Title: SWFWMD In the Matter of: Establishment of Minimum Water Levels and Flood Warning Levels on Lake Panasoffkee within the Withlacoochee River Basin of th
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Title: SWFWMD In the Matter of: Establishment of Minimum Water Levels and Flood Warning Levels on Lake Panasoffkee within the Withlacoochee River Basin of th
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00052535
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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ESTAULSIUME2TT OF 'IXMIM'M WATLR
LEVEL S AND FLOOD WARNING LEVELS )
ON LAKE PANASOFFKEE WITHIN THE )
WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER BASIN OF THE)
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER )
MANAGEMENT DISTRICT )
______________________________________) ^-
RECOMMENDED ORDER

Pursuant to proper notices, a hearing was held before Wm. 0.

Stubbs, Jr., Hearing Officer, appointed by and a member of the

Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District,

at the Sumter County Courthouse, Room 204, 400 North Florida

Avenue, Bushnell, Florida/ on February 22, 1982 at 7:30 p.m. The

proceedings were convened to consider establishing minimum water

levels and flood warning levels pursuant to the provisions of

Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, and the implementation through the

District's Rules promulgated in Chapter 40D-8 (formerly Chapter

16J-8), Florida Administrative Code.

Public notice has been given pursuant to Chapter 120, Florida

Statutes, posted at conspicuous locations around the water body under

consideration as well as letters sent by certified mail both to

various federal, state and local agencies and environmental organi-

zations and associations, and to the persons listed as owning

property adjoining the lake being considered and all of which appears

in the File of Record.

The District staff presented testimony and evidence which appears

in the File of Record as the basis for establishing minimum water

levels and flood warning levels along with the method and procedure

followed in determining the minimum water levels and flood warning




Recreation and Water conservadtuir i d'iu 1VnLLuVL r --

follows:
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Upn onoador^aton of l11 ouch tootimony and evidence presented,
the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommended

Order are submitted:
FINDINGS OF FACT

1. The District staff has recommended that minimum water levels

be established on Lake Panasoffkee within the Withlacoochee River

Basin and that flooding warning levels be published for Lake

Panasoffkee.

2. Public notice has been given in the Florida Administrative

Weekly, local newspapers, and posted at conspicuous sites around

the lake under consideration. Also, letters noticing the hearing

were sent by certified mail to federal, state and local agencies,

associations and societies and to the property owners listed on Tax

Records, as being around the lake. The letters also solicited comments

and suggestions on the recommended minimum water levels and flood

warning levels.

3. The recommended minimum water levels are designed to assist

in the prevention of significant harm to the water resources of the

area.

4. The establishment of minimum water levels and flood warning

advisory levels for the lake appearing on Exhibit "A" will enable

the Southwest Florida Water Management District to more effectively

regulate and manage the water resources as well as protect non-

consumptive uses of water including the prevention of damages from

flood, soil erosion and excessive drainage.

5. The staff conducted an on-site inspection of the biological,

vegetative, cultural and structural features of the lake under
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Recreation and Water Conservation ana Iuuu-i- iu.^,i..





nyaojogic data available on this lake. Based upon these investiga-

tions, the staff re nmended minimum water lev,.s consisting of a

minimum flood level, minimum (low management) level, minimum

(extreme low management) level, and a flood warning level as appears

on Exhibit "A" attached hereto. In light of the testimony and

evidence presented at the hearings, these levels will enable the

District to better manage and regulate the water resources of the area.

6. At the hearing various property owners abutting the lake and

users of the lake for recreational purposes presented evidence that

the recommended minimum water levels for Lake Panasoffkee should be

higher for access by boats to their docks.and property,aesthetics and

because of the outfall drainage and flow from the lake. The evidence

and testimony presented by personnel from the Florida Fresh Water

Fish and Game Commission.and the Florida Department of Environmental

Regulation supports a procedure of allowing the lake to fluctuate

naturally over a wider range rather than restricting it by raising

the low management levels as suggested by members of the public.

After reviewing the testimony, evidence presented and requests to

raise the minimum water levels that the staff recommended, the facts

indicate that the staff's recommended minimum water levels would not

alter the drainage and flow from the lake any differently than pre-

sently experienced, and it appears that the suggested raising of the

recommended levels for cultural, aesthetic and personal convenience

reasons given by the public is not justified by the overall weight of

the evidence and would not protect the water resources in this lake

from significant harm. Further, the evidence presented at the hear-

ing indicates the major concern of the public at the hearing was to

maintain the ecologic integrity'of the lake for both consumptive

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Recreation and Water Conservation ana cont.ro. -.uu-'- --

follows:h the mmendaton oi
1 Fnoar& agcd ts and agrees withthe






cr*l^f n. i. rct. t. **.' < $..t **n orf:C-o, t~hvsre
should be notices sent to the Board of County Commissioners of

Sumter County and the property owners along the lake that the

prevention of any activities that will impede the lake from fluctu-

ating through these levels will assist in preventing both significant

harm to the water resources and damage from flooding and soil erosion.

7. The recommended ten-year flood warning levels for the lake

will serve as an advisory level for public information purposes.

8. Need exists to adopt and implement minimum water levels on

this lake to protect the water resources of the area. The ten-year

flood warning levels will assist the general public and should be

placed on record in the public records of Sumter County in the form

of a Resolution from the District.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

9. The Hearing Officer, as a member of and duly appointed by

the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District

pursuant to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, has jurisdiction to

conduct this hearing and enter a Recommended Order on the District

adopting minimum water levels and an advisory flood warning level as

shown on Exhibit "A" attached hereto.

10. Notice, in accordance with Chapter 120, Florida Statutes,

as well as posted notices located at conspicuous locations on the

lake and notices sent by certified mail to federal, state and local

agencies having mutual concern over the lake was given. In addition,

letters were sent by certified mail to the Tax Record listed property

owners on the lake and to persons and parties requesting notice

thereof and all were given the opportunity.to appear and/or present

testimony at the hearing concerning the minimum water levels and ten-

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Recreation and Water Conservation ana conirou n-u-- --






d '0' 13.1 4 1x t i V '.
the District to establish the level of surface water bodios at which

further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water

resources of the area, and to provide for the protection of non-

consumptive uses of said water in the area.

12. Establishment of the minimum water levels (flood level,

low management and extreme low management) and ten-year flood warn-

ing levels, along with the proper water management of water resources

will allow the District to manage and regulate those activities that

will be significantly harmful to the water resources of the area

and prevent damage from floods, soil erosion and excessive drainage.


RECOMMENDED ORDER
After reviewing the entire record herein and based upon the

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law set forth above, it is hereby

recommended that the,Southwest Florida Water Management District adopt

the minimum water levels (flood level, low management and extreme low

management) as part of its rules under Chapter 40D-8, Florida Admini-

strative Code, on Lake Panasoffkee as listed and set forth on Exhibit "A".

It is further recommended that the Southwest Florida Water

Management District pass and adopt a Resolution to be filed in the

public records of Sumter County and promulgate brochures advising

the general public of the ten-year flood warning levels for this lake

as shown on attached Exhibit "A".

Dated this 54 day of April 1982, at Brooksville,

Florida.




1 ^.(6 -
Wmi. O. STUBBS, JR., HEARING OFFICER
2-23-82


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^ water Conservation O" -
Recreation and Water conServatn

follows:






RECOMMET':D LEVELS FOR LAKE PANASO- KEE


Ten-Year Flood Warning Level 42.80' msl

Minimum Flood 42.50' msl

Minimum Level Low Management 39.50' msl

Minimum Level Extreme Low Management 38.50' msl










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