Islamorada is in the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern
The Florida Legislature designated the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern in 1974 due to the area’s environmental sensitivity and mounting development pressures. The designation allows the State of Florida to promote state and regional interests in the use and development of land with the intent to improve water quality, protect habitat and ensure safe evacuation of the population of the Florida Keys in the event of a disaster.

The legislative intent of the designation of the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern was to achieve the following:
  • Establish a land management system that:
Protects the natural environment.
Conserves and promotes the community character of the Florida Keys.
Promotes orderly and balanced growth. 
Promotes and supports a diverse and sound economic base.

  • Provide affordable housing in close proximity to places of employment.
  • Protect the rights of property owners.Promote coordination among governmental agencies that have permitting jurisdiction.
  • Protect and improve the nearshore water quality through federal, state and local funding of water quality improvement projects, including the construction and operation of wastewater management facilities. 
  • Promote public land acquisition.
  • Ensure that the population of the Florida Keys can be safely evacuated before a hurricane.

Building Permit Allocation System (BPAS)
Islamorada’s BPAS is the equivalent of Monroe County’s Rate of Growth Ordinance (ROGO). BPAS, which stands for Building Permit Allocation System, is a point based competitive system for issuing building permits in Islamorada. 

BPAS is divided into Market Rate Housing, Affordable Housing and Nonresidential.

Once an application is entered into the BPAS, it is scored by the Village based on points given for meeting certain criteria including energy conservation, infrastructure availability and habitat protection, and then ranked against all other applications entered into the System. The applications with the highest scores receive allocations the earliest. Once the Village Council approves an allocation award, the building permit can be issued.

Visit the Document Center of our website under the Building Permit Allocation System
Application Packages
tab for BPAS Applications.

Hurricane Evacuation & Maximum Buildout Capacity
Part of the legislative intent for the designation of the Florida Keys as an Area of Critical State Concern was to ensure that the population of the Florida Keys can be safely evacuated before a hurricane storm event. 

Based on the most recent hurricane evacuation models, it is projected that the evacuation clearance time and maximum buildout capacity will reach 24 hours in the year 2023. When the maximum building capacity is reached, no building permits will be issued for new construction. 

For more information, contact:
Jamie Terry
Senior Administrative Assistant
Planning & Development Services