2 KEY WEST HOT SPOTS ARE IN LINE FOR MAKEOVERS

Key West’s most iconic thoroughfare, Duval Street, is slated for a major overhaul in the coming years. LARRY BLACKBURN/Keys Weekly

The renovation of Key West’s iconic Duval Street has stopped and started a few times in recent years, but City Manager Patti McLauchlin will update city commissioners about the project when they meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

McLauchlin also will provide an update on the planned renovations at Mallory Square, which has long been the site of Key West’s nightly Sunset Celebration.

Community surveys have been circulated and completed, asking residents how they envision the island’s most famous street and the waterfront square at its north end.

City officials also are expected to approve a new map outlining the boundaries for city commission districts. The adjustments are required after each census in an attempt to balance populations in each voting district.

No major changes have been made to any district, and Commissioner Clayton Lopez has emphasized that the new housing being planned for Truman Waterfront will be part of District 6, which Lopez has represented for more than a decade.

Also on Dec. 7, the commissioners will consider a proposal to give a piece of land that sits next to the Marriott Beachside Hotel to the hotel’s owners. The parcel has been known as Dinghy Beach due to its use by liveaboard boaters, who use the area to access North Roosevelt Boulevard. In the past year, the hotel owner Robert Spottswood installed a fence around the area that prohibits its use by dinghies. 

Some boaters have claimed the fence is illegal and the area should be considered a public beach. But in a three-page letter to the city commission, Spottswood outlines the ownership history of the parcel and asks the city to stop allowing the false allegations that he has stolen the parcel.

“The area in question is not and never has been a public beach,” Spottswood writes. “The city, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Transportation have all denied ownership or jurisdiction … and there exists a settlement agreement that supports the maintenance of the fence.”

Finally, the city officials will hear a presentation by local business owner Paul Menta about plans for the celebration of Key West’s 200th year in March 2022.The full agenda is available at cityofkeywest-fl.gov.

If you would like to have the Weekly delivered to your mailbox or inbox along with our daily news blast, please subscribe here.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.