The 16 residents at Bayshore Manor can stay in their retirement rooms at the Stock Island assisted-living facility.

Monroe County commissioners on Wednesday essentially deflated any notion of closing the retirement facility operated by the county, a proposal floated by Key West officials as a possible step in relocating Stock Island’s homeless shelter.

“I’m personally very happy,” said John Gish, 81, a Bayshore resident who spoke to commissioners at the Harvey Goverment Center meeting in Key West. “Pretty much every day I go outside and sit by the fence. I watch the butterflies and enjoy myself.”

“The Bayshore residents are all for staying here,” Gish said later. “There’s a sense of family. We’ve all gotten to know each other and the attendants on a very friendly basis.”

County commissioners last year voted to close the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office headquarters property by October.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay plans to use the KOTS site, a “temporary” shelter now in place for 13 years, to build workforce housing for law-enforcement staff pressured by high Florida Keys rents.

The agenda item on Wednesday’s County Commission meeting sought board opinions on “use of Bayshore Manor assisted-living facility as a development site for the [relocated] KOTS Program.”

Bayshore Manor residents and other “respite care” clients could be moved to the Key West Housing Authority’s new 108-unit Poinciana Gardens Senior Living complex, expected to open later this spring, advocates said.

“This is a much better facility, built with the intent of providing a much better quality of life,” Key West Mayor Craig Cates said. Bayshore Manor “has been wonderful but I think the time has come.”

Key West city officials are looking for new space on Stock Island to both relocate KOTS and to build about 40 affordable-housing units on nearby

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