Click here to MyFlorida Home Page  
Clear Dot Image Cabinet Affairs
AGENDA
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT TRUST FUND
FEBRUARY 11, 1997

Item 1

Minutes

Submittal of the minutes of the December 10, 1996 Cabinet meeting.

RECOMMEND ACCEPTANCE

Item 2 Hutchinson Option Agreement/Survey Waiver/Belle Meade CARL Project

REQUEST: Consideration of (1) an option agreement to acquire 39.90 acres within the Belle Meade CARL project from Lionel Noel Hutchinson and Asuncion Rodriguez de Hutchinson; and (2) a request for survey waiver.

COUNTY: Collier

LOCATION: Section 26, Township 50 South, Range 27 East

CONSIDERATION:$245,000

APPRAISED BY
REVIEW NO.PARCEL NO.OWNERACRESAPPRAISED BY DANE (03/01/96)APPROVED VALUEPURCHASE PRICEOPTION DATE
702001346Hutchinson39.90$250,000$250,000 $245,00003/30/97

STAFF REMARKS: The Belle Meade CARL project is ranked number 3 on the CARL Priority Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on February 13, 1996, and is eligible for purchase under the Division of State Lands' Land Acquisition Workplan. This project contains 17,987 acres, of which 7,738 acres have been acquired or are under agreement to be acquired. After the Board of Trustees approves this agreement, 10,167 acres or 57 percent of the project will remain to be acquired.

The managing agency has indicated that the acquisition of this parcel is important for and might be impacted by the hydrological restoration of the project. The parcel is enclosed by a fence and improved with a 2,253-square foot single-family residence, a 590-square foot garage and a 373-square foot weekend cottage. While plans are not definite at this time for the use of the improvements, the managing agency indicates that the improvements have potential for management related uses until the hydrology is restored.

All mortgages and liens will be satisfied at the time of closing. In the event the commitment for title insurance provided by the seller, to be obtained prior to closing, reveals any other encumbrances which may affect the value of the property or the proposed management of the property, staff will so advise the Board of Trustees prior to closing.

A waiver of the requirement for survey of this parcel is being requested pursuant to section 18-1.005, F.A.C., because, in the opinion of the Bureau of Survey and Mapping, the parcel to be acquired meets all of the following conditions:

the parcel is surrounded by state-owned land or surrounded by land the state intends to acquire;
the parcel or the parent tract has been surveyed since 1900, and the survey drawing is acceptable for computing acreage; and
the boundary of the parcel does not adjoin fences or improvements other than those managed by the state.

While this parcel is being recommended for a waiver of survey at this time, should the title commitment reveal a substantive surveying or surveying related issue which impacts the parcel, a certified survey will be provided by the purchaser prior to closing. In the event a full survey is waived, a professional land surveyor will inspect the property for any visible evidence of improvements or potential boundary issues. In cooperation with the managing agency, the Division of State Lands will acquire any special purpose survey work necessary for the effective management of the property.

An environmental site assessment will be provided by purchaser prior to closing.

The cypress swamps and old-growth slash pine flatwoods in the Belle Meade project, extending to the fast-developing suburbs of Naples, are still important for such endangered wildlife as Florida panthers, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and Florida black bear. Belle Meade is also the watershed for Rookery Bay. The Belle Meade CARL project will conserve the westernmost large natural area in southwest Florida, protect some of the southernmost populations of several rare animals, and help protect the quality of the subtropical estuary of Rookery Bay by preserving the critical hydrological connection from the flatwoods and swamps to the bay, while providing a large area for recreation in a natural environment to residents of and visitors to rapidly urbanizing southwest Florida.

This property will be managed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry as part of the Picayune Strand State Forest.

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 2, Pages 1-25)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL

Item 3

Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Marine Resources/ McCormick Purchase Agreement

REQUEST: Consideration of a purchase agreement to acquire 0.70 acre from Robert C. McCormick by the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Marine Resources.

COUNTY: Levy

APPLICANT: Division of Marine Resources, Department of Environmental Protection

LOCATION: Section 20, Township 15 South, Range 13 East

CONSIDERATION: $35,000

REVIEW NO.SELLERACRESAPPRAISED BY SUTTON*(03/28/96)APPROVED VALUEPURCHASE PRICECLOSING DATE
702002McCormick0.70$35,000$35,000$35,000200 days after BOT approval
* Caroline Sutton is an employee of the Bureau of Appraisal, DSL

STAFF REMARKS: This acquisition was negotiated by the Division of State Lands (DSL) on behalf of the Division of Marine Resources (DMR), Department of Environmental Protection. Funds for this parcel were appropriated by the Florida Legislature and are still available.

All mortgages and liens on the parcel will be satisfied at the time of closing. In the event the commitment for title insurance, to be obtained by DMR prior to closing, reveals any encumbrances which may affect the value of the property or the proposed management of the property, staff will so advise the Board of Trustees prior to closing

A certified survey and an environmental site assessment of the property will be provided by DMR prior to closing.

This property will be managed by DMR as a part of the Cedar Key marine laboratory facilities. The property, which is vacant, has access to public water and electricity and has a septic tank.

This acquisition is consistent with section 187.201(09), F.S., the Coastal and Marine Resources section of the State Comprehensive Plan.

(See Attachment 3, Pages 1-16)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL

Item 4

BOR/FSU/BOT/Peters Purchase Agreement

REQUEST: Consideration of a purchase agreement among the Florida Board of Regents, Florida State University and the Board of Trustees to acquire 0.19 acre from William F. and Jennifer Lord Peters.

COUNTY: Leon

APPLICANT: Florida State University

LOCATION: Section 35, Township 01 North, Range 01 West

CONSIDERATION: $163,750

REVIEW NO.PARCEL #/SELLERACRESAPPRAISED BY CARLTON (06/28/95)APPROVED VALUEPURCHASE PRICECLOSING DATE
70200372/Peters0.19$164,000$164,000$163,75005/01/97

STAFF REMARKS: This acquisition was negotiated by Florida State University (FSU). Funds for this parcel were appropriated by the Florida Legislature and are still available.

The property contains a 3,490-square foot two-story duplex which is approximately 49 years old. This structure will be removed as soon as FSU obtains all of the necessary permits, after which the area will be used for parking. Ultimately, the area is slated for new construction with FSU's future expansion.

All mortgages and liens on the parcel will be satisfied at the time of closing. In the event the commitment for title insurance, to be obtained prior to closing, reveals any encumbrances which may affect the value of the property or the proposed management of the property, staff will so advise the Board of Trustees prior to closing. FSU will reimburse the seller for the cost of the title insurance commitment and policy. The reimbursement shall not exceed the minimum promulgated rate.

A certified survey of the property will be provided by FSU prior to closing.

An environmental site assessment for the property will be provided by the seller prior to closing, with FSU reimbursing the seller for the cost of the environmental site.

This property will be managed by FSU as a part of the FSU campus through a lease to the Florida Board of Regents.

This acquisition is consistent with section 187.201(01), F.S., the Education section of the State Comprehensive Plan.

(See Attachment 4, Pages 1-24)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL

Item 5

BOR/FSU/BOT/City of Tallahassee Purchase Agreement

REQUEST: Consideration of a purchase agreement among the Florida Board of Regents, Florida State University and the Board of Trustees to acquire 0.533 acre from the City of Tallahassee.

COUNTY: Leon

APPLICANT: Florida State University

LOCATION: Section 36, Township 01 North, Range 01 West

CONSIDERATION: $320,000

REVIEW NO.PARCEL #/SELLERACRESAPPRAISED BY GRIFFITH (07/13/95)APPROVED VALUEPURCHASE PRICECLOSING DATE
70200402/City of Tallassee0.533$320,000$320,000$320,000200days after BOT approval

STAFF REMARKS: This acquisition was negotiated by Florida State University (FSU). Funds for this parcel were appropriated by the Florida Legislature and are still available. Pursuant to an informal agreement between the City of Tallahassee (City) and FSU, the City agreed to acquire this entire site consisting of 0.66 acre. The City acquired the parcel for $500,000. The City then deducted its easement requirement (5,560 square feet) for the widening of Macomb Avenue. The remainder of the parcel was then appraised and the City is selling that portion for the appraised value.

The improvements on parcel 2 consist of three structures: (1) a 52-year old, two-story structure located at 503 West College Avenue containing a total of 2,663 square feet with a large porch at the front and side; (2) a 52-year old, two-story structure located at 507 West College Avenue containing a total of 2,638 square feet with a screened front porch on the upper level; and (3) a 52-year old, one-story structure located at 208 Macomb Street containing 1,264 square feet with a large front porch. The front porches on these structures encroach on the City's proposed right-of-way and are to be removed prior to closing; however, the appraiser took this into consideration when he appraised the property. Additionally, an eave of an improvement encroaches on the City's proposed right-of-way. The appraiser assumed that the eave encroachment would be allowed to remain after closing. The City will be required to grant the Board of Trustees an easement over the area of the eave encroachment until such time as the encroachment is removed. All of these structures will be removed as soon as FSU obtains all of the necessary permits, after which the area will be used for parking. The Board of Trustees would provide the City with an executed release of easement when, and if, FSU removes the encroachment from the City's right-of-way. Ultimately, the area is slated for new construction with FSU's future expansion.

All mortgages and liens on the parcel will be satisfied at the time of closing. In the event the commitment for title insurance, to be obtained prior to closing, reveals any encumbrances which may affect the value of the property or the proposed management of the property, staff will so advise the Board of Trustees prior to closing. FSU will reimburse the seller for the cost of the title insurance commitment and policy. The reimbursement shall not exceed the minimum promulgated rate.

An environmental site assessment and a certified survey for the property will be provided by the seller prior to closing, with FSU reimbursing the seller for the cost of the environmental site assessment and survey.

This property will be managed by FSU as a part of the FSU campus through a lease to the Florida Board of Regents.

This acquisition is consistent with section 187.201(01), F.S., the Education section of the State Comprehensive Plan.

(See Attachment 5, Pages 1-22)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL

Item 6

The Trust For Public Land Option Agreement/Lake Kissimmee Project

REQUEST: Consideration of an option agreement to acquire approximately 857.90 acres within the Lake Kissimmee Division of Recreation and Parks' Additions and Inholdings project from The Trust For Public Land.

COUNTY: Polk

LOCATION: Sections 10, 11, 14 and 15, Township 29 South, Range 29 East

CONSIDERATION: $1,335,000

REVIEW NO.PARCELACRESAPPRAISED BY Benson(06/12/96)APPRAISED BY Goodman(07/25/96)APPROVED VALUEPURCHASE PRICEOPTION DATE
702005L.P.Ranch857.90$1,300,000$1,375,000$1,375,000$1,335,00090 days after BOT approval

STAFF REMARKS: The Lake Kissimmee project is ranked number 70 on the Division of Recreation and Parks' Additions and Inholdings List. This agreement was negotiated by the Division of State Lands on behalf of the Division of Recreation and Parks under the Additions and Inholdings Preservation 2000 program. The seller only has an option to acquire the property from L.P. Ranch, Inc., and does not own the fee simple title in the property. The seller's obligation to convey the property to the purchaser is contingent upon the seller acquiring fee simple title to the property prior to closing of this transaction.

All mortgages and liens will be satisfied at the time of closing. In the event the commitment for title insurance, to be obtained prior to closing, reveals any other encumbrances which may affect the value of the property or the proposed management of the property, staff will so advise the Board of Trustees prior to closing.

A certified survey and environmental site assessment will be provided by the seller prior to closing with the purchaser reimbursing seller for the cost of the survey and environmental site assessment.

The property will be managed by the Division of Recreation and Parks as an addition to Lake Kissimmee State Park.

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 6, Pages 1-30)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL

Item 7

Blood/Howard/Baty Option Agreements/Wekiva-Ocala Greenway CARL Project

REQUEST: Consideration of two option agreements to acquire approximately 260 acres within the Wekiva-Ocala Greenway CARL project from Arthur M. Blood; and Gladys A. Howard and Ann Mrva Baty.

COUNTY: Lake

LOCATION: Sections 29, 33 and 34, Township 18 South, Range 28 East

CONSIDERATION:$448,000

REVIEW NO.PARCELACRESAPPRAISED BY Clayton (02/22/95)APPRAISED BY Hupp (03/31/95)APPROVED VALUEPURCHASE PRICEOPTION DATE
7020061/Blood40$98,000$98,000$93,000
7020076&7/Howard/Baty220$345,000$396,000$396,000$355,000
260$494,000$448,000120 days after BOT approval

STAFF REMARKS: The Wekiva-Ocala Greenway CARL project is ranked number 7 on the CARL Priority Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on February 13, 1996, and is eligible for negotiation under the Division of State Lands' Land Acquisition Workplan. The project contains 68,578 acres, of which 26,290 acres have been acquired or are under agreement to be acquired. After the Board of Trustees approves these agreements, 42,028 acres or 61.3 percent of the project will remain to be acquired.

All mortgages and liens will be satisfied at the time of closing. Preliminary title information for the Howard/Baty parcel revealed outstanding oil, gas and mineral interests in favor of R. F. Raidle which affect approximately 120 acres of the property. The Bureau of Geology has indicated that the potential for economic oil and gas production in the area is considered slim and the potential for economic mineral development in the area is considered low. The Bureau of Appraisal has indicated that the outstanding interests do not affect the market value of the property. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry (DOF), the managing agency, recommends pursuing the acquisition of this property subject to the outstanding interest. In the event the commitments for title insurance, to be provided prior to closing, reveal any other encumbrances which may affect the value of the properties or the proposed management of the properties, staff will so advise the Board of Trustees prior to closing.

The certified surveys and environmental site assessments will be provided by the purchaser prior to closing.

The springs, rivers, lakes, swamps, and uplands stretching north from Orlando to the Ocala National Forest are an important refuge for the Florida black bear, as well as other wildlife such as the bald eagle, swallow-tailed kite, Florida scrub jay and wading birds. The Wekiva-Ocala Greenway will protect these animals and the Wekiva and the St. Johns River basins by protecting natural corridors connecting Wekiva Springs State Park, Rock Springs Run State Reserve, the Lower Wekiva River State Preserve and Hontoon Island State Park with the Ocala National Forest. It will also provide the people of the booming Orlando area with a large, nearby natural area in which to enjoy camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, canoeing and other recreational pursuits.

These properties will be managed by the DOF as part of the state forest system.

These acquisitions are consistent with section 187.201 (10), F.S., the Natural Systems and Recreational Lands section of the State Comprehensive Plan.

(See Attachment 7, Pages 1-31)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL

Item 8

1997 CARL Annual Report/1997 CARL Priority List

REQUEST: Consideration of (1) the 1997 Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) Annual Report of the Land Acquisition Advisory Council (LAAC); and (2) the 1997 CARL Annual Priority List.

COUNTY / LOCATION: Statewide

APPLICANT: Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands on behalf of the Land Acquisition Advisory Council

STAFF REMARKS: The 1997 CARL Priority List, approved by the Land Acquisition Advisory Council (LAAC) on December 5, 1996, consists of 98 projects ranked by the LAAC in five groups: 36 Priority Projects; 34 Bargain/Shared Projects; 11 Substantially Complete Projects; seven Mega-Multiparcels Projects; and 10 Less-Than-Fee Projects.

Twelve projects that were included on the 1996 priority list are not included on the 1997 CARL Priority List: Jordan Ranch (Citrus), Kissimmee Prairie / River (Okeechobee / Osceola), and Yamato Scrub (Palm Beach) were removed because they are 90 percent or more complete and the remaining 10 percent or less can be acquired pursuant to section 259.032(8), F.S., without being on the CARL Priority List; the Florida's First Magnitude Springs project in the Bargain/Shared Group (three sites in Suwannee, Levy and Lafayette) was removed because the state's commitment for 50 percent of the acquisitions in this project is complete - Suwannee River Water Management District is continuing to acquire the remaining lands in this project; Atsena Otie Key (Levy), Cedar Key Scrub (Levy), Highlands Hammock State Park Addition (Highlands), Juniper Creek Watershed (Santa Rosa), and Yellow River Ravines (Santa Rosa) were removed because they are included on the acquisition lists of other Preservation 2000 funded programs; Julington-Durbin Peninsula (Duval / St. Johns) was removed because no management agency has agreed to manage it and the county no longer supports its acquisition; Pineola Fern Grotto (Citrus) was removed because the resource values have been degraded by invasive non-native plants; and St. Michael's Landing (Bay) was removed because a major parcel within it has been developed.

Three projects on the 1996 Priority List were incorporated within other projects on the 1997 Priority List: Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem (previously listed in the Bargain/Shared Group) was added to the Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem project in the Priority Group; Waddell's Mill Pond (previously listed in the Priority Group) was added to the Middle Chipola River project in the Priority Group; and the Gainer Springs site in the Florida's First Magnitude Springs project (previously in the Bargain/Shared Group) was added to the Florida's First Magnitude Springs project in the Priority Group. In addition to these modifications of existing projects, three other projects on the 1996 CARL Priority List were transferred from one group of projects to another on the 1997 priority list: Florida Springs Coastal Greenway (Citrus) was moved from Priority to Substantially Complete; North Fork St. Lucie River (St. Lucie) was moved from Substantially Complete to Bargain; and Devil's Hammock (Levy) was moved from Priority to Bargain.

In response to recently enacted legislation that requires the LAAC to identify projects which can be acquired through alternatives to fee-simple acquisition (section 259.101(9), F.S.), portions of nine projects were transferred to a newly established Less-Than-Fee Group: Annutteliga Hammock (Hernando), Apalachicola River (Calhoun / Liberty), Etoniah / Cross Florida Greenway (Putnam), Green Swamp (Lake / Polk), Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem (Polk), Middle Chipola River (Jackson / Calhoun), North Key Largo Hammocks (Monroe), St. Joseph Bay Buffer (Gulf), and Southeastern Bat Maternity Caves (Alachua).

Ten new projects were added to the 1997 CARL Priority List. Eight of these were added as new projects, and two were added to existing projects. The eight new projects include: Ichetucknee Trace Limerock Mines (Columbia), Putnam County Sandhills (Putnam), and Wakulla Springs Protection Zone (Wakulla) in the Priority Group; Allapattah Flats (Martin), Cape Haze / Charlotte Harbor (Charlotte), Hall Ranch (Charlotte), and Terra Ceia (Manatee) in the Bargain/Shared Group; and Ranch Reserve (Osceola / Brevard / Indian River / Osceola) in the Less-Than-Fee Group. The two new projects that were added to existing CARL projects in the

Bargain/Shared Group include: Coastal Scrub Ecosystem was added to the Scrub Jay Refugia and renamed the Brevard Coastal Scrub Ecosystem project (Brevard); and North Fork St. Lucie River Addition was added to the North Fork St. Lucie River project (St. Lucie).

The LAAC also modified the project design boundaries or acquisition phasing of thirteen other projects on the 1996 CARL Priority List: Atlantic Ridge Ecosystem (Martin); Belle Meade (Collier); Charlotte Harbor (Charlotte); Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (Collier); East Everglades (Palm Beach / Broward / Dade); Etoniah / Cross Florida Greenway (Putnam); Florida Springs Coastal Greenway (Citrus); Green Swamp (Polk); Middle Chipola (Jackson); Pinhook Swamp (Columbia / Baker and 15 other counties with federal mineral estate interests underlying state-owned lands); Save Our Everglades (Hendry); South Walton County Ecosystem (Walton); and Wekiva-Ocala Greenway (Lake). The South Walton County Ecosystem project boundary was modified in response to the Board of Trustees' request in 1992 during the initial acquisition of the 18,000 +/- acre Pt. Washington CARL project. Recommendations of the South Walton Conservation and Development Trust and its successor, the South Walton County Ecosystem Management Team, were considered in combination with public input during two public hearings and at least four public meetings of the LAAC. The Advisory Council's new boundary excludes approximately 820 acres of state-owned property. Approval of the 1997 Priority List with the revised boundary for South Walton County Ecosystem CARL project is not intended to meet the statutory requirements of section 259.101(6)(b) or section 253.034(5), F.S.

The 1997 CARL Annual Report and Priority List are consistent with section 187.201(10), F.S., the Natural Systems and Recreational Lands section of the State Comprehensive Plan.

Pursuant to section 259.04(1)(c), F.S., within 45 days after the LAAC submits the CARL Priority List to the Board of Trustees, the Board of Trustees shall approve, in whole or in part, the list of acquisition projects in the order of priority in which such projects are presented. If approved, the Division of State Lands, in cooperation with staff of the LAAC, will develop a workplan to acquire projects in priority order.

(See Attachment 8, Pages 1-2)

RECOMMEND

ACCEPTANCE OF THE 1997 CARL ANNUAL REPORT AND
APPROVAL OF THE 1997 CARL PRIORITY LIST

Item 9

Lake Maggiore Restoration/City of St. Petersburg Recommended Consolidated Intent

DEFERRED FROM 12/10/96 BOT AGENDA
DEFERRED FROM 01/28/97 BOT AGENDA

REQUEST: (1) Consideration of an application for a consent of use for the severance of 2.3 million cubic yards of sovereign material and waiver of fees for said material; (2) authorization for the temporary use of 34 acres of sovereignty, submerged lands as a spoil disposal site; (3) authorization for the eventual conversion of the 34 acres to a public, passive recreational park, consisting predominantly of created forested wetlands, stormwater treatment and conveyance systems and vegetated littoral shoreline; and (4) authorization to pursue a fee waiver lease for the purposes of maintaining this park.

COUNTY: Pinellas Application No. 522932113

APPLICANT: City of St. Petersburg (City)

LOCATION: Section 36, Township 31 South, Range 16 East, in Lake Maggiore, Class III Outstanding Florida Waters, within the local jurisdiction of the City of St. Petersburg/Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve: Pinellas County, Resource Protection Area 3.

CONSIDERATION: The project qualifies for waiver of the severance fee, pursuant to section 18-21.011(3)(c)1, F.A.C., which states the severed dredge material payment may be waived if the materials are being placed on public property and used for public purposes. In this case dredged materials are unusable as removed and the City will spend considerable dollars consolidating said materials for eventual disposal on public property. The project would also qualify for waiver of lease fees, pursuant to section 18-21.011(1)(b)10, F.A.C., which states "waivers, partial waivers, or exclusions of payment of the lease fees for government ...,educational.... organizations may be granted by the Board in the event that the proposed uses are in the public interest."

STAFF REMARKS: The Board of Trustees authorized a rule amendment on September 14, 1995, to "link" the two processes of regulatory and proprietary reviews and authorizations. The rule became effective October 12, 1995. As a result of this linkage, the recommended Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulatory permit decision and the recommendation to the Board of Trustees on the proprietary authorization are contained in one document, the "Consolidated Notice of Intent to Issue", which is attached. The attached consolidated intent contains a recommendation for issuance of a permit under Part IV of chapter 373, F.S., and a recommendation for granting authorization to use sovereignty, submerged lands under chapters 253 and 258, F.S., for the activity described therein. This recommendation is provided to the Board of Trustees pursuant to section 373.427(2), F.S. A description of the requested activity is provided in Section I, "Description of the Proposed Activity." The specific basis for recommending approval of the authorization to use sovereignty, submerged lands is contained in Section III, "Background/Basis for Issuance."

Approval by the Board of Trustees is requested only for those aspects of the activity which require authorization to use sovereignty, submerged lands. If the Board of Trustees approves the request to use sovereignty, submerged lands and the activity also qualifies for an environmental resource permit and no challenges are successful, the Consolidated Notice of Intent will be issued and will contain general and specific conditions. In the event the Board of Trustees denies the use of sovereignty, submerged lands, whether or not the activity otherwise qualifies for an environmental resource permit, the DEP will issue a "Consolidated Notice of Denial" for both the environmental resource permit and the authorization to use sovereignty, submerged lands.

The City of St. Petersburg is proposing a restoration of Lake Maggiore, a 380-acre urban lake that represents a portion of the Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve. The lake is located within a highly developed area of the City of St. Petersburg and is surrounded by the 840-acre Lake Maggiore Regional Park, which includes 500 acres of preservation area on the west side of the lake. Other surrounding upland uses within the 3,332-acre watershed are predominantly single-family residential with sparse institutional and commercial activities. The watershed area was developed in the early part of this century prior to the implementation of stormwater management systems.

The applicant is proposing to hydraulically dredge 2.3 million cubic yards of sovereign material in the form of highly organic, fine grain sediments from the bottom of Lake Maggiore for the purpose of improving its water quality. The problem of cleaning up the lake is exacerbated by the lack of suitable uplands on which to deposit the severed material for dewatering and drying. Therefore, the applicant is proposing that during the dredging operation 34 acres of lake bottom on the east shore be filled with dredged, cycloned sand/shell material for the creation of temporary upland drying beds extending above the ordinary high water line of the lake. Once the material dries the highly organic sediment component will be trucked to nearby Emerald Lake (an old borrow pit) and to the public landfill located in northern St. Petersburg. Approximately ten percent of the coarsest material (sand and shell) will be used to create the 34-acre drying cells which will eventually be converted to a passive park and other shoreline enhancements.

Once the dredging and spoil disposal process has been completed, the applicant is proposing to leave the original 34-acre sand/shell foundation for the disposal site in the lake, and build upon it a city-operated passive recreational park. The park would include 17 acres of forested wetlands, 1 acre of wetland swales, and 8 acres of littoral zone. Contained within the 34 acres are stormwater treatment facilities, boardwalks, nature trails, beach and environmental education displays. The applicant maintains that it is necessary for 8 acres of the spoil site to remain as high and dry uplands in order to stabilize the existing sediments underneath the spoil material. The applicant contends that budgetary constraints will not permit the removal and disposal of the sand/shell foundation or complete reclamation of the 34-acre site. The applicant will fund the construction of the wetlands, littoral zones, pathways, boardwalks, and beach associated with the passive recreational park from the City's Stormwater Utility Fund. The environmental resource permit states that the passive recreational park be completed and available for public access and use no later than December of 2002.

Numerous studies have been conducted in an effort to find solutions to the gradual nutrient enrichment and eutrophication that have occurred over many years in the lake. To date, restoration initiatives have included littoral zone construction along 1,200 linear feet of shoreline, cattail removal and the replacement of the outfall structure that controls lake staging and saltwater outflow (the lake is tidally connected to Tampa Bay via a channelized creek). The applicant, in coordination with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, is proposing to continue the lake restoration with alum treatment of stormwater and baseflow and the herein described sediment removal. The applicant has further demonstrated that dredging the lake will provide a long term improvement and enhancement of water quality by the removal of nutrient enriched sediments; the enhancement/creation of natural habitat; and reduction of total nitrogen loading into Tampa Bay in the amount of four tons per year. Also, the construction of stormwater treatment facilities on the 34-acre passive park site is expected to provide treatment for unimproved stormwater outfalls into Lake Maggiore. All of these improvements are expected to improve the trophic state index from a "poor" to a "fair" condition of the lake.

Pursuant to section 258.42(3)(a), F.S., there is a general prohibition on dredging or filling in an aquatic preserve except for seven specific activities, which may be authorized if, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, it will enhance the quality or utility of the preserve or public health generally. Quality and utility of the preserve, as defined in section 18-20.003(50) and (70), F.A.C., refer to the maintenance of the biological, aesthetic and scientific values of the preserve for present and future enjoyment in an essentially natural condition. The removal of the muck sediments from the lake bottom should help restore the lake to an essentially natural condition and enhance the overall quality and utility of the preserve and the public health generally because of the improvement in water quality that will result.

The applicant's proposal to use 34 acres of sovereign lake bottom for a spoil disposal site would appear to be consistent with rule and statutory guidelines for aquatic preserves. Section 18-20.004(3)(d), F.A.C., states that "spoil disposal within the preserves shall be strongly discouraged and may be approved only where the applicant has demonstrated that there is no other reasonable alternative and that activity may be beneficial to, or at a minimum, not harmful to the quality and utility of the preserve." Staff believes that the applicant has demonstrated through presentation of cost analyses and current land use parameters that there is no other reasonable alternative which would allow the proposed spoiling to be conducted on uplands outside the aquatic preserve. In addition, the proposed spoiling on sovereignty, submerged lands would appear to result in the overall enhancement of the quality and utility of the preserve because of the improvement to water quality of the 346 remaining acres of the lake and the applicant's proposal to convert the spoil site to a predominantly wetland passive nature park upon completion of the lake restoration.

The applicant has requested that the 34 acres be transferred to City ownership "to allow the City to incorporate proposed uplands and wetlands as part of the City's park land, thereby prohibiting/restricting it from being developed for non-park purposes." Staff feels this transfer and protection of future site use can be accomplished by a long term lease and management plan. Therefore, a special consent condition requires the applicant to apply for a state lands lease and develop a management plan for the passive park development phase prior to completion of the dredging and spoil disposal. The management plan will reflect the breakdown of the proposed passive park activities described herein.

This item is being presented to the Board of Trustees pursuant to section 18-21.0051(4), F.A.C., because the complexities and magnitude of this project could reasonably be expected to heighten public concern.

Section 163.194(3)(b), F.S., in summary, states that a local development approved or undertaken by a local government shall be consistent with the comprehensive plan if it meets all criteria enumerated by the local government. The proposed action is consistent with the adopted plan according to a letter received from the City of St. Petersburg on September 20, 1996.

(See Attachment 9, Pages 1-42)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL SUBJECT TO THE SPECIAL CONSENT CONDITION

Item 10 Amendment to the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Management Plan

REQUEST: (1) Consideration of amendments to the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Management Plan to manage beach driving; and (2) permission to proceed with rulemaking.

COUNTY: Gulf

APPLICANT: Florida Department of Environmental Protection

STAFF REMARKS: Gulf County is one of seven counties that continue to allow beach driving. Beach driving can damage emergent vegetation and dunes, thereby reducing the protection afforded by the beach dune system. Driving and its effects can also damage turtle nests and kill hatchlings as well as disturb nesting and resting birds and pose a threat to public beach users.

In recent years the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has become concerned with the impacts of beach driving on the aquatic preserve portion of Cape San Blas. On March 29, 1996, the FDEP held a public workshop in Gulf County to discuss proposed changes to the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Management Plan which would eliminate beach driving on sovereign submerged lands within St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve and the adjacent sandy beach.

A similar provision, approved through the same process, was included in the Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve Management Plan in 1991. The provision was challenged but was upheld by the Fifth District Court of Appeal in November of 1994.

The majority of those in attendance at the March 29 workshop opposed closing the beach to driving. Following the workshop, the Gulf County Commission requested a meeting with representatives of the FDEP to discuss a compromise. As a result, at a June 11, 1996 meeting the FDEP and the Gulf County Commission agreed to appoint a working group (membership attached) whose charge would be to recommend to the FDEP actions relating to beach driving that would afford the same protections to the beach resources that eliminating driving would do. The action is to be in place by Memorial Day (May 30), 1997.

The attached proposed amendment to the management plan is the recommendation arrived at by the working group and is unanimously endorsed by them. The county has agreed to implement and enforce Option 2 requirements 1, 2, 3 and 4b as well as the guidelines.

This recommendation includes establishment of a buffer zone, closure during high water, extra enforcement on holidays, closure at night during turtle nesting season, and removal of ruts and turtle patrol during the nesting season. Other actions include education, reporting, and a fall back to total closure if the recommendation does not work.

A rule development workshop was held January 17, 1997, in Port St. Joe. The management plan amendment must be approved by the Board of Trustees and the amended plan must be incorporated into chapter 18-20, F.A.C. The proposed rule amendment is attached.

(See Attachment 10, Pages 1-9)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL