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AGENDA

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT TRUST FUND

NOVEMBER 10, 1998


Item 1 Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan

REQUEST: Consideration of a request to (1) include state-owned lands in the proposed Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR); (2) approve the management plan for the reserve; and (3) authorize the submittal of the plan to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for final designation of the reserve.

COUNTIES: Flagler and St. Johns

APPLICANT: Division of Marine Resources

STAFF REMARKS: The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System is created in federal law by Section 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended. The NERR program is a state and federal cooperative effort whose mission is to support scientific research in and education efforts about significant estuaries with the goal of providing information on which to base wise coastal management decisions. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the state cooperating partner with the NOAA at the federal level. The NERR program is non-regulatory.

Floridaís west coast is home to two of the nationís twenty-two reserves - Rookery Bay in Collier County, designated in 1978, and Apalachicola Bay in Franklin County, designated in 1979. The NERR program is based on a biogeographic classification scheme that considers regional variations in the nationís coastal zone to ensure that the NERR sites are representative of the nationís coastline. The goal of the program is to have at least one reserve in each region. The GTMNERR would represent the vacant East Florida Subregion of the Carolinian Biogeographic Region.

In 1992 an eleven member committee made up of DEP and other agency staff and members of the scientific community evaluated eight sites on Floridaís east coast and recommended that the GTM site be pursued for designation as a NERR based on its overall need for scientific research, the availability of educational opportunities and because of its relative pristine condition. Following extensive input from representatives of the local community and the adoption of an agreement between the DEP and the citizens of St. Johns and Flagler counties (Appendix IV), Phase I was nominated by the Board of Trustees for NERR status on March 8, 1994. Phase I includes the state-owned submerged lands of the Matanzas River and Pellicer Creek and other publicly-owned conservation lands south of the City of St. Augustine. Following similar input by a second citizens committee, Phase II was nominated by the Board of Trustees on November 22, 1994. Phase II includes all state-owned lands within the Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve as described in s. 258.394. F.S. and the Stoker Landing Conservation area owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District. Interagency agreements for inclusion in the NERR and cooperative management will be executed with managers of other publicly-owned lands within the boundaries of the reserve (Appendix II) as well as between the DEP and NOAA. Only publicly-owned lands are included within the boundary of the NERR.

Development and approval by NOAA of a management plan for the site is a condition of designation. When the Board of Trustees nominated Phase II on November 22, 1994, they directed staff to bring the management plan back for final approval before it is submitted to NOAA for designation. A twenty-eight member advisory council (Appendix V) appointed by the DEP and local elected officials meeting monthly over a two-year period produced the management plan up for consideration today. Federal rules require that the document have an environmental impact statement attached and be reviewed through the federal National Environmental Policy Act process. The plan being considered has been through that process, including a public hearing. Comments received during the review period and at the public hearing have been included in this final version.

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Two


Item 1, cont.

The management plan will be submitted to each Cabinet Office separately.

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


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Item 2 Policy for the Removal of Pre-cut Sunken Timbers From Sovereignty Submerged Lands

DEFERRED FROM THE OCTOBER 27, 1998 AGENDA

REQUEST: Consideration of a policy regarding the removal of pre-cut sunken timbers from sovereignty submerged lands by private and commercial interests.

COUNTY: Statewide, primarily north Florida and the Panhandle area

APPLICANT: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

STAFF REMARKS: The recovery of pre-cut, sunken timbers located on state-owned or sovereignty submerged lands has been an issue between the state and private and commercial interests desiring to recover these timbers for years. Conflicts have resulted over product ownership, the unauthorized recovery, and DEPís enforcement of the current Board of Trusteesí policy against the recovery of pre-cut timbers on sovereignty submerged lands. Because of the recent increased interests and activity in the recovery of pre-cut timber and a reconsideration of the habitat value and the environmental impacts of recovery, the DEP is requesting that the Board of Trustees consider revising its policy to allow the recovery of pre-cut timber from sovereignty submerged lands.

The recovery of pre-cut, largely first-growth timber logs from submerged lands is commonly referred to as "deadhead logging." During the 1800s and early 1900s, first-growth timbers were harvested and floated in large rafts downstream to recovery sites along lakes and rivers. During transport, some of the timbers would break loose from the rafts, become waterlogged, and sink to the bottom, where they remain today. Recovery of these timbers today typically involves divers locating the timbers and attaching winch cables to them, in order for the timbers to be hoisted to the surface and floated to a recovery site. This activity is pursued throughout the state, but is primarily concentrated in north Florida where the river systems were the primary source of transport. In the northeast portion of the state, estimates are that approximately 20 percent of the submerged, pre-cut, timber is marketable, while in the panhandle, approximately 80 percent is estimated to be marketable.

A brief historical perspective of the stateís position on deadhead logging was prepared in 1995 by the DEPís Office of General Counsel at the request of enforcement staff. Records reflect that the Florida Legislature and the Board of Trustees have historically viewed sunken logs as being the property of the state if located on sovereignty submerged lands and that the unauthorized removal of such logs constitutes trespass on state lands and theft of the products thereof.

Prior to 1974, the Board of Trustees actively leased and sold timber rights to individuals to recover sunken logs and other timbers from sovereignty submerged lands. However, the Board of Trustees discontinued this practice in 1974 because of an objection by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, whose major concern was the removal of aquatic habitat. Additionally, since 1974, deadhead logging has been considered contrary to the public interest because it appeared in conflict with section 253.034(2)(b), F.S., that states, in part:

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Three


Item 2, cont.

"All submerged lands shall be considered single-use lands and shall be managed primarily for the maintenance of essentially natural conditions, the propagation of fish and wildlife, and public recreation . . ."

The timbers to be recovered are not those on submerged lands through natural causes or events; rather, they are there as a result of past commercial timber activities. These timbers are of minimal habitat value since they have no crowns or root systems and have minimal, if any, bark.

At the request of the DEP, the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (Commission) reviewed its position on deadhead logging. The Commission provided its findings in a February 27, 1998, communication which states, in part:

Over the years, we have expressed concern that removal of large fallen trees from river systems, especially from navigation snagging operations, would be detrimental to fish and other aquatic organisms. Dead trees and tree tops provide a large amount of attachment sites for aquatic invertebrates due to the rough bark and large surface area of the tree crowns.

We have recommended strategies for minimizing this loss, including proper placement of tree trunks and branches removed from the navigation channels.

In order to compare known values of fallen trees with the values of deadhead logs, a biologist from the Division of Fisheries examined a number of pulled deadhead logs and talked to individuals conducting deadheading operations and concluded that the attachment value of deadhead logs is less than that of natural trees with branches and bark. Because of the cutting techniques used, especially leaving the tree crowns in the forest at the time of cutting, and because of nearly total bark loss after years of being submerged, these logs do not have the attachment value of fairly fresh trees that are swept into the river from the banks. However, these logs still retain some value as attachment sites, particularly in river systems that have limited opportunities for attachment such as rocks or other hard substrate.

On the other hand, we suspect that, in some places, deadhead logs might be detrimental to the function of a river system. In sloughs and backwaters, it is possible for enough of these long-lived logs to pile up to block flows and reduce beneficial high-water scouring. This is speculation at this time because we do not have good observations or data on this phenomenon; however, some of the filling in of sloughs on the Apalachicola River could have been partially attributed to log jams of this sort. Removal of some of these logs would likely be relatively harmless and possibly beneficial.

The Commission has also volunteered to assist the DEP in environmental assessments that may be required for the approval of deadhead recovery applications.

Since the practice of allowing deadhead logging was discontinued by the Board of Trustees, the DEP has, through the Florida Marine Patrol, made several arrests for the unauthorized recovery of logs from sovereignty submerged lands. Because of the net ban, the general economic conditions in north Florida, and the increased commercial demand for deadhead logs, there has been an increase in the interest and activity of deadhead logging as both a primary and supplemental source of revenue.

In addition to the increase in deadhead logging, the DEP is also confronted with the issue of the recovery of branded timber (s. 536.14, F.S.). Individuals who claim to have title to

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Four


Item 2, cont.

various brands that were recorded in the "marking" books in local courthouses have approached the DEP regarding the recovery of their property that is located on sovereignty submerged lands. The Attorney General reviewed the issue and opined that, with proper authorization, branded timbers can be recovered (AGO 96-64, 9/5/96). The DEP has no estimate of the number or percentage of branded timber on sovereignty submerged lands, except for estimates provided by prospective harvesters, who claim that nearly all the timber in the Panhandle was branded upon the original harvest and prior to being floated to a recovery site.

This claim is not unreasonable since, at the time the largest tracts were being timbered, the central Panhandle belonged primarily to six major owners. They owned over 200 recorded brands along the Choctawhatchee, Shoal, Yellow, Apalachicola, and Escambia Rivers. There were other smaller operations that may or may not have recorded brands and who harvested their upland timber using the same river system for transport, independent of the large land owners. As a result of multiple timber operations, both branded and unbranded pre-cut timbers exist on sovereignty submerged lands. The Attorney General, in AGO 96-64, recognized that the unbranded timbers are the property of the state, while branded timber is the property of those who have sufficient title interest.

The removal of deadheads may serve as an additional revenue source for the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. The removal of deadhead logs may also open certain waterbodies for improved vessel navigation, allow for high water flushing action, and improve the fisheries and recreational use of previously inaccessible waterbodies. Additionally, the recovery of pre-cut timber may reduce a portion of the harvest of now mature upland forests.

It should be noted that the recovery of deadhead timber is a fairly short term nonrecurring event that will quickly deplete the resource if the Board of Trustees adopts a policy to allow such recovery from sovereignty submerged lands. Ultimately, it is expected that the illegal recovery of this pre-cut timber will continue to deplete the resource even if authorized recovery is not allowed.

Based on these considerations, the DEP recommends that the Board of Trustees adopt the following policy on the recovery of pre-cut timber from sovereignty submerged lands:

The recovery of both branded and unbranded pre-cut timber, excluding dead falls, storm falls, or any other naturally occurring timber on sovereignty submerged lands, shall be allowed in waterbodies where the potential for negative environmental and recreational impacts would be minimal. Environmental issues that address habitat removal, possible water quality concerns, and site-specific recovery prohibitions will be addressed in the regulatory permit review. The following form of authorization and fee is recommended:

A nonexclusive one-year Use Agreement for the recovery of both "branded" and "unbranded" pre-cut timbers from sovereignty submerged lands. Authorization to recover pre-cut timber under this Use Agreement does not imply the right to recover specific brands or constitute a determination of ownership of branded timber by the Board of Trustees. This agreement is for a two-person recovery team at a cost of $5,500.

A condition will be included in the Use Agreement to require the submittal of an affidavit from the Use Agreement holder, indicating the waterbodies, specific locations, and the numbers of pre-cut timbers recovered.

The DEP believes the proposed fee is equitable to the harvesters, provides sufficient revenues to the state to monitor the recovery operations, and provides the state a fair return for the products removed from sovereignty submerged lands. By limiting the Use Agreement to two persons,

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Five


Item 2, cont.

both the small and large operations are addressed equally, as a two-person team can only recover so many logs in a set period of time during the limited seasons that allow recovery.

(See Attachment 2, Pages 1-20)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


*

Item 3 Gratz Option Agreement/Belle Meade CARL Project

REQUEST:  Consideration of an option agreement to acquire 818.7 acres within the Belle Meade CARL project from George O. and Virginia Lee Gratz.

COUNTY:  Collier

LOCATION:  Sections 21 and 22, Township 50 South, Range 27 East

CONSIDERATION:  $2,050,000

APPRAISED BY

REVIEW Catlett Dane APPROVED PURCHASE OPTION

NO. PARCEL ACRES (08/22/96) (08/22/96) VALUE PRICE DATE

818001 Gratz/ 818.7 $2,050,000 $2,046,800 $2,050,000 $2,050,000 180 days

311&452 after BOT

approval

STAFF REMARKS:  The Belle Meade CARL project is ranked number 2 on the CARL Priority Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on February 10, 1998, and is eligible for purchase under the Division of State Lands' Land Acquisition Workplan.  This project contains 26,560 acres, of which 17,028.68 acres have been acquired or are under agreement to be acquired.  After the Board of Trustees approves this agreement, 8,712.62 acres or 33 percent of the project will remain to be acquired.

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, title insurance policy, environmental site evaluation and, if necessary, an environmental site assessment will be provided by the purchaser prior to closing. The seller will reimburse the purchaserís title insurance costs, not to exceed $4,000.

The cypress swamps and old-growth slash pine flatwoods in the Belle Meade CARL 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, while providing a large area for recreation in a natural environment to residents of and visitors to rapidly urbanizing southwest Florida.

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

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Six


Item 3, cont.

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 1-22)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


*

Item 4 Schirico Corporation/Niemeyer Purchase Agreements/Coupon Bight/Key Deer CARL Project

REQUEST: Consideration of two purchase agreements to acquire 10.31 acres within the Coupon Bight/Key Deer CARL project from Schirico Corporation and Todd A. Niemeyer.

COUNTY: Monroe

LOCATION: Sections 05 and 26, Township 66 South, Range 29 East

CONSIDERATION: $205,000

APPRAISED BY

Marr

REVIEW (04/27/98) APPROVED PURCHASE CLOSING

NO. PARCEL ACRES (11/17/97) VALUE PRICE DATE

818002 Schirico/9030 9.87 $155,000 $155,000 $145,000 150 days after

BOT approval

818003 Niemeyer/5624 0.22 $ 30,000 $ 30,000 $ 30,000 180 days after

Niemeyer/5626 0.22 $ 30,000 $ 30,000 $ 30,000 BOT approval

10.31 $215,000 $205,000

STAFF REMARKS: The Coupon Bight/Key Deer CARL project is ranked number 2 on the CARL Mega/Multiparcel Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on February 10, 1998, and is eligible for negotiation under the Division of State Landsí Land Acquisition Workplan.  This project contains 1,827 acres, of which 588.59 acres have been acquired or are under agreement to be acquired.  After the Board of Trustees approves these agreements, 1,228.10 acres or 67 percent of the project will remain to be acquired.

On March 12, 1996, the Board of Trustees exercised its authority under section 259.041(1), F.S., to waive the normal appraisal procedures and to substitute other reasonably prudent procedures. This enabled the Division of State Lands to utilize approved appraised values that were based on land use regulations in effect as of January 1, 1996, in Monroe County and Big Pine Key, Florida.

All mortgages and liens will be satisfied at the time of closing.  In the event the commitments for title insurance, to be obtained 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.

Title insurance policies, surveys, environmental site evaluations and, if necessary, environmental site assessments will be provided by the purchaser prior to closing.

The subtropical pine forests of rapidly developing Big Pine Key and the islands around it are the home of the endangered Key deer as well as of many Caribbean plants found nowhere else in the country. Rich coral reefs and other hardbottom communities flourish in the shallow water around the islands. The Coupon Bight/Key Deer CARL project will protect the

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Seven


Item 4, cont.

remaining undeveloped land on Big Pine and No Name Keys, without which the Key deer will not survive; protect the water quality of the Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve and the other waters surrounding the islands; and provide the public an area to appreciate the unique natural world of this part of Florida.

The Schirico parcel will be managed by the Division of Marine Resources as part of the Coupon Bight State Buffer Preserve. The Niemeyer parcels will be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a part of the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge.

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 4, Pages 1-10)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


*

Item 5 Five TNC Option Agreements/Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed CARL Project

REQUEST: Consideration of authorization to acquire 100 percent interest in 30 acres within the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed CARL project from five separate owners.

COUNTY: Lee

LOCATION: Sections 25 and 35, Township 47 South, Range 26 East

CONSIDERATION: $83,000

STAFF REMARKS: The Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) CARL project is ranked number 11 on the CARL Bargain\Shared Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on February 10, 1998, and qualifies for purchase under the Division of State Landsí Land Acquisition Workplan. The project contains 59,008 acres, of which 20,055 have been acquired by the South Florida Water Management District (District) and Lee County, and 849.5 acres are under contract to the Board of Trustees. After the Board of Trustees approves this agreement, 38,073.5 acres or 65 percent of this project will remain to be acquired.

When CREW was added to the CARL list in 1991, a limit was placed on the CARL involvement to encourage local participation in the project. The project was initially planned to be a four party project with equal participation by Lee and Collier counties, the District and the Board of Trustees. To encourage this participation, the Land Acquisition Advisory Council (LAAC) placed both a geographical and financial restriction on the CARL participation in the project. Based on the fact that the Board of Trusteesí share of the overall purchase was to be 25 percent and the initial project cost estimate was $40 million, a $10 million "cap" was imposed and acquisition efforts were limited to the Camp Keis Strand Corridor.

While both Lee County and the District began acquiring land within the project, participation by the Division of State Lands and Collier County was stalled. In the CARL acquisition area (Camp Keis Strand), the Collier family was the largest owner. They were pursuing an exchange with the federal government and were unwilling to consider a sale to the Board of Trustees while these efforts were underway. Collier Countyís bond referendum did not pass and it has been unable to contribute to the project.

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Eight


Item 5, cont.

On November 20, 1992, the LAAC modified the project design to remove the geographical restriction (Camp Keis Strand) but maintained the $10 million cap. The LAAC also limited the CARL match to acquisitions made by the District after the date of the LAAC meeting. Following this decision, staff began working with the District to identify lands purchased that would qualify for the CARL match. Various options to pursue cooperative purchases were considered.

In 1994, the legislature enacted section 259.041, F.S., which provided the authority to adopt District procedures for joint acquisitions. On June 27, 1995, the Board of Trustees authorized staff to enter into an acquisition agreement with the District to acquire various ownerships located within the CREW CARL project in accordance with section 259.041(16), F.S. utilizing the procedures set out in section 373.139, F.S. At the time the original agreement was entered into, the LAAC-imposed cap on funding was still in effect. The District had already made some purchases in the project and requested that the Board of Trustees match the Districtís contribution by paying 100 percent of the cost until the Board of Trusteesí expenditures equaled the Districtís. However, since the estimated cost of the parcels remaining to be acquired in the project exceeded $20 million, a 50/50 match on each succeeding acquisition would exhaust the Board of Trusteesí funding limit of $10 million before the project acquisition was completed. For this reason, a 50/50 agreement was recommended and approved.

On October 30, 1995, the LAAC expanded the project boundary, eliminated the $10 million cap and designated the project a shared acquisition with the District. As a shared acquisition, the District and the Board of Trustees are each expected to spend the same amount in acquiring land within the project. Since the District has already made some purchases for which it would be credited, staff agreed that it would be appropriate for the Board of Trustees to match those purchases called for under the acquisition agreement. Therefore, the acquisition agreement was amended to provide that the Board of Trustees purchase $13,360,000 worth of land in the project at its sole cost and expense before the 50/50 shared acquisitions will resume. The District has provided documentation, acceptable to the Division of State Lands, establishing the Districtís expenditure in this project. Following the Board of Trusteesí authorization of these acquisitions, $1,389,009 worth of land will have been purchased by the Board of Trustees towards matching the Districtís purchases in this project. The remaining matching balance will be $11,970,991.

The District has acquired options to purchase five parcels at 100 percent of the appraised values, from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Pursuant to the terms of the amended acquisition agreement, the District shall be reimbursed for all costs associated with acquiring the five properties, including pre-acquisition and closing related costs. The Board of Trusteesí purchase price will be 100 percent of the contract price negotiated by the District plus 100 percent of the cost incurred in the purchase of the property. Title to the property acquired will vest in the Board of Trustees.

As provided for in the amended acquisition agreement, the Governing Board of the District adopted Resolution 98-82 requesting the Board of Trusteesí share of the purchase price for the five parcels, reimbursement of 100 percent of its pre-acquisition and reimbursement of 100 percent of its closing costs. Pursuant to the amended acquisition agreement, the pre-acquisition and closing costs will be reimbursed from CARL incidental expense funds. TNCís acquisition fee is considered a District staffing cost and is not being recommended for reimbursement. The Districtís resolutions contain all of the assurances required by the amended acquisition agreement.

The property will be managed by the District as a conservation and preservation area with passive public use.

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Nine


Item 5, cont.

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 5, Pages 1-15)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


*

Item 6 Sciturro/Atlantic Gulf Communities Corporation Acquisitions/SFWMD/ North Fork St. Lucie River CARL Project

REQUEST: Consideration of authorization to acquire an undivided 50 percent interest in 104.3 acres within the North Fork St. Lucie River CARL project (Joseph J. Sciturro and Atlantic Gulf Communities Corporation parcels) from the South Florida Water Management District and St. Lucie County.

COUNTY: St. Lucie

LOCATION: Section 02, Township 37 South, Range 40 East; and Sections 08, 09, 16, 17, and 35, Township 36 South, Range 40 East

CONSIDERATION: $691,455 (The Board of Trusteesí 50 percent share of the total purchase price of $1,382,910)

STAFF REMARKS: The North Fork St. Lucie River CARL project is ranked number 18 on the CARL Bargain\Shared Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on February 10, 1998, and qualifies for purchase under the Division of State Landsí Land Acquisition Workplan. The project contains 2,869 acres, of which 1,019.29 have been acquired. After the Board of Trustees approves this agreement, 1,745.41 acres or 61 percent of this project will remain to be acquired.

On December 16, 1997, the Board of Trustees authorized staff to enter into an acquisition agreement with the South Florida Water Management District (District) and St. Lucie County (County) to acquire the North Fork St. Lucie River CARL project in accordance with section 259.041(16), F.S., utilizing the procedures set out in section 373.139, F.S.

The District and the County contracted to purchase the Sciturro ownership at 80 percent of the appraised value and the Atlantic Gulf Communities Corporation ownership at 74 percent of the appraised value. The Board of Trustees' purchase price will be 50 percent of the contract prices negotiated by the District and the County plus 50 percent of the costs incurred in the purchase of the property. Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement, the District shall be reimbursed 50 percent of all costs associated with its attempt to acquire lands within the project, including all pre-acquisition and closing related costs. Title to the property acquired will vest jointly in the Board of Trustees and District with each owning an undivided 50 percent fee simple interest.

As provided for in the acquisition agreement, on October 15, 1998, the Governing Board of the District adopted Resolution No. 98-101, requesting the Board of Trusteesí share of the purchase price for the Sciturro parcel and three of the Atlantic Gulf Communities parcels (the County is retaining parcel 100-004 for environmental education purposes), reimbursement of 50 percent of its pre-acquisition costs and reimbursement of 50 percent of its closing costs (recording, title insurance policy and survey costs). Pursuant to the acquisition agreement, the

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Ten


Item 6, cont.

pre-acquisition and closing costs will be reimbursed from CARL incidental expense funds. The Districtís resolution contains all of the assurances required by the acquisition agreement.

The property will be managed by the Division of Marine Resources as part of the North Fork St. Lucie River State Buffer Preserve.

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 1-70)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


*

Item 7 Key Investments, Inc. Option Agreement/McKay Bay Greenways and Trails Project

REQUEST: Consideration of an option agreement to acquire 6.15 acres within the McKay Bay project under the Preservation 2000 Florida Greenways and Trails program from Key Investments, Inc.

COUNTY:  Hillsborough

APPLICANT: Office of Greenways and Trails

LOCATION:  Section 28, Township 29 South, Range 19 East

CONSIDERATION:  $234,000

APPRAISED BY

REVIEW Marr APPROVED PURCHASE OPTION

NO. PARCEL ACRES (01/15/98) VALUE PRICE DATE

818004 Key Investment 6.15 $275,000 $275,000 * $234,000 180 days

Inc. after BOT

* Approved value with legal access. approval

STAFF REMARKS: The McKay Bay project has been identified on the Office of Greenways and Trails program approved acquisition list. This agreement was negotiated by the Division of State Lands on behalf of the Office of Greenways and Trails under the Preservation 2000 Florida Greenways and Trails program. The project contains 7.60 acres of which these are the first to be acquired. After the Board of Trustees approves this agreement, 1.45 acres or 19 percent of the project will remain to be acquired.

At closing, the seller will grant to the purchaser a perpetual, non-exclusive 60-foot wide easement (unless both parties agree that a narrower easement is acceptable) for ingress and egress. The easement will run from the southerly line of the property to Causeway Boulevard, at a mutually agreed upon location.

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.

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Eleven


Item 7, cont.

A certified survey, title insurance policy, environmental site evaluation and, if necessary, an environmental site assessment, will be provided by the purchaser prior to closing. The seller will reimburse purchaserís title insurance costs.

The acquisition of the McKay Bay project will secure the remaining available land surrounding McKay Bay and complete a link in a multi-use trail system. This project lies within the boundary of the statewide greenway plan.

This property will be managed by the City of Tampa as an addition to the McKay Bay Bike Trail.

This acquisition is consistent with section 260.015, F.S., and section 187.201(10), F.S., the Natural Systems and Recreational Lands section of the State Comprehensive Plan.

(See Attachment 7, Pages 1-33)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


*

Item 8 South Florida Water Management District/Lake Weohyakapka Claim of Ownership

REQUEST: Consideration of a request not to assert a claim of ownership of certain sovereignty lands (policy lands) along Lake Weohyakapka (Walk-in-Water) to be acquired by the South Florida Water Management District under the Save Our Rivers (SOR) program.

COUNTY: Polk

APPLICANT: South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)

LOCATION: A part of Sections 22-27, 35 and 36, Township 30 South, Range 29 East; and Sections 19 and 29-32, Township 30 South, Range 30 East.

STAFF REMARKS: On February 28, 1989, the Board of Trustees set forth a revised policy for dealing with certain state ownership claims for lands to be acquired under the SOR program. The SFWMD has obtained a purchase agreement on 4,009.45 acres, more or less, of land along Lake Weohyakapka, 489 acres of which is subject to review under this policy.

In accordance with the policy, staff has concluded the following:

(1) The lands fall within the boundaries of an acquisition project identified in the approved five-year plan of the SFWMD;

(2) The SFWMD Governing Board has certified that lands to be acquired will be

used for public purposes as enumerated in section 373.59, F.S.;

(3) (a) Based on the criteria, acquisition is in the public interest. Traditional public uses such as boating, swimming, camping, hiking, potential equestrian trails and hunting will be enhanced through the management concept;

(b) Natural resources conservation and environmental protection will be enhanced by preserving the resources and environmental values of Lake Weohyakapka;

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Twelve


Item 8, cont.

(4) Information supplied by the SFWMD is sufficient to make a public interest

determination;

(5) SFWMD agrees that the policy lands purchased by the SFWMD will revert to

the Board of Trustees if such lands are no longer used for the public purposes

enumerated in section 373.59, F.S.;

(6) & (7) The purchase agreement is for fee simple acquisition of 4,009.45 acres, more

or less, for $3,950,000. According to SFWMDís review appraisal, estimated final market value is $4,200,000 ($1,047 per gross acre). The mapping indicates that 489 acres of the acquisition parcel are policy lands. For the policy lands, the SFWMD states that a value of $735 per acre, 70 percent of estimated market value, has been negotiated by the SFWMD for a total of $359,415.

(8) Litigation to resolve the ownership question will unreasonably delay the long

term conservation and protection of a significant state water resource.

On November 14, 1991, the Board of Trustees reviewed past SOR purchases and passed a motion to continue the review process under the existing policy. This would allow the Board of Trustees to monitor the magnitude of public dollars being spent on policy lands, which at that time were being purchased at 99 percent of appraised value. It was also an opportunity to be kept informed regarding leaseback arrangements and other private uses of policy lands. Those concerns identified specifically by motion and approved by the Board of Trustees at the meeting have been addressed as follows:

(1) SFWMD instructed its contract appraiser that 489 acres are wetlands or policy

lands. The agreement to purchase this tract reflects that the District is paying 70 percent of the appraised value for the policy lands.

(2) The option of condemning these properties was not considered.

(3) No leaseback arrangements will occur in the acquisition of this tract.

(4) N/A - No leaseback arrangements.

(5) N/A - No leaseback arrangements.

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 8, Pages 1-45)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


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Item 9 State-owned Land Encumbrances/Federal Grants

REQUEST: Authorization to encumber specific parcels of state-owned land as a condition for the receipt of federal grant money.

COUNTY: Statewide

APPLICANT: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Thirteen


Item 9, cont.

STAFF REMARKS: When state land is purchased or restored using federal grant dollars or is used as a match for the federal funds, the federal government requires that the land purchased, restored or pledged as a match be used only for the purposes specified in the grant agreement. The federal requirements preclude the grant recipient from altering the use of those lands or from disposing of or encumbering them without the concurrence of the granting agency. The matching grants listed below require Board of Trusteesí approval because acquisition with federal grant dollars or the use of state land for a restoration project or as a grant match will result in certain restrictions on the future use of Board of Trusteesí property. Staff has reviewed these grants and has determined that the objectives of the stateís environmental land acquisition and management programs will be served if approval is granted. The grant conditions are consistent with the program needs that were established when the lands were originally selected for acquisition and will not limit the managersí ability to carry out their management responsibilities.

Kissimmee Prairie Ecosystem Ė Phase I

The project area comprises approximately 47,300 acres of wetland and grass prairie habitats, most of which have been negatively impacted by past agricultural practices. The goal of this Phase I proposal is to acquire the land to be conserved and complete a significant portion of the necessary restoration and enhancement work. Based on preliminary surveys, it is estimated that the project will benefit over 800 plant and animal species. This is a partnership acquisition with $997,456 from the North American Wetlands Conservation Program, and $9,328,401 from various Florida partners, such as the Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited and state agencies, including the DEP. Since federal funds are being used, all acreage acquired or restored will be restricted to the conservation objectives of the project and no change in use or future development can take place without the federal approval.

Myakka Wetland/Dry Prairie Restoration

Historic land uses and damaging management practices have severely impinged upon the dry prairie and wetland ecosystems within the Myakka River State Park, owned by the Board of Trustees and managed by Division of Recreation and Parks (DRP), and the adjacent Myakka Prairie, owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Nearly forty years of fire exclusion, ditching to expedite wetlands drainage to improve cattle grazing, and the construction of an elevated railroad grade perpendicular to the course of sheet flow have all combined to diminish habitat of listed species, reduce wetlands storage capacity and skew sheet flow and hydroperiods. This project will restore sheet flow by lowering three miles of old railroad grade and restoring 800 acres, more or less, of dry prairie paralleling Deer Prairie Slough, a major slough system which empties into the Myakka River. This is a partnership project with $21,900 from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program and $17,176 in state matching funds. Since federal funds are being used, all acreage restored will be restricted to the conservation objectives of the project and no change in use or future development can take place without federal approval.

St. Joe/St. Andrews Beach Mouse Protection Program

At St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, which is owned by the Board of Trustees and managed by DRP, there was substantial damage to dune habitat caused by Hurricane Opal. The storm damaged community has been additionally impacted by foot traffic from park visitors seeking access to the Gulf beach in the area of the rental cabins and youth camp at the north end of the park drive. This proposal is to build a wooden walkway that would reduce visitor impacts to the remaining dune habitat used by the St. Andrews Beach Mouse. The project will involve

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Fourteen


Item 9, cont.

$9,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and $3,000 from DRPís budget. Since federal funds are being used, the immediate construction area, consisting of less than one acre, will be restricted to the conservation objectives of the project and no change in use or future development can take place without federal approval.

Van Fleet State Trail Head Construction Project

The Van Fleet State Trail, owned by the Board of Trustees and managed by DRP, is a multi-purpose Rails to Trails facility which provides pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian use from Mabel in Sumter County, south, through Lake County, to Polk City in Polk County. Trailheads along the trail provide access points to the trail and typically have support facilities consisting of restrooms and picnic shelters for use by trail users. The proposed project contemplates the construction of a permanent trailhead at Polk City consisting of a paved entrance road, parking, restrooms and picnic shelters. A Clivus Multrum Composting Toilet and a picnic shelter will also be installed at the Bay Lake Road Trailhead. The $400,000 project will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) program. Since federal funds are being used, the construction areas for the trailheads, encompassing a total of 15 acres, more or less, will be restricted to the recreation objectives of the project and no change in use or future development can take place without federal approval.

Withlacoochee State Trail Trailhead Construction Project

The Withlacoochee State Trail, owned by the Board of Trustees and managed by DRP, is a multi-purpose Rails to Trails facility which provides pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian use from Citrus Springs in Citrus County, south, through Hernando County, to Trilby in Pasco County. Trailheads along the trail provide access points to the trail and typically have support facilities consisting of restrooms and picnic shelters for use by trail users. The proposed project contemplates the construction of a permanent trailhead at the intersection of the Withlacoochee State Trail and North Apopka Avenue in Inverness consisting of a paved entrance road, parking, restrooms and picnic shelters. The project also includes the construction of a permanent rest room and picnic shelter at the Trilby Junction Trailhead in Trilby. The temporary Clivus Multrum Composting Toilets located in Inverness and the Trilby Junction Trailhead will be relocated to remote locations along the trail. The $400,000 project will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration through the ISTEA program. Since federal funds are being used, the construction areas for the trailheads, encompassing a total of 20 acres, more or less, will be restricted to the recreation objectives of the project and no change in use or future development can take place without federal approval.

Phipps-Overstreet Greenway Crossover

This project is to construct a grade separated crossover of Meridian Road for the purpose of providing a bicycle, pedestrian and equestrian connection between components of the Phipps-Overstreet Greenway. The crossover structure will connect Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, owned by the City of Tallahassee and the Northwest Florida Water Management District, to the Overstreet Addition to Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens, owned by the Board of Trustees. The $900,000 project will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration through the ISTEA program. Since federal funds are being used, the construction area will be restricted to the recreation objectives of the project and no change in use or future development can take place without federal approval. The portion of the project

located on the state park consists of less than one acre.

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Fifteen


Item 9, cont.

Cross Florida Greenway West End Trail System

The proposed project, owned by the Board of Trustees and managed by the DEPís Office of Greenways and Trails, starts at the southwest corner of the U.S. 19 bridge on the Cross Florida Greenway just south of Inglis and continues west to the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed construction would allow local residents and visitors to Citrus County to traverse the Cross Florida Greenway as an alternative to the existing road system. The planned trailhead will provide safe parking for trail users. The $1,319,175 project will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration through the ISTEA program. Since federal funds are being used, the construction area, consisting of 14.3 acres, more or less, will be restricted to the recreation objectives of the project and no change in use or future development can take place without federal approval.

A consideration of the status of the local government comprehensive plan was not made for this item. The DEP has determined that the approval of this item is not subject to the local government planning process.

(See Attachment 9, Pages 1-8)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


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Item 10 Wekiva Basin GEOpark Management Plan

DEFERRED FROM THE OCTOBER 27, 1998 AGENDA

REQUEST: Consideration of a request to approve the management plan for the Wekiva Basin GEOpark.

APPLICANTS: Division of Recreation and Parks and Orange County

LOCATION: Lake, Orange, Seminole, and Volusia counties

STAFF REMARKS: This plan was developed by the Division of Recreation and Parks and describes proposed management activities for the Wekiva Basin GEOpark (Lease Numbers 2386, 2950 and 3571), which consists of 38,697 acres of land owned by the Board of Trustees. A GEOpark (Geographically Efficient Operations) is a series of parks in an area that are operated under one park manager and a common administrative structure. The Wekiva Basin GEOpark consists of Lower Wekiva River State Preserve, Rock Springs Run State Reserve, and Wekiwa Springs State Park.

The authority to approve management plans has been delegated to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); however, when the subject of a delegation involves a controversial matter or an issue of significant public interest, the matter shall be brought before the Board of Trustees for a decision. Public interest in the Wekiva Basin GEOpark management plan centers around a proposed easement to Orange County to establish a section of the West Orange Trail.

Primary resource management activities for the properties include: removal of tram roads; restoration of pasture lands and hydric hammocks; water quality and quantity monitoring for

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Sixteen


Item 10, cont.

all water bodies; remediation of erosion problems; and fire management of sandhills, flatwoods, and scrub communities. Monitoring and conducting surveys of bald eagles nests, Florida scrub jays, black bears, and aquatic cave fauna and flora are the recommended management activities for designated species located in the GEOpark. Recreational activities offered at the GEOpark include nature study, picnicking, canoeing, bicycling, horseback riding, hiking, camping, fishing, and swimming. Rock Springs Run State Reserve is managed under a multiple-agency management lease, and hunting occurs on the property under a program managed by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (GFC). The following recreational facilities are proposed for the properties:

Wekiwa Springs State Park - campsites, picnic shelters, trailhead facilities, concession building, visitor center expansion, and a greenway connection to the West Orange Trail.

Rock Springs Run State Reserve - an ecology camp, bicycle trails, trailheads, an open-air environmental education center, an interpretive site, and a highway crossing.

Lower Wekiva River State Preserve - primitive camping, canoe trails, trailheads, and a horse camp. In addition, several existing facilities will be repaired and renovated to meet American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

The Division of Recreation and Parks recommends that Orange County be granted an easement up to 50 feet wide and approximately 4.5 miles in length for Phase IV of the West Orange Trail. The West Orange Trail is a regional greenway totaling 30 miles in length and is a component of a larger greenway network that links many central Florida communities. The easement would be located along the western boundary of Wekiwa Springs State Park on an existing dirt road that is currently used for security patrols, fence maintenance, and as a fire break for prescribed burning. The easement, which would consist of approximately 27 acres, contains areas of sandhills natural communities that were identified in the Florida Preservation 2000 Remaining Needs and Priorities Addendum Report as inadequately represented on public lands. However, this community type, where it exists within the proposed easement, will be managed to minimize impacts to the greatest extent possible.

A Land Management Review Team, established pursuant to section 259.036, F.S., conducted a review of the Wekiva Basin GEOpark on March 24-25, 1998. One of the teamís conclusions was that locating the West Orange Trail inside the parkís west boundary would be incompatible with resource protection.

The Division of State Lands and the Land Acquisition and Management Advisory Council (LAMAC) completed their reviews of the subject land management plan and found that it fulfilled all requirements of Rule 18-2.021, F.A.C., and sections 253.034 and 259.032, F.S. On May 5, 1998, LAMAC recommended that the management plan be approved with modifications to address the following: (1) archaeological survey; (2) wildlife monitoring activities; (3) optimum carrying capacity for hunters at Rock Springs Run State Reserve; (4) rule citation relating to public use on Rock Springs Run State Reserve; (5) required permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for incidental takes during prescribed burns; and (6) the Wekiva River Basin Interagency Strategic Plan. The Division of Recreation and Parks has modified the plan to incorporate the LAMAC recommended modifications. LAMAC also asked that the design plan for the portion of the West Orange Trail that traverses Wekiwa Springs State Park be submitted to LAMAC for review. The Division of Recreation and Parks and Orange County presented the trail design plan to LAMAC staff on August 13, 1998. LAMAC staff recommended that the design plan be approved with modifications to address the following: (1) remove all invasive oaks less than 50 years in age in sandhills communities; (2) replace each longleaf pine taken with 10

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Seventeen


Item 10, cont.

longleaf pines; (3) defer to park biologists for location of replacement trees; (4) replant only native plant species; (5) do not mow native ground cover; (6) minimize construction impact by working with the St. Johns River Water Management District to reduce the width or eliminate the stormwater swale in sandhills communities; (7) locate the equestrian trails as close as possible to paved trail; (8) coordinate with local GFC staff to relocate any species that could be trapped by the proposed fence design; (9) install a fire-tolerant fence; (10) revise the statement of purpose to include the protection of adjacent natural and cultural resources; (11) describe cultural resources; (12) conduct a CARL Phase I archaeological survey before any ground disturbing activities occur; and (13) submit the ISTEA grant to the Division of Historical Resources for review. Orange County has amended the design plan to reflect LAMAC staffís recommendations. LAMAC approved the amended design plan on October 15, 1998.

If this item is approved and after approval of final trail plans and designs by the Division of Recreation and Parks, survey of the easement by the County, and the Countyís receipt of funding for trail construction, the DEP will issue an easement to Orange County to authorize the use of a portion of Wekiwa Springs State Park for development of Phase IV of the West Orange Trail in accordance with the proposed management plan and the site design plan.

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


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Item 11 Wakulla Springs Protection Zone CARL Project/Eminent Domain Authority/ Condemnation Resolution/Delegation

REQUEST:  Consideration of a request to (1) direct the Department of Environmental Protection to exercise the power of eminent domain pursuant to the provisions of chapters 73 and 74, F.S., to acquire approximately 24.73 acres of land located in the Wakulla Springs Protection Zone CARL project; (2) adopt a condemnation resolution for the Kenneth M. Kirton property; and (3) delegate authority to the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection to prepare and execute a condemnation resolution for the Kirton property.

COUNTY:  Wakulla

LOCATION: Section 03, Township 03 South, Range 01 West

STAFF REMARKS: The Wakulla Springs Protection Zone CARL project is ranked number 23 on the CARL Priority Project List approved by the Board of Trustees on February 10, 1998, and is eligible for negotiation under the Division of State Landsí (DSL) Land Acquisition Workplan. This project contains 10,243 acres, of which these would be the first to be acquired.

The Wakulla Springs Protection Zone project overlies large subterranean conduits thought to have a direct link with the main spring at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. Based on the pattern of sinkholes and known conduits, this northwest portion of the project was declared essential for acquisition. The Kirton property is a critical connector between the park and the essential lands to the north. Development of this parcel could result in irreparable damage to Wakulla Springs water quality. For several years, the owner has aggressively, but unsuccessfully, pursued zoning and comprehensive land use plan changes from agricultural/rural uses to a commercial classification. Recently, the owner has been granted a conditional use permit by Wakulla County that will allow the development of a proposed

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Eighteen


Item 11, cont.

commercial RV park. This permitted use could presumably trigger rezoning and further commercial development of the area in the future.

On July 28, 1998, the Board of Trustees authorized the Director of the Division of State Lands, Department of Environmental Protection, or his designee, to extend offers and approve any contract for the sale and purchase of land at up to 115 percent of the appraised value. An offer of $207,150 (appraised value), made on October 9, 1998, was rejected on October 14, 1998. An offer of $238,222 (115 percent of appraised value), made on October 15, 1998, was rejected on October 20, 1998. Mr. Kirton considered both offers to be too low.

Section 259.041(13), F.S., authorizes the Board of Trustees, by majority vote of all of its members, to direct Department of Environmental Protection to exercise its power of eminent domain pursuant to the provisions of chapters 73 and 74, F.S. Eminent domain may be used to acquire any of the property on the CARL priority list if (1) the state has made at least two bona fide offers to purchase the land through negotiation and an impasse between the state and the land owner has been reached; and (2) the land is of special importance to the state because (a) it involves an endangered or natural resource and is in imminent danger of being developed; (b) it is of unique value to the state and failure to acquire the property would constitute an irreparable loss to the state; or (c) the failure to acquire the property would seriously impair the state's ability to manage or protect other state-owned lands.

The Wakulla Springs Protection Zone CARL project meets these criteria: (1) the state has made at least two bona fide offers and has been unable to acquire these parcels through negotiation; (2)(a) this parcel is in imminent danger of development and must be acquired to protect a unique resource, the aquifer feeding Wakulla Springs through a subterranean connection; and (2)(b) development of this parcel could contribute to groundwater and surface water pollution. Because the entire area surrounding the state park is karst topography, pollutants such as petrochemicals, sewage and stormwater runoff, making their way into these subsurface areas, could result in diminishing water quality in Wakulla Springs. In addition, these pollutants could make their way under State Road 267 into Indian Springs Run which flows into Sally Ward Spring Run and eventually into the Wakulla River within the state park, impairing management.

Pursuant to the Board of Trusteesí eminent domain policy, DSL has mailed proper notice to the owner of record. The requirement to provided to the owner of record 45 days notice preceding todayís Board of Trustees meeting has been waived by the owner. In accordance with the eminent domain policy, the notice advised the owner that homesteaded property was exempt from eminent domain without the ownerís written permission. This property is not homesteaded property. If the Board of Trustees approves this item, DSL intends to amend its existing contract with the Office of the Attorney General to handle the condemnation of this parcel.

This parcel, when acquired, will be managed by Division of Recreation and Parks as an addition to the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs 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 11, Pages 1-13)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Nineteen


Item 12 Security Federal Savings v. Taylor Creek, Ltd., et al and Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund v. Taylor Creek, Ltd., et al Stipulation For Settlement

REQUEST: Consideration of an agreement to settle Case No. 90-416 CA (Security Federal Savings v. Taylor Creek, Ltd., et al) and Case No. 89-231 CA (Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund v. Taylor Creek, Ltd., et al).

COUNTY: Okeechobee

APPLICANTS: Division of State Lands and the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

LOCATION: Section 35, Township 37 South, Range 35 East

CONSIDERATION: $585,000, divided evenly between the Board of Trustees and the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.

STAFF REMARKS: The Taylor Creek Lodge (TCL) property consists of two adjacent parcels comprising 14 acres, one belonging to the Board of Trustees and the other belonging to the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (GFC). The property consists of 109 recreational vehicle and mobile home pads, a small bait and tackle shop and convenience store, a small marina with dry storage, and a biological field station.

On September 15, 1958, the Board of Trustees entered into a 25-year lease with J. E. Lee for the Board of Trustees parcel. There was no renewal option in the lease and assignments could not be made without prior Board of Trustees approval.

On January 16, 1959, GFC entered into a 25-year lease with J. E. Lee for the GFC parcel plus the Board of Trusteesí parcel. This lease did contain a 25-year renewal option and did not require assignments to be pre-approved. Why the GFC lease included the Board of Trusteesí parcel is not known.

The Board of Trustees lease expired in 1983 and the GFC lease expired in 1984. Instead of maintaining two leases on the site, the Board of Trustees and GFC authorized the negotiation of a consolidated lease. The tenant at that time refused to re-negotiate the lease fee and, subsequently, the Board of Trustees and GFC authorized legal action for ejectment. The tenant then counterclaimed that the second lease replaced the first lease on the Board of Trustees parcel and its exercise of the renewal option gave it a valid tenancy until the year 2009. The counterclaim asserts that various actions and inactions on the part of the Board of Trustees constitute tacit agreement that the second lease is superior. Counsel for the Board of Trustees and GFC have indicated that the counterclaimantís arguments may be viewed favorably by the court.

Early in 1990, Security Trust Savings and Loan Association (S&L), which held a loan agreement with the tenant for $1 million dollars secured by the leasehold, filed a legal action against the tenant and GFC to foreclose on the leasehold. Shortly thereafter, the tenant abandoned the lease and declared bankruptcy. The parties then agreed to the appointment of a receiver to operate TCL and provide monthly financial reports during the pendency of the litigation because the site was open, operating and occupied by a number of persons and GFC. TCL has been operating under receivership ever since.

Eventually, S&Lís interest was bought out by Dr. I. H. Crouch of Ledbetter, Kentucky. Dr. Crouch is, therefore, successor to the foreclosure action and the counterclaim against the Board of Trustees and GFC. He has also served in the management and resolution of issues as

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Twenty


Item 12, cont.

this proceeding has gone forward. His mother is the nominal receiver, and he has authority to resolve issues if this matter settles.

An appraisal of the market value of the leased fee estate was performed by Harry D. Gray, MAI, State-Certified General Appraiser and Andrea M. Kuhn, MAI, State-Certified General Appraiser. The effective date of value was March 1, 1997, and the estimated value of the leased fee estate was $580,000. Dr. Crouch has offered to pay $585,000.

If these cases go to trial and there is a ruling against the Board of Trustees, the lease will continue to 2009 at an annual rental fee of $750. If the ruling favors the Board of Trustees, the leasehold could be marketed at a higher rent. However, staff believes it would be to the Board of Trusteesí advantage to settle with Dr. Crouch for several reasons. If the Board of Trustees remains the landlord, it will be responsible for upgrading the sewage package plant on site to bring it into compliance with permitting requirements. It is estimated that the cost could be upwards of $110,000. Some of the recreational sites have been converted to permanent dwellings and the residents have formed a home owners association under chapter 723, F.S., placing a severe limitation on future use of the property. There are also a number of encroachments by an adjacent landowner. Under the circumstances, it is doubtful that the Board of Trustees could receive enough revenue to offset the costs associated with maintaining the lease.

The settlement agreement includes the following conditions:

1. Dr. Crouch will pay $585,000 for the Taylor Creek property. A Purchase Agreement shall be executed within 45 days of Board of Trusteesí approval of the Stipulation for Settlement.

2. The property shall be conveyed "as is" with respect to all structures, appurtenances, and buildings of any kind.

3. Dr. Crouch will hold the Board of Trustees harmless for any condition of the

property, including code violations, existing prior to transfer. This also includes a

number of unpermitted docks extending from the property over the submerged lands in Taylor Creek.

4. Dr. Crouch will hold the Board of Trustees harmless in any dealing with or actions by the mobile home association which was set up pursuant to chapter 723, F.S.

5. Dr. Crouch will indemnify and hold harmless the Board of Trustees from all issues

raised or which could have been raised in the lawsuit, and a comprehensive settlement

will be filed with the court.

6. GFC reserves from the sale its Regional Fisheries Office.

7. The Board of Trustees and GFC shall obtain a release of any claim of any state or local government in any ad valorem taxes or leasehold taxes on the Taylor Creek property.

8. The Board of Trustees and GFC shall assist the purchaser in obtaining the necessary

operating permits to continue operating the sewage plant on the property subject to applicable law and consent agreements.

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Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Twenty-one


Item 12, cont.

9. Dr. Crouch shall seek to obtain a waiver and release from the Okeechobee Board of

County Commissioners relating to the Notice of Sale of State Land under section 253.111, F.S. In the event Dr. Crouch, after diligent effort, is unable to obtain the waiver of release, then the Board of Trustees shall provide the requisite notice.

10. Dr. Crouch shall secure any necessary releases, waivers, or dismissal of any rights

or interests of other parties in the litigation or the Taylor Creek property.

11. Each party shall bear its own costs and attorneys fees.

12. Upon seeking the approval of the Circuit Court for a final settlement agreement, the parties shall dissolve the receivership. Dr. Crouch shall be transferred all revenues in

the receivership accounts for TCL.

The GFC approved the Stipulation for Settlement at its July 10, 1998 Board Meeting held in Fort Myers, Florida.

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 this settlement is not subject to the local government planning process.

(See Attachment 12, Pages 1-26)

RECOMMEND APPROVAL


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Item 13 Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Petition

REQUEST: Consideration of a petition filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) against the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the governing boards of the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), and Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), seeking relief as set forth below.

COUNTY: Statewide

APPLICANT: DEP, as staff to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (See section 253.002(1),F.S.)

STAFF REMARKS: On September 24, 1998, DEP received a petition from PEER against the respondents named above, asking the Board of Trustees "... TO REVIEW THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DELEGATED AUTHORITY FOR SOVEREIGN SUBMERGED LANDS, TO ISSUE A PROTECTIVE ORDER FOR PERSONNEL WITHIN THE SOVEREIGN SUBMERGED LANDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE PERMITTING PROGRAM, TO TAKE OTHER APPROPRIATE ACTION TO PROTECT SOVEREIGN SUBMERGED LANDS, AND TO INITIATE RULEMAKING." (See title of PEER petition.)

Board of Trustees

Agenda - November 10, 1998 Page Twenty-two


Item 13, cont.

As may be seen from the title of its petition, PEER was asking the Board of Trustees to take the following action:

(1) Review implementation of the delegated authority for sovereign submerged

lands, and problems associated therewith;

(2) Issue a "protective order" for personnel within the Submerged

Lands/Environmental Resource Permitting (SLERP) program; and

(3) Initiate rulemaking to amend portions of Chapters 18-20 and 18-21, F.A.C.

On September 29, 1998, General Counsel for DEP, acting under the authority of section 253.002(1), F.S., and Delegation of Authority ED-14 which was approved by the Board of Trustees at the regularly scheduled Cabinet Meeting on February 4, 1992, entered an order denying PEERís request for the Board of Trustees to issue a protective order on the ground that only a court of law may issue protective orders, and denying PEERís request to initiate rulemaking on the ground that PEER did not have standing to request such rulemaking. The denial of the request to initiate rulemaking was specifically "WITHOUT PREJUDICE." Because of typographical errors in the first and second orders entered, a Second Amended Final Order was entered on October 1, 1998.

Also on September 29, 1998, PEER filed a MOTION TO CONSIDER PEERíS EMERGENCY PETITION alleging that the DEP Secretary and the DEP Office of General Counsel had a conflict of interest, and therefore, the petition should only be considered by the Board of Trustees and not by their staff. A Supplemental Final Order was entered on October 1, 1998, denying said Motion on the grounds that (a) it was moot, having been received after entry of the aforesaid order; and (b) PEERís allegations of misfeasance and malfeasance by DEP played no part in entry of the aforesaid order.

Regarding the third item of relief requested in PEERís original petition (see item (1) above), on October 5, 1998, Deputy Secretary Kirby Green wrote to the Board of Trustees advising them that DEP is looking into those issues now and would submit a complete and comprehensive report to the Board of Trustees at a cabinet meeting in November or December, 1998.

Because of the controversial nature of this issue, we are submitting the petition to the Board of Trustees for their consideration.

(See Attachment 13, Pages 1-79)