Islamorada takes a look at code changes

It’s always busy in the Village of Islands and spring time can crank that up even more.

Ted Yates, Village Manager of Islamorada, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM to talk about what’s been going on in the village.

Code changes have been on the front burner recently, especially in relation to food trucks.

Yates explained, “We look to balance how we operate here and the existing code that we’re working with. Council’s got a special call meeting on April 11 that’s got basically 12 potential code changes in front of them that they have to take a look at.”

One of them involves mobile food vendors.

Yates said, “There is state statute that regulates mobile food vendors, but we do have the ability to try to regulate them to a point where they’re not just setting up in residential neighborhoods. This has nothing to do with parties and special events. We’re just looking at trying to help determine where food vendors can go from a mobile food truck standpoint. That’s something that I know is going to have a good bit of discussion.”

Another regulation the village will be looking at is where alcohol can be served.

Yates said, “In the past we have regulated an alcohol beverage permit, which is also done by the state. It’s really kind of redundant for us to go through the process of issuing an alcohol permit and then have the state go back and also do it again. We’re also going to regulate where alcohol can be served throughout the village so we can still hit all those standards that we want to hit where the businesses are going, but for us to actually issue an alcohol permit is going to get hopefully repealed by council. It’s going to be in front of them.”

Council will meet every three weeks and will be looking at splitting off a number of items into special call meetings.

Yates said, “They’d rather come two days in a row than spend until midnight on one night. I think for all of us it would be better in terms of just our capacity to sit through six, seven, eight hours of a meeting like that. It’s challenging.”

The canal 116 project in Plantation Key had a lot of discussion recently.

Yates said, “Canal 116 has been probably our most controversial type water quality project that we’ve done. You’ve got support on both sides. I think what a lot of people heard early was there’s several individuals that live on that street that have boats with deeper drafts and they wanted to make sure that we were going to try to accommodate them, which we did. We changed the scope of the project to accommodate some of the deeper draft boats. We also lately have received a bunch of letters from residents who are making sure we go forward with that project. They live on the canal and they’ve dealt with the poor water quality for years and they’re hoping that we follow through with it so that it will improve the water quality.”

Islamorada also saw some water main breaks recently and there will be a lengthy project to replace some of the infrastructure.

Yates said, “It’s a huge project. We’re expecting at least a couple years for them to be mobilized. It’ll be a through the night type situation, but as they replace pipes, you’re going to have to cut water off to put in new pipes and it’s going to continue to happen. Unfortunately with the age of the pipe that’s running through there now, whenever they do start working on it, sometimes you get air in there which is I think what happened with the breaks and it finds a way to go out in the weakest point.”

Island Fest is right around the corner – it’s this weekend.

Yates said, “It’s two days full of just fun activities for everyone. It’s my first one so I’m excited to attend it.”

The following weekend is the Easter Fest.

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