TO: Governing Board
FROM: Office of Counsel
SUBJECT: Five Year Plan for expenditure of documentary stamp .tax monies.
In the recently enacted "Save Our Rivers" bill, there is a provision which
requires each of the WMDs to file a 5 year plan for acquisition with the legis-
lature and the Secretary of DER by January 15, 1982.
Annually thereafter the District must file a report of acquisition activity
along'with modifications or additions to the 5 year plan.
The purpose of this memorandum, which emanates from staff meetings composed
of P.K. Sharma, Walter Dineen, Jack Braun, Hans Ihle, Richard Rogers, Tom Schwartz
and the writer, is to provide information and suggestions to the Governing Board
for the 5 year plan.
It must be recognized initially that there are some unknowns:
1. Amount of money available from the documentary utamp tax funds over
the 5 year period. It is assumed $40,000,000. will be available;
the bill provides that the District must match these funds on a 4 to
1 basis, but the first 2 million annually does not have to be matched.
Therefore in the 5 year period $30,000,000. must be matched, which re-
quires $7,500,000. of District funds. Total sum available then would
be $40,000,00( plus $7,500,000. = $47,500,000. for the 5 year period.
2. There are no appraisals at this time of the land and land interests that
need to be acquired, and are suggested'herein.
3. The bill provides that "Water Management land acquisition costs shall
include payments to owners, and costs and fees associated with such
acquisition." Clearly, this allows use of the monies to pay attorney
fees and costs of the landowners from whom the land is acquired. Not
known at this time is whether it includes payment of District costs and
fees. It is our position that it does, but DER (and perhaps the legis-
Iture) must nakle this decision with our assistance.
Upon careful review of the bill, the following has been extracted as suggested
guidelines for consideration of lands and land interests for purchase.
A. Fee title and other interests in lands shall be acquired to:
(1) Protect, preserve or enhance the quantity of fresh water available
for all uses.
(2) Protect, preserve or enhance the quality of fresh water available
Sfor all uses.
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(3) Provide the ability to manage the fresh water resources of the
B. Upon acquisition of lands for the purpose of (A) above, they shall be
(1) For the purposes acquired and in an environmentally compatible and
(2) Where practical and compatible with the purpose for which acquired,
in such a way as to restore and protect their natural state and con-
(3) For use for general recreational purposes not inconsistent with (1)
and (2) above.
The suggested acquisitions are not intended to be on a priority basis in the
order in which they are listed. Rather, it is important to maintain flexibility in
priority so as not to influence land values and to be able to move quickly on pur-
chases which can be made at the District appraised price. This latter point is parti-
cularly important as the District does not (in my opinion) have the legal authority to
condemn these lands unless they are necessary for flood control or water storage; the
District is limited by law to acquisition by eminent domain of property rights for
the purposes of flood control and water storage. The estate it can acquire for flood
control and water storage by eminent domain is limited to the quality of title (fee
title, easement) which is necessary for the purpose. In most cases that would be an
The su gested list:
I. LANDS AND LAND INTERESTS IN THE WATER CONSERVATION AREAS
(a), -Ratner 13,000 acres fee title, when litigation is completed;
(b) .Kanter 20,000 acres fee title, when Ratner litigation is completed;
(c)l Everglades Assets, when pending zoning litigation is completed,
mineral rights in 14,700 acres;
(d), Avant 1/2 interest in minerals in 22,000 acres;
(e) Hillsboro-Shawano- 100% mineral rights in 22,000 acres;
(f) Lykes, LeBlond, Graham 1/2 interest in minerals in 44,000 acres;
S(g) Andrus 100% interest in minerals in 2600 acres;
(h) Sanderson- 1/2 interest in minerals in 2600 acres;
(i) Southern States Land & Timber 1/2 interest in minerals in 17,900
(j) Model Land Co. 1/2 interest in minerals in 16,600 acres;
(k) Belcher 1/2 interest in minerals in 1300 acres;
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(1) Dawley 1/4 interest in minerals in 3800 acres; and
(m) Lott 1/4 interest in minerals in 1300 acres.
(NOTE the pending Ratner litigation could have a significant bearing on the
value of the above mineral rights and that factor should be consider-
ed in approaching such acquisitions).
(NOTE There will remain approximately 51,000 acres of land interests to be
acquired in the Water Conservation Areas. The majority of those in-
terests are in smaller ownerships and should be worked into the land
(NOTE All ownership information, except Ratner, Kanter and Everglades Assets,
is quite old and probably does not represent current ownerships).
II LANDS AFFECTED BY RAISING LAKE OKEECHOBEE
(a) Nicodemus Slough (Lykes) fee title to 2,000 acres;
(b) Land North of Levee 59, West of Kissimmee River 1200 acres
(ownership not known)
Purchase of those parcels not yet acquired by Dh'NR in its plan of purchase,
as shown in the report of Lt. R. E. Roberts based on his August 12, 1980
inspection of the Savannahs. The report indicates 34 parcels not acquired,
plus numerous small ownerships, all of which comprise approximately 850
IV KISSIMMEE RIVER
Purchase of water storage areas behind the existing structures 18,000
V EAST EVERGLADES AREA
The Trust for Public Land has arranged to acquire 50,000 acres of East
verglades wetland from Aerojet-General. Of this amount 32,800 are a
gift and 17,200 require payment at a price now being determined. The
Trust for Public Land only acquires title for reconveyance to public
entities. It is presumed that the price to be paid by the District
o Trust for Public Lands would be exactly what is paid for the 17,200
VI HEADWATERS OF LOXAHATCHEE RIVER ( Palm Beach County)
n area approximately 2 miles long and about 1/4 mile wide from Indian-
town Road to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Also an area south of Indian-
town Road. Both areas are about 3500 acres. They would protect the canopy
area of the river.
OTHER AREAS CONSIDERED:
(1) 6 mile Cypress Strand in Lee County according to information received
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the people of Lee County approved a bond issue for this acquisition.
County officials estimate it will take approximately $1,500,000.
more than bond funds to complete acquisition. Although this is not
included, the District might, in the future, desire to assist when
local funds are depleted.
(2) Golden Gate the problems in this area are complex and huge in scope.
Any attempted acquisition would require a large portion of the funds
available in the 5 year period. The lands south of Stewart Road are
considered to have 1st priority as they are flooded the most and the
longest. Land prices would be very high as the lands were sold out
in small acreage parcels and for that same reason the acquisition
procedure would take all of the District physical resources for some
period of time.
(3) LAKES IN KISSIMMEE VALLEY
Request was made to buy lands around Lhe lakes in the Kissimmlee area.
At this time very little is known about the extent of private owner-
ship that would be involved in such an acquisition. As the areas
that might be affected by raising the water levels in these lakes be-
come more apparent, then further consideration could be given to this
(4) SHINGLE CREEK
At the present time we hope to involve the Corps of Engineers in a com-
bined land regulation structural approach to a project in this area.
Both Osceola and Orange Counties have indicated an interest in flood
plain zoning and active interest in land acquisition at this time could
i lead the Counties to the conclusion that regulatory control is unneces-
(5) FLOODWAY FROM TAMIAMI TRAIL SOUTH TO EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK between
Levee 31 North and Levee 67 Extension
SThe Corps of Engineers.is studying means to take water into Everglades
National Park in a historic manner. It would mean a floodway over
privately owned lands. This plan could be an ideal vehicle for the
I Corps of Engineers to become involved in land acquisition in lieu of
structural approach (a canal) in view of the direct Federal benefit
i (ENP). Any indication of District land acquisition at this point
could chill the opportunity for Federal involvement in purchase.
Another problem arose during our consideration of further acquisition in the
Water Conservation Area. The Jetport planning that has been underway for some time
t i --
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includes use of substantial lands in Water Conservation Area 3. If we are to pro-
ceed to protect the Water Conservation Areas by acquisition, it now appears perti-
nent to make a strong statement concerning Jetport's use of those lands. At this
point the District position has not been clearly and publicly enunciated, but pro-
ponents of the Jetport have claimed (by newspaper accounts) that the District has
no objection to the Jetport at the location presently planned. If this be true
then the staff needs to know this and proceed accordingly; and if not true, then
the people in South Florida need this information.
District Counsel .
September 30, 1981/lsp