The highways are a little empty and schools are closed, but construction projects in the Middle Keys are in full swing and going up fast. The Marathon branch of the Monroe County Library continues to climb toward the sky and a new hangar and airport lounge are going up fast. The projects known as Seaward (affordable housing), Crystal Cove (RV resort) and Coconut Cay (affordable housing) are nearing completion, too.

Peter Rosasco of the Seaward project said it’s “coming along.” The 45 workforce units should be ready for occupancy by the beginning of July.

“We’ve kept up the construction pace because we’ve been able to get our workers and deliveries in through the checkpoint. Our small supply chain problems are further on up the road,” he said. “Still, I expect COVID-19 has only put us back 30 to 45 days.”

Marathon Growth Management Director Doug Lewis said standard permits are going out apace.

“We’ve handed out permits for remodels, our last round of new building construction BPAS permits, re-roofing permits and parking lot repaving,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of businesses taking advantage of the closure to repave parking lots while parking is not an issue.”

In the Upper Keys, construction continues on the Plantation Key Courthouse and Detention Center, which will consolidate the judicial and penal functions of the site into a new, state-of-the-art, 48,240-square-foot facility. Also continuing is Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys’ 16 residential housing units on Windley Key.


Permitting services have been modified as those submitting applications must mail or drop them off. Nonetheless, the county is conducting all permitting, albeit slowly.


The county is now accepting new permit applications via drop-off at Key Largo, Marathon and Ocean Reef offices. The county isn’t accepting drop-offs in Stock Island at this time. The applications, plans and check must be in a sealed box and dropped off Monday through Friday, from 2 to 4 p.m. Processing will take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. Permit issuance will continue to be done by mail.

Permit corrections and revisions to “in-house” applications will be accepted and can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. They can also be mailed to the office where the permit is being reviewed: Key Largo: 102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL, 33037; Marathon: 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL  33050; Stock Island: 5503 College Road, Suite 203, Key West, FL, 33040; and Ocean Reef: 11601 CR 905, Key Largo, FL, 33037. From drop-off, applications will be processed after a 24- to 48-hour waiting period.

The foundation is in place and the walls are going up at the site of the new Plantation Key Courthouse and Detention Center in Islamorada. CONTRIBUTED


Effective April 20, the building department will conduct the following activities as it relates to permits:

New submittals of projects will be accepted either electronically or in the drop box in front of the administrative building at 86800 Overseas Hwy. Required deposit must be included with new submittals.

Plans that have been approved and paid for but not issued can be issued by mail, pickup at the tent in front of the building or electronically.

Resubmittals for permits can be submitted via drop-off at the tent in front of the building or mailed to the building department at 86800 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada, FL 33036. Any documents dropped off will be quarantined 24 hours prior to processing. Additional five days will be required by each department to complete review and issue a permit.

Lane closures on Cow Key Bridge between Key West and Stock Island continues as scheduled. LARRY BLACKBURN/Keys Weekly


Key West is requesting that any business with the city be conducted remotely.

For building permits:

• Contact [email protected]

• Find the eTrakit instructions on the city’s website under the building department

• Submit electronically at:

• Walk through Wednesdays have been temporarily suspended.

The Seward project in Marathon is nearing completion. When it opens in mid-summer it will have 45 workforce units for rent. SARA MATTHIS/Keys Weekly


Every City of Marathon employee is still at work — either from home or in city hall. Residents may only access the outer lobby, where there is a stack of paper applications for a variety of projects, to drop off or retrieve paperwork. All building and permitting departments are fully functional:

Permit applications and plans may be dropped off every weekday until 1 p.m. Pick-up times are from 2 to 4 p.m. The city is only accepting checks, which must be placed in the envelope with the project number written on the outside.

There is another drop-off box for miscellaneous items such as public record requests, job applications, etc.

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