Help us preserve Islamorada
Seat #2: Mark Gregg
Data shown below was obtained through public records and public statements
The following statements are responses submitted in writing by the Councilmen prior to the 11/4/2020 election
"The Council should be very aggressive in creating new affordable housing opportunities from both existing development and new development. Any new construction or redevelopment that increases businesses impacts (i.e. more residents, employees, customers, traffic, etc.) should be required to actually build new affordable units, and not pay a fee into a fund. Maybe a moratorium on all non affordable development until affordable units catch up with demand would cause developers and market forces to focus on creating more units. Passing an ordinance that allows accessory dwelling units would be the easiest, fastest, most economical and beneficial solution without any environmental impacts. A moratorium on permitting any new vacation rentals until their number equals the number of affordable units would help correct the current imbalance (225 VR’s vs 139 aff. housing) as would an increase in the minimum appraised value threshold for licensing vacation rental renewals. Hiring a specialized planner to apply for and win government grants to subsidize the cost of land or construction of multifamily affordable is working in other Florida cities and would work for Islamorada too. Overall, I’m in favor of requiring affordable housing that is proportionate to all tourist housing, commercial intensity, and residential density, all of which depend upon our workforce to function. This would require data and analysis from a study and plenty of public input. Not easy or fun, but necessary."
"We should ask the TDC to reduce advertising to a mass market and target only discrete groups that provide less impacts and greater economic benefits. The 3 segments of the Old Highway on PK, Windley, and UM should be designated for local traffic only to prevent traffic delays and hazards caused by pass through drivers who use the Old Highway as a short cut around slower traffic on US 1. Close the Fills, and restrict parks and boat ramps to use by local residents only during holidays and periods of heavy use as was done this summer before July 4th until after Labor day."
"Create a Quality of Life Advisory Committee to advise the Council on a wide variety of issues that impact our daily lives."
"Create a canal maintenance service funded by a special taxing district for canal front property owners to correct water depths by adding fill or removing sediment, and then install aeration equipment. Stop stormwater runoff from Village owned public roads and especially at the Fills. This may require grant money. Plant and maintain a mangrove fringe along degraded sections of the Fills."
"Establish a no motor zone in all sensitive areas from the shoreline to 1200’. Fight to eliminate mini season. Prohibit ALL land clearing on any property designated as High Quality Hammock. This may require the purchase of some properties by the State of Florida and/or the Village. Ask the DEP to designate the entire Lignum Vitae State Aquatic Preserve as a no motor zone except deepwater channels. Annex or acquire jurisdiction and control of nearby shallow areas and mangrove islands outside our 1200’ limit to be included in the no motor zone. Also see item 8 below."
"Raise assessed value thresholds for Vacation Rentals to create more affordable housing and to encourage tourism in low density/high value areas. Encourage low impact high value tourism such as ecotourists, and discourage daytrip tourism."
"See comments in items 1. and 6. above."
Costs of Local Government.
"Conduct a comprehensive review of all staff positions for opportunities to eliminate unnecessary positions and consolidate overlapping positions. Replace all Village owned vehicles and equipment powered by fossil fuels with electric powered substitutes which operate on electricity produced by solar electric generation facilities owned and operated by the Village. Install solar generation equipment on all Village owned buildings and in some parking areas with a goal of net zero cost of electricity. Costs of solar facilities to be funded by grants and low interest solar loans. This will begin our transition away from inefficient and environmentally harmful fossil fuels consistent with modern market trends and will enhance our image as a “green” city, while reducing our dependence on sources of energy transported from the mainland. The cost of operating most vehicles will be reduced by more than 70%, and more as technology improves."
End of BPAS.
"Ask the legislature to allocate our fair share of Stewardship Act funds to buy land and pay takings claims. Initiate negotiations, and litigation if necessary, with Monroe County and the State of Florida to establish the Village’s limited responsibility for liability for takings claims arising out of regulations passed prior to the incorporation of the Village in 1997. Pass new land use regulations that allow limited use of vacant land outside of environmentally sensitive areas, such as storage, small scale commercial agriculture, and recreational uses in order to avoid liability for takings. We should immediately begin to identify and prioritize those parcels which pose the greatest risk of liability so that we can calculate our exposure and plan to mitigate damages. In short, we need to plan for a possible catastrophic financial problem NOW!"
Revisiting prior issues.
"I would happily support an effort to terminate the construction of the pedestrian bridge provided that the Village is able to afford to pay any damages caused by our decision and that we are released from liability. If we are going to build some facility to cross the highway, I would like to explore an underground crossing similar to the Key deer crossing under US 1 on Big Pine Key. Any kind of overpass would be unacceptable. I believe that the Freebie shuttle is an unnecessary expense and should be revisited. I would like to reconsider a project to repair and rebuild the jetty at Founder’s Park in order to create a safe and convenient land based fishing venue for wheelchair bound fishermen and fisherwomen, and for those who cannot afford a boat. It could be funded in large part by TDC grant funds and other non Village sources."
300’ Swim Zone.
"The new ordinance is a good first start and should help reduce conflicts. I’ll rely on reports from the affected residents on both sides of the issue to determine if further restrictions or adjustments are necessary."
"It’s much improved but more could be done. My preference would be to limit use to locals with a paid for parking pass, mainly local guides who launch boats for charter. I would like to see uses limited to resting, and walking, without food preparation, swimming ,fishing, or other uses that generate trash. It should be relandscaped with native vegetation, and all erosion damage should be repaired by FDOT to prevent runoff. That would be a good start."
Fills on Memorial Day 2021.
"I would hope that the erosion problem will be fixed to stop the runoff. I would like to see landscaping in place. I would like the Fills to be closed for the holiday and all holidays and high demand periods."
Toll on US 1.
"I believe a toll would provide badly needed funds to help offset the costs and harm caused by excessive tourism. This could include affordable housing, environmental damage, and the high cost of living. I fully support a toll."
Do you think we should assure allocations from mobile home parks are transferred as affordable even if it requires a change in our LDRs?
"Yes, but I don’t believe that a new LDR is necessary for approved mobile home parks (we only have 3 left) because they are already protected by the LDR’s. Mobile homes are an unsafe type of housing in the Keys and should be replaced with traditional safer buildings when destroyed or at the end of their useful life. A market rate TDR transferred from any mobile home sender site occupied or used as affordable/workforce housing should require replacement with an affordable/workforce dwelling at the expense of both the sender and receiver site owners, even if the mobile home is not located in an approved mobile home park. There would be no net loss of affordable units and the mobile home would be replaced by a modern safe structure. This would impact the value of the TDR reducing demand and avoid a claim for a taking."
How to make government more transparent.
"Existing transparency is reasonable, but could be improved. I believe that more detail should be required on conflict of interest disclosures so that the public clearly sees all who are involved, the subject matter of the conflict, and how the person claiming the conflict might be financially impacted by the matter voted upon. A mere disclosure of the existence of a conflict and then abstention from voting is inadequate."