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APRIL 9, 2002
Substitute Page


Substitute Item 1 Northwest Florida Water Management District Conveyance


REQUEST: Consideration of a request to convey a 132-acre parcel of state-owned land in Walton County to the Northwest Florida Water Management District.

COUNTY: Walton
Deed Number 30874

APPLICANT: Northwest Florida Water Management District (District)

LOCATION: Section 09, Township 02 South, Range 20 West

STAFF REMARKS: The District has requested title to 132 acres, more or less, in Walton County acquired by the Board of Trustees from the federal government under Gainesville Patent No. 160. The District wants to use the land for long-term ecological management and for water resources and wetlands restoration activities including removing spoil piles along ditches, infilling of ditches, re-vegetation, and implementation of a fire regime, where appropriate. The land is currently unmanaged, and much of the land surrounding the 132-acre parcel has been acquired by the District for wetland preservation, enhancement and restoration activities required as mitigation for wetland impacts incurred by the Department of Transportation (DOT) U.S. 98 road-widening project. Having title to the state lands would enable the District to cost-effectively expand long-term management and restoration already planned for this area through the use of existing mitigation funds. Without ownership, the District would direct the management funds to other lands (including existing District properties) in order to provide a similar amount of mitigation value. The District has already acquired substantial acreage for the U.S. 98 project and this specific transfer would not affect or supplant any acquisition funds needed for DOT mitigation. Mitigation value will be achieved through management, enhancement and restoration, not ownership of the land. The implementation of such activities by the District utilizing mitigation funds requires control of the property in order to assure management for preservation and restoration in perpetuity as required by state and federal regulatory agencies. For this reason, the District is requesting title to the land. Unity of title will also eliminate the need to delineate between District-owned and Board of Trustees-owned land during restoration work and future management activities, especially the application of fire ecology.

It has been the practice of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to allow the use of Board of Trustees-owned land for mitigation of development impacts where it was environmentally appropriate. In 1997, the Board of Trustees issued a moratorium on mitigation banks on Board of Trustees-owned land. The Board of Trustees at that time recognized the difference between using Board of Trustees-owned land for restoration activities versus using the land as a mitigation bank. These lands would not serve as any type of mitigation bank and would not provide any incoming revenue that would benefit either the District or DOT. As in previous instances on Board of Trustees-owned land, they provide a site for restoration activities required for mitigation for a project, in this case DOT's road project. DOT is required to pay the full cost per acre for mitigation for impacts associated with its road projects.

Pursuant to section 373.4137, F.S., the District is responsible for ensuring that DOT's mitigation requirements are met for road projects. Requirements for DOT to submit an annual work program and inventory of impacted habitats and transfer funds to pay for mitigation are outlined in this section. The lands proposed for transfer to the District will provide just one of the sites on which restoration activities required for DOT mitigation may occur.

DEP will also benefit from any cost reductions accomplished by the District for DOT projects. Any savings goes toward offsetting a $12 million advance from DOT to DEP that occurred when DEP did not receive funding for surface water improvement and management (SWIM)
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Agenda - April 9, 2002
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Substitute Item 1, cont.

projects during the 1996/97 fiscal year. DOT provided the funding and provisions for repayment are outlined in section 373.4137(4)(c), F.S.

Pursuant to section 373.056(1)(a), F.S., when it is found to be in the public interest and for the public convenience and welfare, and necessary for carrying out the works or improvement of any water management district for the protection of property and the inhabitants in the district against the effects of water, either from its surplus or deficiency, and for assisting the district in acquiring land for the purposes of the district at least public expense, any state agency holding title to land is hereby authorized, in the discretion of the proper officer(s), to convey the title to or to dedicate land, title to which is in such agency, to any water management district. Land granted or conveyed to the district shall be for the public purposes of the district and may be made subject to the condition that in the event such land is not so used for such purpose it shall automatically revert to the granting agency. The District's mitigation lands are required to be maintained in perpetuity in their natural state, or if enhanced or restored, must be maintained in their improved condition. Because the Board of Trustees-owned parcel is adjacent and functionally connected to the mitigation land, its protection and appropriate management is an integral component of the District's land restoration and preservation efforts.

On February 7, 2002, the Acquisition and Restoration Council recommended approval of the conveyance to the District with a deed restriction and reverter limiting use of the land to water resources and wetlands preservation and restoration, and compatible resource-based recreation.
The deed to the District contains the requested language.

A consideration of the status of the local government comprehensive plan was not made for this item. The Department of Environmental Protection has determined that the transfer of real property is not subject to the local government planning process.

(See Attachment 1, Pages 1-10)



Substitute Item 2 Florida Gas Transmission Company Utility Easements

REQUEST: Consideration of a request for a (1) 50-year non-exclusive utility easement; and (2) 3-year non-exclusive temporary utility easement to Florida Gas Transmission Company for a natural gas transmission pipeline.

COUNTY: Brevard
Easement Numbers 30878 and 30879

APPLICANT: Florida Gas Transmission Company (FGT)

LOCATION: Sections 25 and 34, Township 23 South, Range 35 East

CONSIDERATION: Easement fees to be determined by appraisal and deposited in the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, and compensation/mitigation to be determined by the affected agency.

STAFF REMARKS: On June 12, 2001, the Board of Trustees approved multiple easements to FGT for expansion of FGT's existing underground natural gas pipeline system. FGT has now determined that it will be crossing six lots recently acquired in October 2000 by the Board of Trustees within the Brevard Coastal Scrub Florida Forever project. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) is designated to manage this portion of the

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Agenda - April 9, 2002
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Substitute Item 2, cont.

project. FGT has submitted an application for the crossing and is coordinating with the Commission as to what it will need to offset any impacts from the pipeline. FGT is requesting a 3-year easement for 1.05 acres of temporary workspace, and a 50-year easement for 1.06 acres of permanent right-of-way.

If approved, the pipeline expansion project will accomplish the following:

· Meet increased demand for natural gas, largely for electric power generation.

· Produce environmental benefits of cleaner air for burning natural gas instead of coal or oil.

· Reduce risk of oil spills through surface transportation and handling of refined oil.

Authorization to grant easements across Board of Trustees-owned uplands requires meeting the directives outlined as follows:

· Pursuant to section 18-2.018(1)(a), F.A.C., the decision to authorize the use of Board of Trustees-owned uplands requires a determination that such use is not contrary to the public interest.

· Pursuant to section 18-2.020(4)(a), F.A.C., a one-time fee for private easements of greater than one-quarter acre in size shall be assessed and based upon an appraisal.

The above requirements have been met as indicated below:

· The easement meets the requirements of section 18-2.018(1)(a), F.A.C., because expansion of the pipeline will meet increased demand for natural gas, largely for electrical power generation. The project will produce environmental benefits of cleaner air from burning natural gas instead of coal or oil, and the reduced risk of oil spills through surface transportation and handling of refined oil. Furthermore, the proposed pipeline route was selected specifically because it parallels an existing pipeline, eliminating the need to clear a new utility corridor. Because a pipeline already exists, co-location is preferable from an economic and resource protection standpoint because existing right-of-way can be used during construction, reducing the amount of new right-of-way needed. Co-location will reduce further habitat fragmentation and difficulties in implementing resource management activities such as habitat restoration and prescribed burning.
· The easement meets the requirements of section 18-2.020(4), F.A.C., because an appraisal of the temporary and permanent easement fees is being prepared. However, FGT is under pressure to begin construction as soon as possible and has requested that the Board of Trustees approve the easements subject to approval of the appraisal by the Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP) Bureau of Appraisal.

The Commission has no objection to the pipeline easements. The Commission is negotiating with FGT to determine what services FGT can provide to offset the impacts of the pipeline. Compensation may include, but is not limited to, acquisition of replacement land, construction of public facilities, habitat restoration, etc. Authorization to access the property to begin construction will not occur until negotiations have been completed to the satisfaction of the Commission and DEP.

In summary, the requested easements: (1) are in compliance with the requirements of sections 18-2.018(1)(a) and 18-2.020(4), F.A.C.; (2) will reduce impacts to the Brevard Coastal Scrub Florida Forever project through co-location with an existing pipeline; (3) will result in the Commission receiving compensation to offset impacts caused by the construction, operation

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Agenda - April 9, 2002
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Substitute Item 2, cont.

and maintenance of the pipeline; and (4) will benefit the public from the use of natural gas versus coal or oil, and reduced possibility of oil spills from surface transportation of refined oil.

A consideration of the status of the local government comprehensive plan was not made for this item. DEP has accepted the applicant's claim of preemption by regulation under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process.

(See Attachment 2, Pages 1-27)



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Agenda - April 9, 2002
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Substitute Item 3 BOT/Martin County/Determination/Exchange/Easement

REQUEST: Consideration of (1) a determination that a 3.46-acre, more or less, parcel of Board of Trustees' land is no longer needed for conservation purposes; (2) a land exchange under which the Board of Trustees would convey the 3.46-acre parcel of land to Martin County in exchange for 7.27 acres of land owned by Martin County; and (3) a request for a 12.56-acre, more or less, non-exclusive easement to Martin County for storm water and water quality treatment.

COUNTY: Martin

APPLICANT: Martin County (County)

LOCATION: Section 24, Township 40 South, Range 42 East

CONSIDERATION: Value-for-Value for the exchange and an easement value of $450,000

STAFF REMARKS: The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) received a request from the County, with the endorsement of DEP's Division of Recreation and Parks, for an easement across part of Jonathan Dickinson State Park (Park) to correct a severe flooding problem occurring in a subdivision to the south of the park. To facilitate the requested easement, an exchange agreement is proposed that will consolidate state-ownership within the Park and accomplish the abandonment of platted streets within the Park. The exchange parcels are located in the Hyland Terrace Subdivision. The acreage referenced in this item may vary slightly from that used in the appraisal. Any necessary adjustments will be made when final acreage is determined by survey.


The inholdings to be exchanged to the state consist of approximately 7.27 acres of single-family lots that are owned by private citizens and the County. Many of these lots do not have practical road access, as most of the roads in the subdivision have not been improved. The land to be exchanged to the County consists of approximately 3.46 acres of state-owned land located along the east side of County Line Road. This land is accessible via a County-maintained right-of-way. The private owners of the inholdings will ultimately gain title to the state-owned portion of the exchange as compensation for giving up title to their lots. The County will be facilitating the exchanges for the inholdings and the owners of those inholdings will pay no monetary consideration. The exchange agreement is contingent upon the County acquiring title to the privately-owned inholdings.

Pursuant to section 253.03, F.S., the exchange must be value for value. The value of the state-owned lands to be exchanged is $380,000. The County-owned lands to be exchanged, consisting of private inholdings within the Park, are valued at $250,000. Since the value of the County-owned land doesn't equal that of the state-owned land, the County is including the abandonment of approximately 30 acres of platted right-of-ways within the Park to offset the $130,00 exchange value differential. The County has an appraisal of $985,000 for its interest in the right-of-way. The appraisal was prepared by Daniel Deighan, MAI and State-Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, who is on the approved appraiser list of the Division of State Lands. The County's contribution of $1,235,000, less the state's value of $380,000, leaves a value differential of $855,000 in the Board of Trustees' favor. Pursuant to the exchange agreement, the County will not, however, receive any boot from the state to equalize the value differential.


The easement requested by the County consists of 12.56 acres that will be used for construction of a storm water drainage and retention system. The County currently holds a

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Agenda - April 9, 2002
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Substitute Item 3, cont.

1961 unrecorded drainage ditch easement on approximately 3.63 acres of the requested easement area. The drainage ditch is currently in place. Both the existing easement area of 3.63 acres and the new easement area of 8.93 acres will be combined into one easement area of 12.56 acres. In the easement value of $450,000, the appraiser considered the existence of the County's easement on the 3.63 acres.

In lieu of all or part of the payment for the new easement, the County has proposed to provide in-kind services that may include, but not be limited to, constructing a wastewater collection system to connect to the recreation facilities in the Park. A memorandum of agreement to define the services to be performed shall be executed within 90 days from the date the Board of Trustees approve the exchange agreement. In the event a memorandum of agreement is not reached, or if the total value of services performed by the County does not equal the appraised value of the easement, the County shall pay the Board of Trustees an amount sufficient to equal the appraised value.


Pursuant to section 253.034(6), F.S., every exchange of conservation land shall have been determined to no longer be needed for conservation purposes and shall result in a net positive conservation benefit to the Board of Trustees. The proposed exchange is consistent with this requirement and will result in the following: (1) private inholdings in Hyland Terrace Subdivision that the state has been unable to purchase will be acquired; and (2) the platted streets within the Park will be abandoned and titled to the state.

In addition, because the easement is located on conservation lands, the County will be required to provide a net positive benefit to the Park. The County has agreed to perform the following: (1) demolish and remove approximately 100 concrete pads from the Park that were part of a Camp Murphy military installation; (2) fill the areas where concrete was removed with sand from the excavation of the proposed storm water project; and (3) grade the surface of the filled areas to specifications of the Park manager. Due to the presence of these pads, the restoration of coastal scrub cannot be preformed in these areas. The County's work on the pads will allow for the restoration of natural habitat in this portion of the Park.

Although the Park will be giving the County an easement for construction of a storm water drainage and retention system, that system will benefit the public by enhancing the water quality for the Park and the adjacent Loxahatchee River (River). Currently, during periods of heavy rain and tropical storms, untreated storm water runoff runs directly into the River. The proposed project will reduce nutrients, suspended solids and bacterial pathogens flowing into the Park and the River. The storm water treatment project will also alleviate re-occurring flooding of residences located to the south of the Park.

The Park boundary contemplated by the exchange and easement will enhance the management of the Park and is in the public interest by allowing the boundary of the Park to be secured; eliminating the possibility of future development in the Park; allowing for prescribed burns and removal of exotic species; and reducing dumping and damage to the land by trespassers.

This item was approved by the Acquisition and Restoration Council (Council) on January 25, 2001, contingent upon the County submitting a revised environmental plan to the Council members and allowing the members to review and comment on the plan prior to the meeting of the Board of Trustees. This plan was to provide additional information concerning the minimization of impact on the endangered perforated lichen (Cladonia perforata) and the threatened Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens coerulescens). The County submitted a revised plan in May 2001, which was in turn submitted to all of the Council members. Based on submission of the revised plan, there were no objections by the Council.

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Agenda - April 9, 2002
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Substitute Item 3, cont.

In accordance with section 253.115, F.S., property owners within 500 feet of the subject property were notified of the transaction. DEP received no objections to the transaction from the nearby property owners.

Pursuant to section 253.034(6), F.S., every exchange of conservation land shall have been determined to no longer be needed for conservation purposes and shall result in a net positive conservation benefit to the Board of Trustees. It has been determined that the state will benefit from this exchange of 3.46 acres for 37.27 acres because of the following:

· In exchange for 3.46 acres, the state is gaining 7.27 acres of scattered inholdings plus 30 acres of environmentally sensitive platted right-of-way within the Park, for a total of 37.27 acres.; and
· The consolidation will allow for controlled burns which enhance the growth of coastal scrub, thus improving the habitat needed for the scrub jay to thrive.

Thus, the determination has been made that this exchange will result in a greater net conservation value to the state.

A consideration of the status of the local government comprehensive plan was not made for this item. DEP has determined that the disposition of land is not subject to the local government planning process. The acquisition of the County's parcel is consistent with section 187.201(10), F.S., the Natural Systems and Recreational Lands section of the State Comprehensive Plan.

(See Attachment 3, Pages 1-83)