TO: Governing Board I
FROM: L. M. Blain
RE: -CUP Files: 200003, 200004 & 206676 (West Coast
Regional, St. Petersburg & Hillsborough County)
DATE: July 29, 1983
These three applications currently are in formal hearing status,
as prescribed by S 120.57(1), Florida Statutes. These hearings
were commenced September 1, 1982, and have been continued on
request of the District staff with concurrence with the appli-
A new law was passed this legislative session. Chapter 83-78
became law in June 1983. It amends two parts of Chapter 120,
relating specifically to water management.
As amended, S 120.57(1)(b)(13), Florida Statutes, makes it man-
datory for WMD governing boards to refer CUP applications to the
Department of Administrative Hearings upon request of the appli-
As amended, subsection 120.57(1)(b)6, Florida Statutes, requires
the original requesting party to pay for the cost of the
West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority, the City of
St. Petersburg and Hillsborough County have filed motions to con-
solidate these three matters, and have also filed petitions
requesting that the matters be referred to the Division of
Administrative Hearings for appointment of a hearing officer, and
that the matters be held pursuant to subsection 120.57(1)
relating to formal proceedings.
The following provisions may apply:
1. Substantial interests of parties to these proceedings must be
subject to determination, otherwise the new provisions have
2. The law governing formal proceedings will apply if there are
disputed issues of material fact. This requires an initial
determination by the board, S 120.57(1)(b), to determine
whether formal proceedings are necessary.
3. If the request is made for formal proceedings, the request
must allege the existence of disputed issues of material
tact. It must be considered and the hearing must be granted
or denied within 15 days of receipt of the request.
[120.57(1)(b)l, Fla. Stat.] In matters before agencies
which are headed by collegial bodies, it is my opinion that
the 15 day provision must be read within fifteen (15)
days-or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard by the
board." This is logically construed to mean the next time
the governing board meets. However, it is incumbent upon the
requesting party to have the matter set for consideration on
a date, time, and place certain, and to give notice thereof
to all parties.
Currently, the status of these three applications is that formal
hearings, as prescribed by S 120.57(1) were commenced
September 1, 1982, and have been continued on request of the
District staff with concurrence with the applicants.
Intervener, Benjamin H. Hill, III, has been granted full party
status in his individual capacity in all further proceedings
regarding the three applications. The Board reserved judgment
regarding the intervention of Saddlebrook Lake Assoc., Inc.,
which Mr. Hill also represents.
The Board ordered that the intervener receive due notice of all
future dates at which continued public hearings are conducted
regarding any or all of the three pending wellfield applications.
In addition to representatives and employees of the respective
parties, copies of the order have also been mailed to
Mr. Scott L. Knox, Pasco County Attorney.
In a telephone conversation with Gary Kuhl, Bill Courser and Ed
Curren, it was agreed that they should notify the press that the
motion for consolidation and the request for transfer have been
received by the District and will be considered at the August
Governing Board meeting. It was also agreed to recommend to the
Board that it limit its action to consideration of these two mat-
ters at the August meeting, regardless of the action the Board
might take on either matter.
I also urged the staff to immediately start drafting a letter
suitable for mailing to the approximately 1,000 objectors,
notifying them of this pending matter.
* ** *
During the course of the telephone conversation, I pointed out
that West Coast Regional has raised many "disputed issues of
material fact" regarding these applications. When the applica-
tions are referred to a hearing officer, the findings of fact
must be based exclusively on the evidence of record and on mat-
ters officially recognized as provided by subsection
120.57(1)(b)(7), Florida Statutes. (This may raise substantial
burdens of proof for the Applicant.)
* ** *
Also during the course of the telephone conversation, it was
agreed that the ex parte communication provisions of 5 120.66,
Florida Statutes, do not and will not apply in these proceedings
until such time as a Recommended Order is received by the Board
from the hearing officer. In light of this, it is most
appropriate that the staff summary and evaluation of these permit
'applications be distributed and discussed with the Board. The
Board can then give proper direction and instruction to its staff
and attorneys as to how the District's representatives should
proceed in the likely event that these matters go to a hearing