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Racist Restriction Remains In Key West Property Books

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The legal document that lays out the Lime Grove subdivision in Key West says that only those of the "Caucasian race" can live or use buildings there. It makes an exception for domestic servants.

When the Lime Grove subdivision in Key West was created in 1941, the legal document laying out the lots included some restrictions.

One of them says this: "No race or nationality, other than those of the Caucasian race, shall use or occupy any building or any lot." The restriction makes an exception for domestic servants.

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Credit The Blue Paper
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The restriction remains in one of the legal documents for the Lime Grove subdivision: "No race or nationality, other than those of the Caucasian race, shall use or occupy any building or any lot."

The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed such discriminatory rules in 1948 and it has not been enforced. But it's still on the books.

Planning consultant Owen Trepanier this week wrote to the county's planning director, asking that the county correct "this historic wrong." The Monroe County Commission originally approved the map in 1941.

Trepanier said the planning director can change the document. A call to Senior Planner Mayte Santamaria was not returned Wednesday afternoon.

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.