Taking the plunge: Addressing climate change adaptation in Key West ordinances and hazard mitigation

End Date: 09/30/16


  1. To adopt Adaptation amendments throughout the City’s Land Development Regulations and other ordinances.
  2. To develop an outline for an FY15 Post Disaster Recovery Plan.
  3. To develop a list of proposed amendments to the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
  4. To actively vet of all of the above via the Keyswide Planners Forum consisting of the other local governments within Monroe County, with probable inclusion of our plan language into their plans.
  5. To actively vet of all of the above via the Monroe County Climate Change Advisory Committee.
  6. To share of our products and process at the 2014 Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact Summit.


  • Land Development Regulations: Hire LDR consultant team with Adaptation specialist to assist with overhaul of City LDRs.  Pass completed LDR’s through Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, then have approved by City Commission.
  • Keyswide Planners Forum: Convene bi-monthly meetings of local government and associated agency planners to research and find consensus on shared direction and language for mitigation and adaptation strategies.  Subjects to be covered include: stormwater and water quality implications, storm surge, increased precipitation and sea level rise scenarios, green infrastructure, hazard mitigation, floodplain management, FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS), Adaptation Action Areas, PACE and other creative financing, and Post Disaster Recovery Plans.  Decisions reached will be shared with the LDR consultants for their inclusion, discussed with the Monroe County Climate Change Advisory Committee and in summary, at the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact Summit.


The City of Key West sits an average of 4.7” above sea level.  Approximately 80% of the City is a Special Flood Hazard Area and already has 11 intersections that inundate monthly during full moon high tides.  Stormwater further compounds the problems because the island of Key West is surrounded by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and derive much of its’ tourism income from the health of our marine waters.

Having recently updated its’ Comprehensive Plan (May 2013) to include 56 items of climate change mitigation and adaptation, the City of Key West is ready to translate those goals and objectives into actual on-the-ground policy via a super-overhaul of its ordinances.  In order to gain more input and share best management practices, Key West is convening a Keyswide Planners Forum consisting of all six local governments and major utilities and agencies.  The ultimate goal is to come to a consensus on language that can be shared across jurisdictions.