About Florida Keys ROGO - Rate of Growth Ordinance

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Florida Keys ROGO - Rate of Growth Ordinance


Building Permits -- ROGO and The Tier System

Currently, the Florida Keys utilizes the ROGO Point System when awarding building permits. ROGO stands for Rate of Growth Ordinance. It was designed to slow growth in the Keys.

However, there is a new system being considered to replace the ROGO system. Both are described below.

ROGO –In order to obtain a building permit, you must be able to show the building department that you have accumulated 21 ‘points’that are submitted with your application. Points can be obtained in a number of ways.

Here are a few examples:

  • When you purchase a building lot, it usually is already credited with anywhere from 8 to 11 points.
  • Each year you hold the property before you build on it gains you points.
  • Adding environmentally sensitive products to your construction gains points.
    (ie: extra insulation, impact-resistant windows, ceiling fans, just to name a few).
  • You can purchase a vacant lot somewhere else and donate it to the County and you will gain points for that. ROGO lots currently sell for about $35,000.

Generally, it takes about 2 years from start to finish to obtain your permit. Additionally, some areas restrict how many permits may be issued each year.

THE TIER SYSTEM—The State Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has approved a new system to replace the current ROGO Point System when it expires. However, the County Commissioners have proposed an alternative to the approved plan that includes extensive revisions. It is uncertain at this time whether the new plan will be approved.

The Original Tier System divided all undeveloped property into one of three categories.

Tier I -- properties could not be built upon and were slated for purchase by the State or County. These are considered environmentally sensitive lands.

Tier II -- featured some areas that were buildable and some that were not, with county staff making the determination. County Commissioners and property owners are uncomfortable with this Tier. They feel the definition is arbitrary and are uncomfortable with County staff determining if a property could be developed or not.

Tier III -- is where building would be encouraged on scarified land.

The Proposed Tier System combines Tier II and Tier III into one group. Property that is wooded can be cleared up to 40% or 3000 sq ft, whichever is greater. Only 20% of Tier I properties can be cleared. There will still be limitations on how many permits are issued each year.

Further information on this topic can be obtained from the Monroe County website at:


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Lori Bender

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Charles Fischer
Housing Market Realty - Merritt Island, FL
Professional Real Estate Services


interesting concepts, I agree with controlled growth, but believe that the burden should not fall on private land owners.  If the commuity decides to put these sort of ordinances in place, then the financiel impact should be determined and private landowners should be compensated accordingly.  This is not unprecedented; it is my understanding some communities in Oregon have done this sort of thing.

Feb 11, 2009 11:14 AM #1
Janine Boulay-Seibert
Remax Town & Country - Andrews, NC
NC & GA Real Estate Broker

Wow, I just read this article. I am a NC Realtor and my husband and I are considering a property in the keys for about a year or so. I have come across a ROGO Exempt property and decided to look it up. Just didnt know.

Feb 02, 2015 11:16 AM #2
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