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Islamorada Community alliance

Advocacy For Residents, Education and Preservation


Why a zoning moratorium is necessary

Planning and zoning laws in Islamorada largely have been effective since they were developed more than 20 years ago. But, with a looming moratorium on development in 2023, overdevelopment and increased intensity has overwhelmed the village’s efforts to maintain its community character and preserve its natural beauty.

Transitions from mom-and-pop businesses to corporate-owned resorts and services has changed the mantra of “You don’t have to stay here to play here” to instead having to check in or pass by a security guard for access and enjoyment.  

Worse, we have seen the enemy and sometimes it is us. Some residents who have lived and loved here – and some who even helped write our laws -- seek to monetize Islamorada for their personal gain. Some game the system, such as “earning” a permit in our Building Permit Allocation System despite their property being unsuitable for a building just so they can turn around and sell the permit they were granted for a $200,000 profit, when they never intended to build in the first place. When residents request a building and zoning moratorium, it is due to actions like this. We say enough is enough. We have to fix our clearly broken development system to ensure it works to preserve community character instead of diminishing it.

We are on the brink of overdevelopment because permits for new residential development may end in 2023 and sites which formerly held tiny mobile homes, trailers and cottages are set to be redeveloped in to mega-mansions and full-time vacation rentals. These new developments affect infrastructure in ways no one ever anticipated when the BPAS was established.

Zoning plays a part in the disastrous and long-lasting effects of redevelopment because re-zoning is merely a method used to increase density and/or create density that is harmful to our environment and quality of life. Too much of the wrong kind of redevelopment is not good for our economy in the long term.

What we believe:

Certain actions to build on or to re-zone lots are a threat to community character.

What we seek to pause during a moratorium:

  • ·         More traffic, more noise, more neighbor-to-neighbor conflicts caused by maximizing development with its increased density and intensity in neighborhoods. Buffers created by vacant lots are gone.
  • ·         Increased traffic on our roads due to increased density and intensities of use, especially on weekends. This diminishes quality of life as families refuse to get out on U.S. 1 to do simple errands or attend village events because travel time needing to be invested is deemed unequal to the benefit. We become “stuck” in our neighborhoods.
  • ·         Harm to our natural environment through the removal of native hammocks, trees and plants to make room for development diminishes healthy air quality and scenery.
  • ·         Increased intensity or use of wastewater and stormwater infrastructure necessitates expensive upgrades or repairs.
  • ·         Increased intensity or use of water access and marine resources means increased lines at public boat ramps as well as neighborhood ramps and docks, and overwhelms the natural protection and reproduction of marine species such as coral and fish. In turn, decreased water quality has resulted.
  • ·         Increased garbage and pollution. No matter the constant volunteer effort to clean-up our roadsides, paths and waterways, careless actions and mis-handling of plastics and garbage especially by day-trippers continue to harm our natural environment.
  • ·         Increased usage and mis-use of multi-use paths and road shoulders due to commercial uses, heavy vehicular demand or lack of public parking areas. These are accidents waiting to happen as recreational needs and uses compete with lawbreakers’ usurping the public space.

With a moratorium, there is time to make decisions based on our community’s long-term goals and Comprehensive Plan policies, and not circumvent our policies through decisions based on friendships, money and economic opportunity, and ignoring the problems. We ask you to help protect what makes Islamorada special and take the necessary steps to solve problems caused by misguided development.


    Our vision

    To enhance the community of Islamorada by preserving the quality of life of the residents as well as the beauty and vitality of the native ecosystems and to stop any further degradation of our community from over-development.

    Mission statement

    To provide the Islamorada residents with information about events occurring in our community that will impact our quality of life, preservation of our native ecosystems, land development, lawful and transparent governance.


    Your tax deductible donations allows the ICA to keep you informed about important events that will impact and help protect our quality of life, our neighborhoods, property values and native ecosystems. Your donations make this possible and are most appreciated.

    Contact Us

    Islamorada Community Alliance

    P.O. Box 1507

    Tavernier, FL  33070-1507

    ©  Islamorada Community Alliance 2021 - All Rights Reserved