Friday, April 27, 2007

Bahama Conch Community Land Trust

Who are we? What do we do? Where are we headed?

We'll attempt to answer these three questions, and any others that might arise, in posts to this blog.

For those unfamiliar with this new medium known as web logging -- or blogging, we can accept comments. Iniitally, those comments will be moderated, that is, reviewed before we'll allow them to appear. We'll try not to censor ideas, only offensive expression of those ideas and what has become known as comment spam.

The blog is a reflection of the philosophies and the beliefs of the board of BCCLT, nine residents of the community, many of them residents of the Bahama Village neighborhood which has been the primary focus of our efforts over the past ten years.

So, the short answers to the three questions are:

The BCCLT is the first land trust founded in the State of Florida. In 1996 a group of city residents recognized a community need and set out to fill it. It's been a rocky road at times, but there have been successes along the way. We hope to be able to highlight this story in coming posts.

What we do primarily is to create and maintain affordable housing, or as it is being called these days, workforce housing, for 42 families throughout Bahama Village. In addition, several families have purchased homes acquired by the Land Trust and restored them to habitable condition.

Where we are going involves the entire community of Key West. The no-cost conveyance of the Truman Waterfront to the City of Key West was based in large measure on the opporutnities and benefits that it would bestow on residents of the land that was taken from the City of Key West and of historic Bahama Village residents by the U.S. goverment for military purposes. The use of the land must must create economic opportunity for residents or the government can reclaim the land from the City.

There will be much to report on in the coming days as the Key West City Commission considersplans by BCCLT and other organizations for using the thirty-three acres. Those decisions will affect the City for decades to come and must be carried out carefully, thoughtfully, and with a delicate touch. Time is passing. The clock runs out in 2012.

Well begun is half-done.

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