duck key

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys




























To: Alene Tyner, DKPOA Secretary

Cc: DKPOA e-mail list

Re: Expansion of Security District

From: Dick Adler

Date: May 31, 2003

I received your e-mail today on the majority vote of the Advisory Board on recommending expansion the Security District.

As Secretary of the Duck Key Security Advisory Board in attendance at the May 2003, I voted for expansion of the Security District to include Indies Island.

Some history and background is provided for the uninitiated.


1995 Memorandum of Understanding between DKPOA and Hawk's Cay

In 1995, Hawk's Cay agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with DKPOA as part of the resort's request to the County for an extension and modification of its '85 expansion plans.

Items negotiated in the Memorandum of Understanding attempted to address community safety and security concerns and impacts of resort expansion on the residential island. DKPOA and not the Duck Key Security District Advisory Board instituted negotiations leading to the Memorandum of Understanding.

This followed an earlier 1986-1988 stipulation entitled "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions" signified to by Hawk's Cay which dealt with possible impacts of resort expansion on the adjacent residential neighborhood.

Two stipulations from the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding which influenced the May, 2003 Security District Advisory Board meeting are reproduced below:

"1. Hawk's Cay will provide a long term lease (20 Years) renewable for another 20 years at a cost of $1 for 100' x 100' at the corner of Duck Key Drive and Greenbriar Rd. for the installation of a "welcome booth". HCR will permit hookup or sanitation and electricity at said installation of a welcome booth. Hawk's Cay will provide a road turn around as shown in exhibit 2.

"5. HCR will attempt to obtain approval to install and operate a welcome booth on Duck Key Drive at the main entrance to Sunset Island Villas for the purpose of providing:

a. bridge safety information for pedestrians and motorists

b. traffic information and guidance for visitors and guests to the resort and residences

c. security for Hawk's Cay Resort, Sunset Island Villas, and the Duck Key residences.

"A pass through lane for public access will be provided.

DKPOA will assist HCR in this effort if it is determined by DKPOA and the Duck Key Security District Advisory Board that this will significantly improve public safety and the security of the residential islands.

Any financial support from the residential islands for the operation of the welcome booth must be approved by the Duck Key Security Advisory Board under the guidelines established by Monroe County."


Motion to Expand Security District to include Indies Island

At the May, 2003 meeting of the Advisory Board of the Security District a motion was passed to recommend expansion of the Security District to include Indies Island. My vote in the affirmative was based on

1. a belief that security for island residences would be significantly enhanced with the establishment of a Duck Key Security Booth at an entry point on Duck Key Drive.

2. that the creation and location of this Security Booth fulfills a request stipulated to between the Property Owner's Association and resort in 1995

3. that the added hours of security service made affordable by Indies Island inclusion in the Security District would increase security of the residential islands

4. that these security improvements would help mitigate impacts of resort expansion on the residential island.

5. and that public safety and security would benefit from the additional Monroe County law enforcement and video surveillance concomitant with this expansion.

(See Voting below : Recommendation to Commissioners requires affirmative vote of property owners.)


Security Options

The community has pursued several directions over the years regarding security. During part of the 70s and all of the 1980s Duck Key Property Owners' Association membership paid for security patrols. Residents who were not members of DKPOA got a free ride when it came to security and cutting back the right of way. With the creation of the Duck Key Security District, expenses have been shared by ALL property owners through ad valorem taxes.

Some residents have expressed a desire that the residential islands become a private gated community in order to improve security, to ensure privacy, have better control and add prestige to the community. The community does not seem to have the financial wherewithal to maintain the bridges, roads, and infrastructure in order to pursue that route.

About five years ago, several residents with the support of DKPOA and the financial support of the community initiated steps to incorporate Duck Key as a city. Incorporation would have provided added security and direct community control. At that time, community leaders proposed that Indies Island be included in the formation of the Village of Duck Key. Community control was to be shared with Indies Island in exchange for the much needed added tax revenue Indies Island would provide. That incorporation effort was never completed.

It seemed to me that the current initiative of expanding the Security District to include Indies Island would provide Duck Key with substantial improvements in security without the financial burden associated with a private gated community. Expansion not only would provide the necessary revenue for Duck Key to have a gated community of sorts, but would maintain each property owners ad valorem tax costs by distributing the costs over a wider tax base. Control would be shared with Indies Island property owners in much the same way that incorporation would have done.



Quite possibly expansion of the Security District will require a vote by affected registered voters, but that County lawyers will have to decide.

ADDITION : Original 1992 Security District Ordinance requires a vote.

The Ordinance text reads, "The Advisory Board shall recommend, with the approval of a majority of a quorum of property owners, whether in person, by proxy, or by absentee ballot, and the Board of County Commissioners may approve, the actions of the Duck Key Security District. ")

The Duck Key Security District got its start more than ten years ago with a vote of registered Duck Key voters. The Advisory Board can only recommend that action be taken by County Commissioners.

While non-registered residents have no voting rights within Monroe County they can still influence Advisory Board members and County Commissioners in other ways.

Last year, I extended my 8 year tenure on the Security Board for an additional year to allow for a period of transition. I tendered my resignation at the close of the May 2003 meeting. I no longer have a vote on the Advisory Board. (CORRECTION : Security District Ordinance requires Board member to remain on Board until a replacement is appointed)


Interestingly, there is another issue which impacts some County and Duck Key property owners greatly and which residents will have no opportunity to vote on. Resolution No. P26-03 - which will institute a building moratorium on Center Island and elsewhere in Keys for lands designated Tier I and Tier II is due to come before the County Commission in June of 2003.
Should it pass a twenty-four month moratorium on building on Center Island will be imposed and impact several hundred property owners.



cc: Duck Key Security District Advisory Board



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