S" LAW OFFICES
BLAIN & CONE, P. A.
P. 0 BOX 399
L.M. BLAIN TAMPA, FLORIDA 33601
THOMAS E. CONE, JR. 202 MADISON STREET
RUSSELL M BLAIN (813) 223-3888
June 1, 1979
John T. Allen, Esquire
4508 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, Florida 33711
Re: Southwest Florida Water Management District
Your letter of April 23, 1979 to Rep. Kiser
Last week I learned from Carl Linn, City Attorney for St.
Petersburg, that you were upset about Harold Aiken's letter of
April 13, 1979 to Terry Knepper about the procedure to be followed
in considering renewal applications for consumptive use permits.
I am surprised that you didn't bring this up April 24, 1979 (the
day after your letter) at the workshop held between Pinellas
County Commissioners and the Pinellas County Members of the
SWFWMD Governing Board which you and I attended.
The permits for most of the public supply wellfields owned by
Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg,
and West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority are scheduled to
expire on December 31, 1980. Section 373.239(3),F.S., provides
that renewal applications shall be treated in the same manner as
initial applications. However, Section 373.233(2) provides that in
the event two or more competing applications qualify equally, the
Governing Board shall give preference to a renewal application over
an initial application.
I do not believe there is reason for your apprehension and will
attempt to reassure you at a meeting which I am scheduling to be
held June 22, 1979 at my office. At that time we will discuss the
procedure to be followed in making renewal applications. We'll
also discuss criteria to be applied.
Rule 16J-2.14(2), F.A.C., provides that applications for renewal of
permits may be made at any time during the last year of the term of
the unexpired permit and at such other times as the permitted can
show good cause for earlier consideration. It seems in the best
interest of all parties that we not wait until the last minute to
begin consideration of these renewal applications, therefore, we are
setting up this meeting well in advance.
John T. Allen, Esq.
June 1, 1979
The type of information referred to in Mr. Aiken's letter is
consistent with information required of all public supply
applicants. If you feel any of these items are unreasonable or
are unnecessarily burdensome, please let us know as soon as
possible. Applicants seeking to renew an existing permit without
increasing the amounts permitted would not be expected to provide
as much supporting data as applicants who desire increases in
I fully expect the Board to grant renewal permits for any
existing quantities so long as the existing use is a reasonable
beneficial use as defined by the statute and is allowable under
the common law of this state. This position appears to have been
upheld by the Florida Supreme Court in the recent case entitled
Village of Tequesta vs. Jupiter Inlet Corporation which does not
give definite answers as to the actual amount of water that may be
taken by overlying land owners but does provide that the Water
Resources Act now controls the use of water and replaces the ad hoc
judicial determination in water management districts where
consumptive use permitting is in force.
I had a very cordial discussion with Carl Linn about this. I do
not believe you should get overly concerned and certainly not
until after we have met. If you are still dissatisfied, you can
certainly seek a legislative remedy during the 1980 session well in
advance of the time the current applications expire.
If you have any questions you wish to pursue prior to the meeting
on June 22, 1979, please let me know.
By copy of this letter, I'm inviting the attorneys for the various
well field owners, together with appropriate staff members to meet
with us at my office at 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 22. I hope each
will indicate whether or not he pl s to attend.
LMB/mlc M. BLAI'
cc: Carl Linn, Esq. / bcc: Mr. Derrill McAteer
Clint Brown, Esq. Mr. Cliff Stephens
Louis de la Parte, Esq. Mrs. Helen Thompson
Gerald Figurski, Esq.
Jack McPherson, Esq.
Mr. Donald R. Feaster
Mrs. Barbara A. Vergara
Mr. Harold Aiken