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SEPTEMBER 24, 2002


Item 1 Minutes

Submittal of the Minutes from the August 13, 2002 Cabinet Meeting.

(See Attachment 1, Pages 1-7)



Item 2 Acquisition Program Status Report

REQUEST: Consideration of a status report on the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the chapter 259, F.S., acquisition program, and the less-than-fee acquisition activities.

APPLICANT: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

LOCATION: Statewide

STAFF REMARKS: At the June 22, 1999 Cabinet meeting, the Board of Trustees in an effort to expedite the acquisition process approved increased delegations of authority to DEP which are summarized as follows:

1. institute a process where appraisals valued at $500,000 or less are reviewed on a selected basis;
2. obtain only one appraisal on parcels where the value is anticipated to be between $500,000 and $1,000,000;
3. streamline the closing process with respect to marketable title and associated performance by the landowner;
4. allow DEP to share appraisals when maximum offers have been made;
5. consider on a case by case basis, a monetary incentive program to increase the success rate of acquisitions; and
6. approve all contracts for purchases under chapter 259, F.S., valued between $50,000 and $250,000 and a full delegation to DEP for all parcels valued at $50,000 or less. This delegation also required the Board of Trustees be given written notice prior to the execution of any contract for the purchase of property valued between $50,000 and $250,000. These notices are presently referred to as “delegation reports.”

The Board of Trustees requested that DEP report back in the future with a status report on the implementation of these delegations and on the success of these strategies. When staff originally requested additional delegation authority from the Board of Trustees in June 1999, the amount of time that a seller was in the process from appraisal to closing averaged 440 days. In the first status report to the Board of Trustees in February of 2001, the average time from appraisal to closing for a seller had been reduced to 298 days. Today, the average time from appraisal to closing has been further reduced to 244 days. This is a reduction of 54 days or 18 percent since the first report and an overall reduction of 196 days, or 45 percent since June of 1999. Additionally, the reduction of the number of appraisals and appraisal reviews over the past eighteen months has saved an estimated $500,000, which can now be applied to the purchase of additional lands.

Division of State Lands staff is pleased with the continuous success in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the land acquisition program. Staff feels that with improvements realized thus far, we are well on our way to the Board of Trustees’ objectives of an average land acquisition process time of six months.

(See Attachment 2, Pages 1-6)


Board of Trustees
Agenda – September 24, 2002
2nd Substitute Page Two


2nd Substitute Item 3 McClure Properties, Ltd. Option Agreement/Twelvemile Slough Florida Forever Project

REQUEST: Consideration of an option agreement to acquire 2,255 acres within the Twelvemile Slough Florida Forever project from McClure Properties, Ltd.

COUNTY: Hendry

LOCATION: Sections 13 through 16, Township 44 South, Range 29 East; and Section 18, Township 44 South, Range 30 East


100 days after
BOT approval

* The property was purchased in two transactions on August 3, 1993 and September 27, 1994.
**$2,661 per acre

STAFF REMARKS: The Twelvemile Slough project is an “A” group project on the Florida Forever Full Fee Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on August 27, 2002. The project contains 15,835 acres, of which 7,486.08 acres have been acquired or are under agreement to be acquired. After the Board of Trustees approves this agreement, 6,093.92 acres or 38 percent of the project will remain to be acquired.

The Acquisition and Restoration Council recommended the remaining 1,615 acres of the McClure ownership as the Twelvemile Slough project addition at the April 24, 2002 public hearing. Only 640 acres in the center of the 2,255-acre parcel were in the original project. The owner was unwilling to sell only this portion of the property because it would have divided his property in half. The addition is comprised of cropland and pasture of which 400 acres are unimproved pasture. The pasture areas and wetlands provide habitat for a variety of wading birds such as Crested Caracara, Little Blue Heron, and movement corridors for other wildlife.

A use agreement will be in effect until July 31, 2004, to allow the owner to continue tomato farming for that season and ample time to remove and relocate the improvements. The improvements have no significant contributory value and all will be removed with the exception of the 183-foot by 225-foot metal pole barn.

All mortgages and liens will be satisfied at the time of closing. There is an oil, gas and mineral reservation in favor of the previous owners and their heirs and assigns. The appraiser has determined that based upon current information that the reservation does not negatively impact the value of the property. On June 22, 1999, the Board of Trustees approved a staff recommendation to delegate to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) the authority to review and evaluate marketability issues as they arise on all chapter 259, F.S., acquisitions and to resolve them appropriately. DEP will re-address any impact on value and manageability after a thorough analysis of the risk factors associated with the oil, gas and mineral reservation. Therefore, DEP staff will review, evaluate and implement an appropriate resolution for any title issues that arise prior to closing.

A title insurance commitment, a survey, an environmental site evaluation and, if necessary, an environmental site assessment will be provided by the purchaser prior to closing.

The most prominent feature of the project is the Twelvemile Slough. Swale, or “river of grass” natural community, forms the broad bank of emergent sedges, grasses, and herbs that runs east through the southern part of the project. Twelvemile Slough project is important to many wildlife species, particularly those that require extensive areas of habitat to maintain viable populations.

Board of Trustees
Agenda – September 24, 2002
2nd Substitute Page Three


2nd Substitute Item 3, cont.

The acquisition of this property will provide a critical link in what will ultimately become an approximately 26-mile corridor from the northern boundary of the Caloosahatchee Ecoscape project to the southern boundary of the Panther Glades/Dinner Island tract. This property is within a designated area of high priority for protection of panther habitat and is located within a Dispersal Zone that will ensure a growing panther population has the opportunity to disperse out of south Florida across the Caloosahatchee River.

This property will be managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) as an addition to an adjacent wildlife management area. FWCC will evaluate the hydrology of the parcel and ultimately restore it to the appropriate functioning ecosystem with a public recreational component incorporated.

This acquisition 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 1-37)



Substitute Item 4 Jerry E. Grigg Utility Easement

REQUEST: Consideration of a request to issue a non-exclusive easement, containing 0.74-acre, more or less, to Jerry E. Grigg for installation and maintenance of utilities to serve his residential property.

COUNTY: Hernando
Easement Number 30687

APPLICANT: Jerry E. Grigg

LOCATION: Section 27, Township 22 South, Range 17 East

CONSIDERATION: $2,583 to be deposited in the Internal Improvement Trust Fund

STAFF REMARKS: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) currently manages Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area (CWMA) under Board of Trustees’ Lease Number 3586. Jerry E. Grigg owns five acres abutting the CWMA across which he has an access easement obtained when he bought the land from the previous owner. Mr. Grigg is requesting a 1,609-foot long by 20-foot wide utility easement on which an overhead power line can be installed and maintained to provide utility service to the residence he plans to build on his property. This easement would be considerably shorter, about half as expensive to install the utility line and involve virtually no cutting of trees as opposed to one which would follow Mr. Grigg’s longer, partly forested, access easement. The proposed easement will be located along an existing sand road that runs through Sandhill habitat containing longleaf pines, turkey oaks and palmetto. The road which Mr. Grigg uses to access his property and the road on which the easement is to be located are solely for state forest maintenance and not open to the public. The state-owned natural resource land on which the easement would be located was acquired in the late-1990s with P-2000 Program funds.

Mr. Grigg has agreed to pay an easement fee based on a broker’s opinion of value of the easement area and to purchase additional equipment as net positive benefit to help FWCC fight wildfires in the CWMA. The value of the equipment to be provided by Mr. Grigg is $1,000. The FWCC is in favor of granting the easement because (1) the easement will follow the road, thereby avoiding the cutting of trees; and (2) the agency’s fire control ability will be enhanced
Board of Trustees
Agenda – September 24, 2002
Substitute Page Four


Substitute Item 4, cont.

by receipt of the fire equipment. On March 15, 2001, the Acquisition and Restoration Council reviewed and recommended the proposed project subject to (1) FWCC having the opportunity to negotiate the purchase of Mr. Grigg’s inholding before construction of a residence; and (2) if purchase is not possible, the power line being buried at FWCC’S discretion if it would reduce adverse impacts on the property.

The easement was valued at $2,583 in a broker’s opinion of value dated July 25, 2002. The broker’s opinion of value was reviewed and approved by a Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands (DSL) staff appraiser. DSL staff opt for a broker’s opinion of value when appraisal fees would be greater than the appraised value of an easement.

A local government comprehensive plan has been adopted for this area pursuant to section 163.3167, F.S.; however, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) determined that the plan was not in compliance. A compliance agreement between DCA and the local government has been finalized. The proposed action is consistent with the adopted plan as amended according to Hernando County.

(See Attachment 4, Pages 1-24)