2023 - THE STATISTICS
The End of ROGO/BPAS Allocations: The Statistics
Islamorada has approximately 656 vacant residential lots and 242 vacant lots considered conservation properties with no building rights. We have been warned of the dire consequences of running out of residential dwelling allocations in 2023.
How worried should we be?
Not all vacant lots are likely to result in a takings claim.
Based on the explanation provided by Land Use Attorney, Richard Grosso, there are numerous reasons why not all property owners will be entitled to a takings claim.
There have been well publicized warnings for years that there will not be enough building permits to accommodate all the vacant lot owners, yet so many buyers continued to purchase land knowing the risk. Those property owners who bought after the County, and then the Village, enacted ROGO/BPAS, may have a greatly diminished claim.
Only 41 vacant residential lots in Islamorada were purchased prior to ROGO when the permit limits were established. Those may be the property owners with the strongest takings claim. But how strong is the takings argument if the land was held for nearly 30 years without an effort to build or sell?
A significant portion of the 242 coded 9900 are wetlands, zoned conservation and do not have build rights now. A majority of those are assessed so low, they have never had to pay real estate taxes. The total assessed value ... $363,212 for all 242.
Based on Islamorada data provided by the Monroe County Property Appraiser in January 2021:
If the Village had to pay the value according to tax appraiser for all residential vacant lots, the cost would be over $200 million. And that seems to be the dire consequences of 2023 that some would like us to believe. But of the 41 that were purchased prior to ROGO when permit limitations were enacted, the total assessed value is just over $12 million - slightly more than what we paid for Founders Park our first year of incorporation.
Of the 656 vacant residential lots in the Village, there are 197 that are taxed for miscellaneous improvements on the lot. A majority of those vacant lots with improvements adjoin a home owned by the same property owner. The miscellaneous improvements are often accessory uses that would make a takings claim remote.
As of January 2021, the following allocations are available before the Village runs out of allocations in 2023:
With 125 allocations left, and TDR opportunities, if used wisely, the impact of “takings” is not such a disaster after all. It just takes a good attorney.