it comes to creating affordable housing, Cohen said.