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The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XVIII
PUBLIC LANDS AND PROPERTY
Chapter 253
STATE LANDS
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CHAPTER 253
TITLE XVIII
PUBLIC LANDS AND PROPERTY
CHAPTER 253
STATE LANDS
253.001 Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund; duty to hold lands in trust.
253.002 Department of Environmental Protection, water management districts, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; duties with respect to state lands.
253.01 Internal Improvement Trust Fund established.
253.02 Board of trustees; powers and duties.
253.025 Acquisition of state lands.
253.0251 Alternatives to fee simple acquisition.
253.027 Emergency archaeological property acquisition.
253.03 Board of trustees to administer state lands; lands enumerated.
253.031 Land office; custody of documents concerning land; moneys; plats.
253.0325 Modernization of state lands records.
253.033 Inter-American Center property; transfer to board; continued use for government purposes.
253.034 State-owned lands; uses.
253.0341 Surplus of state-owned lands.
253.0345 Special events; submerged land leases.
253.0346 Lease of sovereignty submerged lands for marinas, boatyards, and marine retailers.
253.0347 Lease of sovereignty submerged lands for private residential docks and piers.
253.035 Coastal anchorage areas.
253.036 Forest management.
253.037 Use of state-owned land for correctional facilities.
253.04 Duty of board to protect, etc., state lands; state may join in any action brought.
253.05 Prosecuting officers to assist in protecting state lands.
253.111 Riparian owners of land.
253.115 Public notice and hearings.
253.12 Title to tidal lands vested in state.
253.121 Conveyances of such lands heretofore made, ratified, confirmed, and validated.
253.1221 Bulkhead lines; reestablishment.
253.1241 Studies.
253.1252 Citation of rule.
253.126 Legislative intent.
253.127 Enforcement.
253.128 Enforcement; board or agency under special law.
253.1281 Review by board.
253.129 Confirmation of title in upland owners.
253.135 Construction of ss. 253.12, 253.126, 253.127, 253.128, and 253.129.
253.14 Rights of riparian owners; board of trustees to defend suit.
253.141 Riparian rights defined; certain submerged bottoms subject to private ownership.
253.21 Board of trustees may surrender certain lands to the United States and receive indemnity.
253.29 Board of trustees to refund money paid where title to land fails.
253.34 Transfer of notes owned by board.
253.36 Title to reclaimed marshlands, wetlands, or lowlands in board of trustees.
253.37 Survey to be made; sale of lands; preference to buyers.
253.38 Riparian rights not affected.
253.381 Unsurveyed marshlands; sale to upland owners.
253.382 Oyster beds, minerals, and oils reserved to state.
253.39 Surveys approved by chief cadastral surveyor validated.
253.40 To what lands applicable.
253.41 Plats and field notes filed in office of Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
253.42 Board of trustees may exchange lands.
253.43 Convey by deed.
253.431 Agents may act on behalf of board of trustees.
253.44 Disposal of lands received.
253.45 Sale or lease of phosphate, clay, minerals, etc., in or under state lands.
253.451 Construction of term “land the title to which is vested in the state.”
253.47 Board of trustees may lease, sell, etc., bottoms of bays, lagoons, straits, etc., owned by state, for petroleum purposes.
253.51 Oil and gas leases on state lands by the board of trustees.
253.511 Reports by lessees of oil and mineral rights, state lands.
253.512 Applicants for lease of gas, oil, or mineral rights; report as to lease holdings.
253.52 Placing oil and gas leases on market by board.
253.53 Sealed bids required.
253.54 Competitive bidding.
253.55 Limitation on term of lease.
253.56 Responsibility of bidder.
253.57 Royalties.
253.571 Proof of financial responsibility required of lessee prior to commencement of drilling.
253.60 Conflicting laws.
253.61 Lands not subject to lease.
253.62 Board of trustees authorized to convey certain lands without reservation.
253.66 Change in bulkhead lines, Pinellas County.
253.665 Grant of easements, licenses, and leases.
253.67 Definitions.
253.68 Authority to lease or use submerged lands and water column for aquaculture activities.
253.69 Application to lease submerged land and water column.
253.70 Public notice.
253.71 The lease contract.
253.72 Marking of leased areas; restrictions on public use.
253.73 Rules; ss. 253.67-253.75.
253.74 Penalties.
253.75 Studies and recommendations by the department and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; designation of recommended traditional and other use zones; supervision of aquaculture operations.
253.763 Judicial review relating to permits and licenses.
253.77 State lands; state agency authorization for use prohibited without consent of agency in which title vested; concurrent processing requirements.
253.781 Retention of state-owned lands along former Cross Florida Barge Canal route; creation of Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area; authorizing transfer to the Federal Government for inclusion in Ocala National Forest.
253.782 Retention of state-owned lands in and around Lake Rousseau and the Cross Florida Barge Canal right-of-way from Lake Rousseau west to the Withlacoochee River.
253.7821 Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area assigned to the Department of Environmental Protection.
253.7822 Boundaries of the Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area; coordination of management activities.
253.7823 Disposition of surplus lands; compensation of counties located within the Cross Florida Canal Navigation District.
253.7824 Sale of products; proceeds.
253.7825 Recreational uses.
253.7827 Transportation and utility crossings of greenways lands.
253.7828 Impairment of use or conservation by agencies prohibited.
253.783 Expenditures for acquisition of land for a canal connecting the waters of the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico via the St. Johns River prohibited.
253.784 Contracts.
253.785 Liberal construction of act.
253.80 Murphy Act lands; costs and attorney fees for quieting title.
253.81 Murphy Act; tax certificates barred.
253.82 Title of state or private owners to Murphy Act lands.
253.83 Construction of recodification.
253.86 Management and use of state-owned or other uplands; rulemaking authority.
253.87 Inventory of state, federal, and local government conservation lands by the Department of Environmental Protection.
253.001 Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund; duty to hold lands in trust.The existence of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is reaffirmed. All lands held in the name of the board of trustees shall continue to be held in trust for the use and benefit of the people of the state pursuant to s. 7, Art. II, and s. 11, Art. X of the State Constitution.
History.s. 1, ch. 79-255.
253.002 Department of Environmental Protection, water management districts, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; duties with respect to state lands.
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection shall perform all staff duties and functions related to the acquisition, administration, and disposition of state lands, title to which is or will be vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. However, upon the effective date of rules adopted pursuant to s. 373.427, a water management district created under s. 373.069 shall perform the staff duties and functions related to the review of any application for authorization to use board of trustees-owned submerged lands necessary for an activity regulated under part IV of chapter 373 for which the water management district has permitting responsibility as set forth in an operating agreement adopted pursuant to s. 373.046(4). The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall perform the staff duties and functions related to the review of applications and compliance with conditions for use of board of trustees-owned submerged lands under authorizations or leases issued pursuant to ss. 253.67-253.75 and 597.010 and the acquisition, administration, and disposition of conservation easements pursuant to s. 570.71. Unless expressly prohibited by law, the board of trustees may delegate to the department any statutory duty or obligation relating to the acquisition, administration, or disposition of lands, title to which is or will be vested in the board of trustees. The board of trustees may also delegate to any water management district created under s. 373.069 the authority to take final agency action, without any action on behalf of the board, on applications for authorization to use board of trustees-owned submerged lands for any activity regulated under part IV of chapter 373 for which the water management district has permitting responsibility as set forth in an operating agreement adopted pursuant to s. 373.046(4). This water management district responsibility under this subsection shall be subject to the department’s general supervisory authority pursuant to s. 373.026(7). The board of trustees may also delegate to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the authority to take final agency action on behalf of the board on applications to use board of trustees-owned submerged lands for any activity for which that department has responsibility pursuant to ss. 253.67-253.75, 369.25, 369.251, and 597.010. However, the board of trustees shall retain the authority to take final agency action on establishing any areas for leasing, new leases, expanding existing lease areas, or changing the type of lease activity in existing leases. Upon issuance of an aquaculture lease or other real property transaction relating to aquaculture, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must send a copy of the document and the accompanying survey to the Department of Environmental Protection. The board of trustees may also delegate to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the authority to take final agency action, without any action on behalf of the board, on applications for authorization to use board of trustees-owned submerged lands for any activity regulated under ss. 369.20 and 369.22.
(2) Delegations to the department, or a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of authority to take final agency action on applications for authorization to use submerged lands owned by the board of trustees, without any action on behalf of the board of trustees, shall be by rule, provided that delegations related to port conceptual permits shall be in accordance with s. 373.4133. Until rules adopted pursuant to this subsection become effective, existing delegations by the board of trustees shall remain in full force and effect. However, the board of trustees is not limited or prohibited from amending these delegations. The board of trustees shall adopt by rule any delegations of its authority to take final agency action without action by the board of trustees on applications for authorization to use board of trustees-owned submerged lands. Any final agency action, without action by the board of trustees, taken by the department, or a water management district, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on applications to use board of trustees-owned submerged lands shall be subject to the provisions of s. 373.4275. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, the board of trustees, the Department of Legal Affairs, and the department retain the concurrent authority to assert or defend title to submerged lands owned by the board of trustees.
History.s. 4, ch. 79-255; s. 5, ch. 93-213; s. 488, ch. 94-356; s. 1, ch. 2000-364; s. 3, ch. 2005-157; s. 3, ch. 2008-150; s. 2, ch. 2009-86; s. 7, ch. 2010-201; s. 2, ch. 2012-190.
253.01 Internal Improvement Trust Fund established.
(1)(a) So much of the 500,000 acres of land granted to this state for internal improvement purposes by an Act of Congress passed March 3, A. D. 1845, as remains unsold, and the proceeds of the sales of such lands heretofore sold as now remain on hand and unappropriated, and all proceeds that may hereafter accrue from the sales of such lands; and all the swampland or lands subject to overflow granted this state by an Act of Congress approved September 28, A. D. 1850, together with all the proceeds that have accrued or may hereafter accrue to the state from the sale of such lands, are set apart, and declared a separate and distinct fund called the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state, and are to be strictly applied according to the provisions of this chapter.
(b) All revenues received from application fees charged by the Division of State Lands for the use in any manner, lease, conveyance, or release of any interest in or for the sale of state lands, except revenues from such fees charged by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for aquaculture leases under ss. 253.71(2) and 597.010, must be deposited into the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. The fees charged by the division for reproduction of records relating to state lands must also be placed into the fund. Revenues received by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for aquaculture leases under ss. 253.71(2) and 597.010 shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(c) Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, if title to any state-owned lands is vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the lands are located within the Everglades Agricultural Area, then all proceeds from the sale of any such lands shall be deposited into the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to those lands acquired pursuant to s. 607.0505 and former s. 620.192 or chapter 895.
(2) All revenues accruing from sources designated by law for deposit in the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall be used for the acquisition, management, administration, protection, and conservation of state-owned lands.
History.s. 1, ch. 610, 1854; RS 428; GS 616; RGS 1054; CGL 1384; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 82-185; s. 13, ch. 84-330; s. 23, ch. 89-175; s. 3, ch. 89-279; s. 16, ch. 89-324; s. 3, ch. 91-80; s. 1, ch. 91-187; s. 2, ch. 91-286; s. 1, ch. 92-109; s. 41, ch. 93-164; s. 489, ch. 94-356; s. 2, ch. 2000-364; ss. 40, 53, ch. 2001-254; s. 4, ch. 2003-2; s. 26, ch. 2006-1; s. 40, ch. 2007-73; s. 34, ch. 2008-153; s. 7, ch. 2010-4; s. 20, ch. 2013-41; s. 7, ch. 2015-3.
253.02 Board of trustees; powers and duties.
(1) For the purpose of assuring the proper application of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the purposes of this chapter, the land provided for in ss. 253.01 and 253.03, and all the funds arising from the sale thereof, after paying the necessary expense of selection, management, and sale, are irrevocably vested in a board of four trustees, to wit: The Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Commissioner of Agriculture and their successors in office, to hold the same in trust for the uses and purposes provided in this chapter, with the power to sell and transfer said lands to the purchasers and receive the power to sell and transfer said lands to the purchasers and receive payment for the same, and invest the surplus moneys arising therefrom, from time to time, in stocks of the United States, stocks of the several states, or the internal improvement bonds issued under the provisions of law; also, the surplus interest accruing from such investments. Said board of trustees has all the rights, powers, property, claims, remedies, actions, suits, and things whatsoever belonging to them, or appertaining before and at the time of the enactment hereof, and they shall remain subject to and pay, fulfill, perform, and discharge all debts, duties, and obligations of their trust, existing at the time of the enactment hereof or provided in this chapter.
(2)(a) The board of trustees shall not sell, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any lands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees except by vote of at least three of the four trustees.
(b) The authority of the board of trustees to grant easements for rights-of-way over, across, and upon uplands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees for the construction and operation of electric transmission and distribution facilities and related appurtenances is hereby confirmed. The board of trustees may delegate to the Secretary of Environmental Protection the authority to grant such easements on its behalf. All easements for rights-of-way over, across, and upon uplands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees for the construction and operation of electric transmission and distribution facilities and related appurtenances which are approved by the Secretary of Environmental Protection pursuant to the authority delegated by the board of trustees shall meet the following criteria:
1. Such easements shall not prevent the use of the state-owned uplands adjacent to the easement area for the purposes for which such lands were acquired and shall not unreasonably diminish the ecological, conservation, or recreational values of the state-owned uplands adjacent to the easement area.
2. There is no practical and prudent alternative to locating the linear facility and related appurtenances on state-owned upland. For purposes of this subparagraph, the test of practicality and prudence shall compare the social, economic, and environmental effects of the alternatives.
3. Appropriate steps are taken to minimize the impacts to state-owned uplands. Such steps may include:
a. Siting of facilities so as to reduce impacts and minimize fragmentation of the overall state-owned parcel;
b. Avoiding significant wildlife habitat, wetlands, or other valuable natural resources to the maximum extent practicable; or
c. Avoiding interference with active land management practices, such as prescribed burning.
4. Except for easements granted as a part of a land exchange to accomplish a recreational or conservation benefit or other public purpose, in exchange for such easements, the grantee pays an amount equal to the market value of the interest acquired. In addition, for the initial grant of such easements only, the grantee shall provide additional compensation by vesting in the board of trustees fee simple title to other available uplands that are 1.5 times the size of the easement acquired by the grantee. The Secretary of Environmental Protection shall approve the property to be acquired on behalf of the board of trustees based on the geographic location in relation to the land proposed to be under easement and a determination that economic, ecological, and recreational value is at least equivalent to the value of the lands under proposed easement. Priority for replacement uplands shall be given to parcels identified as inholdings and additions to public lands and lands on a Florida Forever land acquisition list. However, if suitable replacement uplands cannot be identified, the grantee shall provide additional compensation for the initial grant of such easements only by paying to the lead manager of the state-owned lands or, when there is no lead manager, by paying to the department an amount equal to two times the current market value of the state-owned land or the highest and best use value at the time of purchase, whichever is greater. When determining such use of funds, priority shall be given to parcels identified as inholdings and additions to public lands and lands on a Florida Forever land acquisition list.
(c) Where authority to approve easements for rights-of-way over, across, and upon uplands the title to which is vested in the board of trustees for the construction and operation of electric transmission and distribution facilities and related appurtenances has not been delegated to the Secretary of Environmental Protection, the board of trustees shall apply the same criteria and require the same compensation as provided above, provided, however, the board of trustees shall have the discretion to determine the amount of replacement lands required within a range of from one to two times the size of the easement acquired by the grantee, depending upon the degree to which the proposed use of the easement will interfere with the manner in which the lands within the proposed easement area have historically been managed.
(3) In the event submerged tidal land is to be sold and transferred by said board of trustees, the board of trustees shall first require the Department of Environmental Protection to inspect said lands and to file a written report with the board of trustees which report shall state whether or not the development of said lands would be detrimental to established conservation practices.
(4) The board of trustees is authorized to acquire by condemnation such submerged lands, except Murphy Act Lands and Holland Act Lands, as shall be in the public interest and for a public purpose.
(5) The board of trustees shall be a necessary party to any action or petition which seeks to acquire submerged lands or lands lying beneath any navigable waters in the state through eminent domain proceedings.
(6) The board of trustees shall report to the Legislature its recommendations as to whether any existing multistate compact for mutual aid should be modified or whether the state should enter into a new multistate compact to address the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon event or potentially similar future incidents. The report shall be submitted to the Legislature by February 1, 2012, and updated annually thereafter for 5 years.
History.s. 2, ch. 610, 1854; RS 429; GS 617; RGS 1055; CGL 1385; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 67-5; s. 1, ch. 67-269; s. 1, ch. 67-2236; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 1, ch. 70-358; s. 8, ch. 79-65; s. 2, ch. 82-185; s. 64, ch. 94-356; s. 13, ch. 2003-6; s. 14, ch. 2008-227; s. 495, ch. 2011-142; s. 4, ch. 2011-206.
253.025 Acquisition of state lands.
(1)(a) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or its duly authorized agent may not commit the state, through any instrument of negotiated contract or agreement for purchase, to the purchase of lands with or without appurtenances unless this section has been fully complied with.
(b) Except for the requirements of subsections (4), (11), and (22), if the public’s interest is reasonably protected, the board of trustees may:
1. Waive any requirements of this section.
2. Waive any rules adopted pursuant to this section, notwithstanding chapter 120.
3. Substitute other reasonably prudent procedures.
(c) The board of trustees may also substitute federally mandated acquisition procedures for the provisions of this section if federal funds are available and will be used for the purchase of lands, title to which will vest in the board of trustees, and qualification for such federal funds requires compliance with federally mandated acquisition procedures.
(d) Notwithstanding this section, if lands are being acquired by the board of trustees for the anticipated sale, conveyance, or transfer to the Federal Government pursuant to a joint state and federal acquisition project, the board of trustees may use appraisals obtained by the Federal Government in the acquisition of such lands. The board of trustees may waive any provision of this section when land is being conveyed from a state agency to the board.
(e) The title to lands acquired pursuant to this section shall vest in the board of trustees pursuant to s. 253.03(1) unless otherwise provided by law, and all such titled lands shall be administered pursuant to s. 253.03.
(2) Before any state agency initiates any land acquisition, except for the purchase of property for transportation facilities and transportation corridors and property for borrow pits for road building purposes, the agency shall coordinate with the Division of State Lands to determine the availability of existing, suitable state-owned lands in the area and the public purpose for which the acquisition is being proposed. If the state agency determines that no suitable state-owned lands exist, the state agency may proceed to acquire such lands by employing all available statutory authority for acquisition.
(3) The board of trustees is authorized to adopt rules to implement this section, including rules governing the terms and conditions of land purchases. The rules shall address, with specificity, but need not be limited to:
(a) The procedures to be followed in the acquisition process, including selection of appraisers, surveyors, title agents, and closing agents, and the content of appraisal reports.
(b) The determination of the value of parcels which the state has an interest in acquiring.
(c) Special requirements when multiple landowners are involved in an acquisition.
(d) Requirements for obtaining written option agreements so that the interests of the state are fully protected.
(4) An agreement to acquire real property for the purposes described in this chapter, chapter 259, chapter 260, or chapter 375, title to which will vest in the board of trustees, may not bind the state before the agreement is reviewed and approved by the Department of Environmental Protection as complying with this section and any rules adopted pursuant to this section. If any of the following conditions exist, the agreement shall be submitted to and approved by the board of trustees:
(a) The purchase price agreed to by the seller exceeds the value as established pursuant to the rules of the board of trustees;
(b) The contract price agreed to by the seller and the acquiring agency exceeds $1 million;
(c) The acquisition is the initial purchase in a Florida Forever project; or
(d) Other conditions that the board of trustees may adopt by rule. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, Florida Forever projects when title to the property being acquired is considered nonmarketable or is encumbered in such a way as to significantly affect its management.

If approval of the board of trustees is required pursuant to this subsection, the acquiring agency must provide a justification as to why it is in the public’s interest to acquire the parcel or Florida Forever project. Approval of the board of trustees is also required for Florida Forever projects the department recommends acquiring pursuant to subsections (11) and (22). Review and approval of agreements for acquisitions for Florida Greenways and Trails Program properties pursuant to chapter 260 may be waived by the department in any contract with nonprofit corporations that have agreed to assist the department with this program. If the contribution of the acquiring agency exceeds $100 million in any one fiscal year, the agreement shall be submitted to and approved by the Legislative Budget Commission.

(5) Land acquisition procedures provided for in this section are for voluntary, negotiated acquisitions.
(6) For the purposes of this section, the term “negotiations” does not include preliminary contacts with the property owner to determine the availability of the property, existing appraisal data, existing abstracts, and surveys.
(7) Evidence of marketable title shall be provided by the landowner before the conveyance of title, as provided in the final agreement for purchase. Such evidence of marketability shall be in the form of title insurance or an abstract of title with a title opinion. The board of trustees may waive the requirement that the landowner provide evidence of marketable title, and, in such case, the acquiring agency shall provide evidence of marketable title. The board of trustees or its designee may waive the requirement of evidence of marketability for acquisitions of property assessed by the county property appraiser at $10,000 or less, if the Division of State Lands finds, based upon such review of the title records as is reasonable under the circumstances, that there is no apparent impediment to marketability, or to management of the property by the state.
(8) Before approval by the board of trustees, or, when applicable, the Department of Environmental Protection, of any agreement to purchase land pursuant to this chapter, chapter 259, chapter 260, or chapter 375, and before negotiations with the parcel owner to purchase any other land, title to which will vest in the board of trustees, an appraisal of the parcel shall be required as follows:
(a) The board of trustees shall adopt by rule the method for determining the value of parcels sought to be acquired by state agencies pursuant to this section.
(b) Each parcel to be acquired shall have at least one appraisal. Two appraisals are required when the estimated value of the parcel exceeds $1 million. However, if both appraisals exceed $1 million and differ significantly, a third appraisal may be obtained. If a parcel is estimated to be worth $100,000 or less and the director of the Division of State Lands finds that the cost of an outside appraisal is not justified, a comparable sales analysis, an appraisal prepared by the division, or other reasonably prudent procedures may be used by the division to estimate the value of the parcel, provided the public’s interest is reasonably protected. The state is not required to appraise the value of lands and appurtenances that are being donated to the state.
(c) Appraisal fees and associated costs shall be paid by the agency proposing the acquisition. All appraisals used for the acquisition of lands pursuant to this section shall be prepared by a state-certified appraiser. The board of trustees shall adopt rules for selecting individuals to perform appraisals pursuant to this section. Each fee appraiser selected to appraise a particular parcel shall, before contracting with the agency or a participant in a multiparty agreement, submit to the agency an affidavit substantiating that he or she has no vested or fiduciary interest in such parcel.
(d) The fee appraiser and the review appraiser for the agency may not act in any manner that may be construed as negotiating with the owner of a parcel proposed for acquisition.
(e) The board of trustees shall adopt by rule the minimum criteria, techniques, and methods to be used in the preparation of appraisal reports. Such rules shall incorporate, to the extent practicable, generally accepted appraisal standards. Any appraisal issued for acquisition of lands pursuant to this section must comply with the rules adopted by the board of trustees. A certified survey must be made which meets the minimum requirements for upland parcels established in the Standards of Practice for Land Surveying in Florida published by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and which accurately portrays, to the greatest extent practicable, the condition of the parcel as it currently exists. The requirement for a certified survey may, in part or in whole, be waived by the board of trustees any time before submitting the agreement for purchase to the Division of State Lands. When an existing boundary map and description of a parcel are determined by the division to be sufficient for appraisal purposes, the division director may temporarily waive the requirement for a survey until any time before conveyance of title to the parcel.
(f) Appraisal reports are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), for use by the agency and the board of trustees, until an option contract is executed or, if no option contract is executed, until 2 weeks before a contract or agreement for purchase is considered for approval by the board of trustees. The Department of Environmental Protection may disclose appraisal reports to private landowners during negotiations for acquisitions using alternatives to fee simple techniques, if the department determines that disclosure of such reports will bring the proposed acquisition to closure. However, the private landowner must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the reports or information. The department may also disclose appraisal information to public agencies or nonprofit organizations that agree to maintain the confidentiality of the reports or information when joint acquisition of property is contemplated, or when a public agency or nonprofit organization enters into a written agreement with the department to purchase and hold property for subsequent resale to the board of trustees. In addition, the department may use, as its own, appraisals obtained by a public agency or nonprofit organization, if the appraiser is selected from the department’s list of appraisers and the appraisal is reviewed and approved by the department. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “nonprofit organization” means an organization that is exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and, for purposes of the acquisition of conservation lands, an organization whose purpose must include the preservation of natural resources. The agency may release an appraisal report when the passage of time has rendered the conclusions of value in the report invalid or when the acquiring agency has terminated negotiations.
(g) Before acceptance of an appraisal, the agency shall submit a copy of such report to the division. The division shall review such report for compliance with the rules of the board. Any questions of applicability of laws affecting an appraisal shall be addressed by the legal office of the agency.
(h) The appraisal report shall be accompanied by the sales history of the parcel for at least the previous 5 years. Such sales history shall include all parties and considerations with the amount of consideration verified, if possible. If a sales history would not be useful, or it is cost prohibitive compared to the value of a parcel, the sales history may be waived by the board of trustees. The board of trustees shall adopt a rule specifying guidelines for waiver of a sales history.
(i) The board of trustees may consider an appraisal acquired by a seller, or any part thereof, in negotiating to purchase a parcel, but such appraisal may not be used in lieu of an appraisal required by this subsection or to determine the maximum offer allowed by law.
(j)1. The board of trustees shall adopt by rule the method for determining the value of parcels sought to be acquired by state agencies pursuant to this section. An offer by a state agency may not exceed the value for that parcel as determined pursuant to the highest approved appraisal or the value determined pursuant to the rules of the board of trustees, whichever value is less.
2. For a joint acquisition by a state agency and a local government or other entity apart from the state, the joint purchase price may not exceed 150 percent of the value for a parcel as determined in accordance with the limits in subparagraph 1. The state agency share of a joint purchase offer may not exceed what the agency may offer singly pursuant to subparagraph 1.
3. This paragraph does not apply to the acquisition of historically unique or significant property as determined by the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State.

Notwithstanding this subsection, on behalf of the board of trustees and before the appraisal of parcels approved for purchase under this chapter or chapter 259, the Secretary of Environmental Protection or the director of the Division of State Lands may enter into option contracts to buy such parcels. Any such option contract shall state that the final purchase price is subject to approval by the board of trustees or, if applicable, the Secretary of Environmental Protection, and that the final purchase price may not exceed the maximum offer allowed by law. Any such option contract presented to the board of trustees for final purchase price approval shall explicitly state that payment of the final purchase price is subject to an appropriation from the Legislature. The consideration for such an option may not exceed $1,000 or 0.01 percent of the estimate by the department of the value of the parcel, whichever amount is greater.

(9)(a) When the owner is represented by an agent or broker, negotiations may not be initiated or continued until a written statement verifying such agent’s or broker’s legal or fiduciary relationship with the owner is on file with the agency.
(b) The board of trustees or any state agency may contract for real estate acquisition services, including, but not limited to, contracts for real estate commission fees, surveying, mapping, environmental audits, title work, and legal and other professional assistance to review acquisition agreements and other documents and to perform acquisition closings. However, the Department of Environmental Protection may use outside counsel to review any agreements or documents or to perform acquisition closings unless department staff can conduct the same activity in 15 days or less.
(c) Upon the initiation of negotiations, the state agency shall inform the owner in writing that all agreements for purchase are subject to approval by the board of trustees.
(d) All offers or counteroffers shall be documented in writing and shall be confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) until an option contract is executed, or if no option contract is executed, until 2 weeks before a contract or agreement for purchase is considered for approval by the board of trustees. The agency shall maintain complete and accurate records of all offers and counteroffers for all projects.
(e) When making an offer to a landowner, a state agency shall consider the desirability of a single cash payment in relation to the maximum offer allowed by law.
(f) The state shall have the authority to reimburse the owner for the cost of the survey when deemed appropriate. The reimbursement is not considered a part of the purchase price.
(g) A final offer shall be in the form of an option contract or agreement for purchase and shall be signed and attested to by the owner and the representative of the agency. Before the agency executes the option contract or agreement for purchase, the contract or agreement shall be reviewed for form and legality by legal staff of the agency. Before the agency signs the agreement for purchase or exercises the option contract, the provisions of s. 286.23 shall be complied with. Within 10 days after the signing of the agreement for purchase, the state agency shall furnish the Department of Environmental Protection with the original of the agreement for purchase along with copies of the disclosure notice, evidence of marketability, the accepted appraisal report, the fee appraiser’s affidavit, a statement that the inventory of existing state-owned lands was examined and contained no available suitable land in the area, and a statement outlining the public purpose for which the acquisition is being made and the statutory authority therefor.
(h) Within 45 days after receipt by the Department of Environmental Protection of the agreement for purchase and the required documentation, the board of trustees or, if the purchase price does not exceed $100,000, its designee shall reject or approve the agreement. An approved agreement for purchase is binding on both parties. Any agreement which has been disapproved shall be returned to the agency, along with a statement as to the deficiencies of the agreement or the supporting documentation. An agreement for purchase which has been disapproved by the board of trustees may be resubmitted when such deficiencies have been corrected.
(10)(a) A dedication, gift, grant, or bequest of lands and appurtenances may not be accepted by the board of trustees until the receiving state agency supplies sufficient evidence of marketability of title. The board of trustees may not accept by dedication, gift, grant, or bequest any lands and appurtenances that are determined as being owned by the state in fee or by virtue of the state’s sovereignty or which are so encumbered so as to preclude the use of such lands and appurtenances for any reasonable public purpose. The board of trustees may accept a dedication, gift, grant, or bequest of lands and appurtenances without formal evidence of marketability, or when the title is nonmarketable, if the board or its designee determines that such lands and appurtenances have value and are reasonably manageable by the state, and that their acceptance would serve the public interest. The state is not required to appraise the value of such donated lands and appurtenances as a condition of receipt.
(b) A deed filed in the public records to donate lands to the board of trustees does not transfer title to or vest title in the board of trustees unless a document indicating that the board of trustees has agreed to accept the transfer of title to such donated lands is also filed in the public records.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the maximum value of a parcel to be purchased by the board of trustees as determined by the highest approved appraisal or as determined pursuant to the rules of the board of trustees may not be increased or decreased as a result of a change in zoning or permitted land uses, or changes in market forces or prices that occur within 1 year after the date the Department of Environmental Protection or the board of trustees approves a contract to purchase the parcel.
(11) Notwithstanding this section, the board of trustees, by an affirmative vote of at least three members, voting at a regularly scheduled and advertised meeting, may direct the Department of Environmental Protection to exercise the power of eminent domain pursuant to chapters 73 and 74 to acquire any conservation parcel identified on the acquisition list established by the Acquisition and Restoration Council and approved by the board of trustees pursuant to chapter 259. However, the board of trustees may only make such a vote under the following circumstances:
(a) The state has made at least two bona fide offers to purchase the land through negotiation and, notwithstanding those offers, an impasse between the state and the landowner was reached.
(b) The land is of special importance to the state because of one or more of the following reasons:
1. It involves an endangered or natural resource and is in imminent danger of development.
2. It is of unique value to the state and the failure to acquire it will result in irreparable loss to the state.
3. The failure of the state to acquire it will seriously impair the state’s ability to manage or protect other state-owned lands.

Pursuant to this subsection, the department may exercise condemnation authority directly or by contracting with the Department of Transportation or a water management district to provide that service. If the Department of Transportation or a water management district enters into such a contract with the department, the Department of Transportation or a water management district may use statutorily approved methods and procedures ordinarily used by the agency for condemnation purposes.

(12) Any conveyance to the board of trustees of fee title shall be made by no less than a special warranty deed, unless the conveyance is from the Federal Government, the county government, or another state agency or, in the event of a gift or donation by quitclaim deed, if the board of trustees, or its designee, determines that the acceptance of such quitclaim deed is in the best interest of the public. A quitclaim deed may also be accepted to aid in clearing title or boundary questions.
(13) The board of trustees may purchase tax certificates or tax deeds issued in accordance with chapter 197 relating to property eligible for purchase under this section.
(14) The Auditor General shall conduct audits of acquisitions and divestitures which, according to his or her preliminary assessments of board-approved acquisitions and divestitures, he or she deems necessary. These preliminary assessments shall be initiated not later than 60 days after the board of trustees’ final approval of land acquisitions under this section. If an audit is conducted, the Auditor General shall submit an audit report to the board of trustees, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and their designees.
(15) The board of trustees and all affected agencies shall adopt and may modify or repeal such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out this section, including rules governing the terms and conditions of land purchases. Such rules shall address the procedures to be followed, when multiple landowners are involved in an acquisition, in obtaining written option agreements so that the interests of the state are fully protected.
(16)(a) The board of trustees may deed property to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, so that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is able to sell, convey, transfer, exchange, trade, or purchase land on which a forestry facility resides for money or other more suitable property on which to relocate the facility. Any sale or purchase of property by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall follow the requirements of subsections (7)-(10) and (12). Any sale shall be at fair market value, and any trade shall ensure that the state is getting at least an equal value for the property. Except as provided in subsections (7)-(10) and (12), the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is excluded from following the provisions of this chapter and chapters 259 and 375. This exclusion does not apply to lands acquired for conservation purposes in accordance with s. 253.0341(1) or (2).
(b) In the case of a sale by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of a forestry facility, the proceeds of the sale shall be deposited into the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Incidental Trust Fund. The Legislature may, at the request of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, appropriate such money within the trust fund to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for purchase of land and construction of a facility to replace the disposed facility. All proceeds other than land from any sale, conveyance, exchange, trade, or transfer conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Incidental Trust Fund.
(c) Additional funds may be added from time to time by the Legislature to further the relocation and construction of forestry facilities. If an equal trade of land occurs, money from the trust fund may be appropriated for building construction even though no money was received from the trade.
(17) Any agency that acquires land on behalf of the board of trustees is authorized to request disbursement of payments for real estate closings in accordance with a written authorization from an ultimate beneficiary to allow a third party authorized by law to receive such payment provided the Chief Financial Officer determines that such disbursement is consistent with good business practices and can be completed in a manner minimizing costs and risks to the state.
(18) Pursuant to s. 944.10, the Department of Corrections is responsible for obtaining appraisals and entering into option agreements and agreements for the purchase of state correctional facility sites. An option agreement or agreement for purchase is not binding upon the state until it is approved by the board of trustees. The provisions of paragraphs (8)(c), (e), and (f) and (9)(b), (c), and (d) apply to all appraisals, offers, and counteroffers of the Department of Corrections for state correctional facility sites.
(19) Many parcels of land acquired pursuant to this section may contain cattle-dipping vats as defined in s. 376.301. The state is encouraged to continue with the acquisition of such lands, including any cattle-dipping vats.
(20) Pursuant to s. 985.682, the Department of Juvenile Justice is responsible for obtaining appraisals and entering into option agreements and agreements for the purchase of state juvenile justice facility sites. An option agreement or agreement for purchase is not binding upon the state until it is approved by the board of trustees. The provisions of paragraphs (8)(c), (e), and (f) and (9)(b), (c), and (d) apply to all appraisals, offers, and counteroffers of the Department of Juvenile Justice for state juvenile justice facility sites.
(21) The board of trustees may acquire, pursuant to s. 288.980(2)(b), nonconservation lands from the annual list submitted by the Department of Economic Opportunity for the purpose of buffering a military installation against encroachment.
(22) The board of trustees, by an affirmative vote of at least three members, may direct the department to purchase lands on an immediate basis using up to 15 percent of the funds allocated to the department pursuant to s. 259.105 for the acquisition of lands that:
(a) Are listed or placed at auction by the Federal Government as part of the Resolution Trust Corporation sale of lands from failed savings and loan associations;
(b) Are listed or placed at auction by the Federal Government as part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sale of lands from failed banks; or
(c) Will be developed or otherwise lost to potential public ownership, or for which federal matching funds will be lost, by the time the land can be purchased under the program within which the land is listed for acquisition.

For such acquisitions, the board of trustees may waive or modify all procedures required for land acquisition pursuant to this chapter and all competitive bid procedures required pursuant to chapters 255 and 287. Lands acquired pursuant to this subsection must, at the time of purchase, be on one of the acquisition lists established pursuant to chapter 259, or be essential for water resource development, protection, or restoration, or a significant portion of the lands must contain natural communities or plant or animal species that are listed by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory as critically imperiled, imperiled, or rare, or as excellent quality occurrences of natural communities.

(23) Title to lands to be held jointly by the board of trustees and a water management district and acquired pursuant to s. 373.139 may be deemed to meet the standards necessary for ownership by the board of trustees, notwithstanding this section or related rules.
History.s. 9, ch. 79-255; s. 7, ch. 80-356; s. 166, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 82-152; s. 2, ch. 83-114; s. 14, ch. 84-330; s. 57, ch. 85-80; s. 1, ch. 85-84; s. 12, ch. 86-163; s. 65, ch. 86-186; s. 1, ch. 87-307; s. 1, ch. 87-319; s. 7, ch. 88-168; s. 2, ch. 88-387; s. 1, ch. 89-117; s. 9, ch. 89-174; s. 2, ch. 89-276; s. 9, ch. 90-217; s. 1, ch. 90-234; s. 5, ch. 91-56; s. 3, ch. 92-288; s. 28, ch. 94-218; s. 2, ch. 94-240; s. 3, ch. 94-273; s. 66, ch. 94-356; s. 842, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 95-349; s. 14, ch. 96-398; s. 109, ch. 96-406; s. 14, ch. 96-420; s. 25, ch. 98-280; s. 9, ch. 99-4; s. 32, ch. 99-13; s. 10, ch. 2000-308; s. 87, ch. 2001-266; s. 272, ch. 2003-261; s. 1, ch. 2003-394; s. 59, ch. 2003-399; s. 106, ch. 2006-120; s. 3, ch. 2008-229; s. 1, ch. 2013-222; s. 12, ch. 2014-43; s. 4, ch. 2016-233.
253.0251 Alternatives to fee simple acquisition.
(1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) With the increasing pressures on the natural areas of this state and on open space suitable for recreational use, the state must develop creative techniques to maximize the use of acquisition and management funds.
(b) The state’s conservation and recreational land acquisition agencies should be encouraged to augment their traditional, fee simple acquisition programs with the use of alternatives to fee simple acquisition techniques. In addition, the Legislature finds that generations of private landowners have been good stewards of their land, protecting or restoring native habitats and ecosystems to the benefit of the natural resources of this state, its heritage, and its citizens. The Legislature also finds that using alternatives to fee simple acquisition by public land acquisition agencies will achieve the following public policy goals:
1. Allow more lands to be brought under public protection for preservation, conservation, and recreational purposes with less expenditure of public funds.
2. Retain, on local government tax rolls, some portion of or interest in lands which are under public protection.
3. Reduce long-term management costs by allowing private property owners to continue acting as stewards of their land, when appropriate.

Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that public land acquisition agencies develop programs to pursue alternatives to fee simple acquisition and to educate private landowners about such alternatives and the benefits of such alternatives. It is also the intent of the Legislature that a portion of the shares of Florida Forever bond proceeds be used to purchase eligible properties using alternatives to fee simple acquisition.

(2) All applications for alternatives to fee simple acquisition projects shall identify, within their acquisition plans, projects that require a full fee simple interest to achieve the public policy goals, together with the reasons full title is determined to be necessary. The state agencies and the water management districts may use alternatives to fee simple acquisition to bring the remaining projects in their acquisition plans under public protection. For purposes of this section, the phrase “alternatives to fee simple acquisition” includes, but is not limited to, purchase of development rights; obtaining conservation easements; obtaining flowage easements; purchase of timber rights, mineral rights, or hunting rights; purchase of agricultural interests or silvicultural interests; fee simple acquisitions with reservations; creating life estates; or any other acquisition technique that achieves the public policy goals listed in subsection (1). It is presumed that a private landowner retains the full range of uses for all the rights or interests in the landowner’s land which are not specifically acquired by the public agency. The lands upon which hunting rights are specifically acquired pursuant to this section shall be available for hunting in accordance with the management plan or hunting regulations adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, unless the hunting rights are purchased specifically to protect activities on adjacent lands.
(3) When developing the acquisition plan pursuant to s. 259.105, the Acquisition and Restoration Council may give preference to those less than fee simple acquisitions that provide any public access. However, the Legislature recognizes that public access is not always appropriate for certain less than fee simple acquisitions. Therefore, any proposed less than fee simple acquisition may not be rejected simply because public access would be limited.
(4) The Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and each water management district shall implement initiatives for using alternatives to fee simple acquisition and to educate private landowners about such alternatives. The Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the water management districts may enter into joint acquisition agreements to jointly fund the purchase of lands using alternatives to fee simple techniques.
(5) The Legislature finds that the lack of direct sales comparison information has served as an impediment to successful implementation of alternatives to fee simple acquisition. It is the intent of the Legislature that, in the absence of direct comparable sales information, appraisals of alternatives to fee simple acquisitions be based on the difference between the full fee simple valuation and the value of the interests remaining with the seller after acquisition.
(6) The public agency that has been assigned management responsibility shall inspect and monitor any less than fee simple interest according to the terms of the purchase agreement relating to such interest.
(7) For less than fee simple acquisitions pursuant to s. 570.71, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall comply with the acquisition procedures set forth in s. 570.715.
History.s. 5, ch. 2016-233.
253.027 Emergency archaeological property acquisition.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section may be cited as the “Emergency Archaeological Property Acquisition Act of 1988.”
(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.It is the intent of the Legislature that a program be established to protect archaeological properties of major statewide significance from destruction as a result of imminent development, vandalism, or natural events. Since these resources are often discovered during excavation as part of construction activities or after storm events, little time may be available for using other, often time-consuming, property acquisition methods. It is, therefore, the further intent of the Legislature to create a rapid method of acquisition for a limited number of specifically designated properties, which method may bypass previously accepted methods of state land acquisition. It is also the intent of the Legislature that lands no longer needed for the purposes expressed in this section be sold and funds returned to their original source for use in other programs.
(3) DEFINITION.“Archaeological property of major statewide significance” means lands that contain unique prehistoric or historic artifacts, relics, or structures of archaeological value that are:
(a) Not merely of local or regional significance, but of importance to the state as a whole.
(b) Outstanding representations of a particular culture, historic event, or epoch.
(4) EMERGENCY ARCHAEOLOGICAL ACQUISITION.The sum of $2 million shall be reserved annually within the Florida Forever Trust Fund for the purpose of emergency archaeological acquisition. Any portion of that amount not spent or obligated by the end of the third quarter of the fiscal year may be used for approved acquisitions pursuant to s. 259.105(3)(b).
(5) ACCOUNT EXPENDITURES.
(a) No moneys shall be spent for the acquisition of any property, including title works, appraisal fees, and survey costs, unless:
1. The property is an archaeological property of major statewide significance.
2. The structures, artifacts, or relics, or their historic significance, will be irretrievably lost if the state cannot acquire the property.
3. The site is presently on an acquisition list for Florida Forever lands or complies with the criteria for inclusion on any such list, but has yet to be included on the list.
4. No other source of immediate funding is available to purchase or otherwise protect the property.
5. The site is not otherwise protected by local, state, or federal laws.
6. The acquisition is not inconsistent with the state comprehensive plan and the state land acquisition program.
(b) No moneys shall be spent from the account for excavation or restoration of the properties acquired. Funds may be spent for preliminary surveys to determine if the sites meet the criteria of this section. An amount not to exceed $100,000 may also be spent from the account to inventory and evaluate archaeological and historic resources on properties purchased, or proposed for purchase, pursuant to s. 259.105(3)(b).
(6) INITIATION OF PURCHASE.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall consider the purchase of lands pursuant to this section upon its own motion or upon a written request by any person, corporation, organization, or agency. The request shall contain the following information:
(a) The name, address, and phone number of the person making the request.
(b) A legal description of the property, or if one is not readily available, a physical description sufficient to identify its general location.
(c) The name and address of the owner if it is different from the requester.
(d) An indication of the owner’s willingness to sell.
(e) A statement showing why the property is in imminent danger of being destroyed or substantially altered and why state acquisition is necessary.
(f) A statement showing why the property is archaeological property of major statewide significance that meets the criteria for purchase within the requirements of this section.
(g) If archaeological resources are sought to be protected from the result of imminent construction activities, a list of the local, state, or federal laws that might otherwise be available to protect the resource, and a short statement of the reason the laws are not available to protect the resource.

The written request shall be filed with the Division of State Lands and the Division of Historical Resources. If the director of either division or the director’s designee finds that the request substantially complies with the requirements of this section, it shall be placed on the next Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund agenda following receipt without the need for notice; provided, however, that each Cabinet officer shall have received copies of the request at least 24 hours before the meeting. Should the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund agree to consider the request, it shall approve a plan for future actions that may lead to acquisition of the property as soon as possible thereafter.

(7) ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY.Property may not be acquired under this section until the disposition or settlement of any litigation involving such property or involving the use of or construction on such property or on adjacent property. Title to property acquired pursuant to this section shall be held by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and managed pursuant to the provisions of s. 259.032.
(8) WAIVER OF APPRAISALS OR SURVEYS.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may waive or limit any appraisal or survey requirements in s. 253.025, if necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section. Fee simple title is not required to be conveyed if some lesser interest will allow the preservation of the archaeological resource. Properties purchased pursuant to this section shall be considered archaeologically unique or significant properties and may be purchased under the provisions of s. 253.025(9).
(9) SEVERABILITY.If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, it is the legislative intent that the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the section which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this section are declared severable.
(10) LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION.It is intended that the provisions of this section shall be liberally construed for accomplishing the work authorized and provided for or intended to be provided for by this section, and when strict construction would result in the defeat of the accomplishment of any part of the work authorized by this section and a liberal construction would permit or assist in the accomplishment thereof, the liberal construction shall be chosen.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-274; s. 1, ch. 91-221; s. 14, ch. 94-240; s. 843, ch. 95-148; s. 8, ch. 99-247; s. 14, ch. 2015-229; s. 33, ch. 2016-233.
253.03 Board of trustees to administer state lands; lands enumerated.
(1) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state is vested and charged with the acquisition, administration, management, control, supervision, conservation, protection, and disposition of all lands owned by, or which may hereafter inure to, the state or any of its agencies, departments, boards, or commissions, excluding lands held for transportation facilities and transportation corridors and canal rights-of-way, spoil areas and lands required for disposal of materials, or borrow pits; any land, title to which is vested or may become vested in any port authority, flood control district, water management district, or navigation district or agency created by any general or special act; and any lands, including the Camp Blanding Military Reservation, which have been conveyed to the state for military purposes only, and which are subject to reversion if conveyed by the original grantee or if the conveyance to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund under this act would work a reversion from any other cause, or where any conveyance of lands held by a state agency which are encumbered by or subject to liens, trust agreements, or any form of contract which encumbers state lands for the repayment of funded debt. Lands vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall be deemed to be:
(a) All swamp and overflowed lands held by the state or which may hereafter inure to the state;
(b) All lands owned by the state by right of its sovereignty;
(c) All internal improvement lands proper;
(d) All tidal lands;
(e) All lands covered by shallow waters of the ocean or gulf, or bays or lagoons thereof, and all lands owned by the state covered by fresh water;
(f) All parks, reservations, or lands or bottoms set aside in the name of the state, excluding lands held for transportation facilities and transportation corridors and canal rights-of-way;
(g) All lands which have accrued, or which may hereafter accrue, to the state from any source whatsoever, excluding lands held for transportation facilities and transportation corridors and canal rights-of-way, spoil areas, or borrow pits or any land, the title to which is vested or may become vested in any port authority, flood control district, water management district, or navigation district or agency created by any general or special act.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the board of trustees continue to receive proceeds from the sale or disposition of the products of lands and the sale of lands of which the use and possession are not subsequently transferred by appropriate lease or similar instrument from the board of trustees to the proper using agency. Such using agency shall be entitled to the proceeds from the sale of products on, under, growing out of, or connected with lands which such using agency holds under lease or similar instrument from the board of trustees. The board of trustees is directed and authorized to enter into leases or similar instruments for the use, benefit, and possession of public lands by agencies which may properly use and possess them for the benefit of the state.
(3) The provisions of s. 270.11, requiring the board of trustees to reserve unto itself certain oil and mineral interests in all deeds of conveyances executed by the board of trustees, shall not have application to any lands that inure to the board of trustees from other state agencies, departments, boards, or commissions under the terms and provisions of this act.
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature that, when title to any lands is in the state, with no specific agency authorized by the Legislature to convey or otherwise dispose of such lands, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund be vested with such title and hereafter be authorized to exercise over such lands such authority as may be provided by law.
(5) It is the specific intent of the Legislature that this act repeal any provision of state law which may require the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to pay taxes or assessments of any kind to any state or local public agency on lands which are transferred or conveyed to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund under the terms of this act and which at the time of the passage of this act are entitled to tax-exempt status under the constitution or laws of the state.
(6) Commencing September 1, 1967, all land held in the name of the state or any of its boards, departments, agencies, or commissions shall be deemed to be vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for the use and benefit of the state. By October 1, 1967, any board, commission, department, or agency holding title to any state lands used for public purpose shall execute all instruments necessary to transfer such title to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for the use and benefit of the state, except lands which reverted to the state under the provisions of chapter 18296, Laws of Florida, 1937, commonly known and referred to as the “Murphy Act.”
(7)(a) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is hereby authorized and directed to administer all state-owned lands and shall be responsible for the creation of an overall and comprehensive plan of development concerning the acquisition, management, and disposition of state-owned lands so as to ensure maximum benefit and use. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this act.
(b) With respect to administering, controlling, and managing sovereignty submerged lands, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund also may adopt rules governing all uses of sovereignty submerged lands by vessels, floating homes, or any other watercraft, which shall be limited to regulations for anchoring, mooring, or otherwise attaching to the bottom; the establishment of anchorages; and the discharge of sewage, pumpout requirements, and facilities associated with anchorages. The regulations must not interfere with commerce or the transitory operation of vessels through navigable water, but shall control the use of sovereignty submerged lands as a place of business or residence.
(c) Structures which are listed in or are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or the State Inventory of Historic Places which are over the waters of the state and which have a submerged land lease, or have been grandfathered-in to use sovereignty submerged lands until January 1, 1998, pursuant to former rule 18-21.00405, Florida Administrative Code, as it existed in rule on March 15, 1990, shall have the right to continue such submerged land leases, regardless of the fact that the present landholder is not an adjacent riparian landowner, so long as the lessee maintains the structure in a good state of repair consistent with the guidelines for listing. If the structure is damaged or destroyed, the lessee may reconstruct, so long as the reconstruction is consistent with the integrity of the listed structure and does not increase the footprint of the structure. If a listed structure falls into disrepair and the lessee is not willing to repair and maintain it consistent with its listing, the state may cancel the submerged lease and repair and maintain the property or require that the structure be removed from sovereignty submerged lands.
(d) By January 1, 2001, the owners of habitable structures built on or before May 1, 1999, located in conservation areas 2 or 3, on district or state-owned lands, the existence or use which will not impede the restoration of the Everglades, whether pursuant to a submerged lease or not, must provide written notification to the South Florida Water Management District of their existence and location, including an identification of the footprint of the structures. This notification will grant the leaseholders an automatic 20-year lease at a reasonable fee established by the district, or the Department of Environmental Protection, as appropriate, to expire on January 1, 2020. The district or Department of Environmental Protection, as appropriate, may impose reasonable conditions consistent with existing laws and rules. If the structures are located on privately owned lands, the landowners must provide the same notification required for a 20-year permit. If the structures are located on state-owned lands, the South Florida Water Management District shall submit this notification to the Department of Environmental Protection on the owner’s behalf. At the expiration of this 20-year lease or permit, the South Florida Water Management District or the Department of Environmental Protection, as appropriate, shall have the right to require that the leaseholder remove the structures if the district determines that the structures or their use are causing harm to the water or land resources of the district, or to renew the lease agreement. The structure of any owner who does not provide notification to the South Florida Water Management District as required under this subsection, shall be considered illegal and subject to immediate removal. Any structure built in any water conservation area after May 1, 1999, without necessary permits and leases from the South Florida Water Management District, the Department of Environmental Protection, or other local government, as appropriate, shall be considered illegal and subject to removal.
(e) Failure to comply with the conditions contained in any permit or lease agreement as described in paragraph (d) makes the structure illegal and subject to removal. Any structure built in any water conservation area on or after July 1, 2000, is also illegal and subject to immediate removal.
(8)(a) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall prepare, using tax roll data provided by the Department of Revenue, or the county property appraisers, an annual inventory of all publicly owned lands within the state. Such inventory shall include all lands owned by any unit of state government or local government; by the Federal Government, to the greatest extent possible; and by any other public entity.
(b) In addition to any other parcel data available, the inventory shall include a legal description or proper reference thereto, the number of acres or square feet within the boundaries, and the assessed value of all publicly owned uplands. To the greatest extent practicable, the legal description or proper reference thereto and the number of acres or square feet shall be determined for all publicly owned submerged lands. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “submerged lands” means publicly owned lands below the ordinary high-water mark of fresh waters and below the mean high-water line of salt waters extending seaward to the outer jurisdiction of the state.
(c) By September 30 of each year, the Department of Revenue shall furnish to the board, in electronic form, the approved preliminary tax roll data for public lands to be used in compiling the inventory. By November 30 of each year, the board shall prepare and provide to each state agency and local government and any other public entity which holds title to real property, including any water management district, drainage district, navigation district, or special taxing district, a list of the real property owned by such entity, required to be listed on county assessment rolls, using tax roll data provided by the Department of Revenue. By January 31 of the following year, each such entity shall review its list and inform the appropriate property appraiser and the board of any corrections to the list. The appropriate county property appraiser shall enter such corrections on the appropriate county tax roll.
(d) Whenever real property is listed on the real property assessment rolls of the respective counties in the name of the State of Florida or any of its agencies, the listing shall not be changed in the absence of a recorded deed executed by the State of Florida or the state agency in whose name the property is listed. If, in preparing the assessment rolls, the property appraisers within the state become aware of the existence of a recorded deed not executed by the state and purporting to convey real property listed on the assessment rolls as state-owned, the property appraiser shall immediately forward a copy of the recorded deed to the state agency in whose name the property is listed.
(e) The board shall use tax roll data, which shall be provided by the Department of Revenue, to assist in the identification and confirmation of publicly held lands. Lands that are held by the state or a water management district and lands that are purchased by the state, a state agency, or a water management district and that are deemed not essential or necessary for conservation purposes are subject to review for surplus sale.
(9) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is responsible for the acquisition and disposal of federal lands and buildings which are declared surplus or excess. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall establish regular procedures to assure that state and local agencies are made aware of the availability of federal lands and buildings.
(10) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the state through any of its agencies are hereby prohibited from levying any charge, by whatever name known, or attaching any lien, on any and all materials dredged from state sovereignty tidal lands or submerged bottom lands or on the lands constituting the spoil areas on which such dredged materials are placed, except as otherwise provided for in this subsection, when such materials are dredged by or on behalf of the United States or the local sponsors of active federal navigation projects in the pursuance of the improvement, construction, maintenance, and operation of such projects or by a public body authorized to operate a public port facility (all such parties referred to herein shall hereafter be called “public body”) in pursuance of the improvement, construction, maintenance, and operation of such facility, including any public transfer and terminal facilities, which actions are hereby declared to be for a public purpose. The term “local sponsor” means the local agency designated pursuant to an act of Congress to assume a portion of the navigation project costs and duties. Active federal navigation projects are those congressionally approved projects which are being performed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers or maintained by the local sponsors.
(a) Except for beach nourishment seaward of existing lines of vegetation on privately owned or publicly owned uplands fronting on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico and authorized pursuant to the provisions of part I of chapter 161, no materials dredged from state sovereignty tidal or submerged bottom lands by a public body shall be deposited on private lands until:
1. The United States Army Corps of Engineers or the local sponsor has first certified that no public lands are available within a reasonable distance of the dredging site; and
2. The public body has published notice of its intention to utilize certain private lands for the deposit of materials, in a newspaper published and having general circulation in the appropriate county at least three times within a 60-day period prior to the date of the scheduled deposit of any such material, and therein advised the general public of the opportunity to bid on the purchase of such materials for deposit on the purchaser’s designated site, provided any such deposit shall be at no increased cost to the public body. Such notice shall state the terms, location, and conditions for receipt of bids and shall state that the public body shall accept the highest responsible bid. All bids shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. All moneys obtained from such purchases of materials shall be remitted forthwith to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Compliance with this subsection shall vest, without any obligation, full title to the materials in the owner of the land where deposited.
(b) When public lands on which are deposited materials dredged from state sovereignty tidal or submerged bottom lands by the public body are sold or leased for a period in excess of 20 years, which term includes any options to a private party, 50 percent of any remuneration received shall forthwith be remitted to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the balance shall be retained by the public body owning the land.
(c) Any materials which have been dredged from state sovereignty tidal or submerged bottom lands by the public body and deposited on public lands may be removed by the public body to private lands or interests only after due advertisement for bids, which means a notice published at least three times within a 60-day period in a newspaper published and having general circulation in the appropriate county. The purchase price submitted by the highest responsible bidder shall be remitted to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. If no bid is received, the public body shall have the right to fully convey title to, and dispose of, any such material on its land, with no requirement of payment to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a)-(c), the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall allow private or public entities to remove, at no charge and with no public notice requirements, spoil site material dredged from state sovereignty tidal lands or submerged bottom lands and to place the material upon public or private lands when:
1. Such removal and placement is done pursuant to a spoil site rejuvenation plan the board of trustees approves; and
2. The board of trustees finds that the removal and placement is in the public interest and would rejuvenate a site for continued spoil disposal. The board of trustees may give priority to requests for spoil site material, which would result in the environmental restoration or enhancement of the new placement site.
(e) Nothing in this subsection shall affect any preexisting contract or permit to engage in dredging of materials from state sovereignty tidal and submerged bottom lands, nor shall it be construed to void any preexisting agreement or lien against the lands upon which dredged materials have been placed or to have any retroactive effect.
(11) The board of trustees may adopt rules to provide for the assessment and collection of reasonable fees, commensurate with the actual cost to the board, for disclaimers, easements, exchanges, gifts, leases, releases, or sales of any interest in lands or any applications therefor and for reproduction of documents. All revenues received from the application fees charged by a water management district to process applications that include a request to use state lands are to be retained by the water management district. The board of trustees shall adopt by rule an annual administrative fee for all existing and future leases or similar instruments to be charged to agencies that are leasing land from the board of trustees. This annual administrative fee assessed for all leases or similar instruments is to compensate the board of trustees for costs incurred in the administration and management of such leases or similar instruments.
(12) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is hereby authorized to administer, manage, control, conserve, protect, and sell all real property forfeited to the state pursuant to ss. 895.01-895.09 or acquired by the state pursuant to s. 607.0505 or former s. 620.192. The board is directed to immediately determine the value of all such property and shall ascertain whether the property is in any way encumbered. If the board determines that it is in the best interest of the state to do so, funds from the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may be used to satisfy any such encumbrances. If forfeited property receipts are not sufficient to satisfy encumbrances on the property and expenses permitted under this section, funds from another appropriate trust fund may be used to satisfy any such encumbrances and expenses. All property acquired by the board pursuant to s. 607.0505, former s. 620.192, or ss. 895.01-895.09 shall be sold as soon as commercially feasible unless the Attorney General recommends and the board determines that retention of the property in public ownership would effectuate one or more of the following policies of statewide significance: protection or enhancement of floodplains, marshes, estuaries, lakes, rivers, wilderness areas, wildlife areas, wildlife habitat, or other environmentally sensitive natural areas or ecosystems; or preservation of significant archaeological or historical sites identified by the Secretary of State. In such event the property shall remain in the ownership of the board, to be controlled, managed, and disposed of in accordance with this chapter, and the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall be reimbursed from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, or other appropriate fund designated by the board, for any funds expended from the Internal Improvement Trust Fund pursuant to this subsection in regard to such property. Upon the recommendation of the Attorney General, the board may reimburse the investigative agency for its investigative expenses, costs, and attorneys’ fees, and may reimburse law enforcement agencies for actual expenses incurred in conducting investigations leading to the forfeiture of such property from funds deposited in the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the Department of Environmental Protection. The proceeds of the sale of property acquired under s. 607.0505, former s. 620.192, or ss. 895.01-895.09 shall be distributed as follows:
(a) After satisfaction of any valid claims arising under s. 895.09(1)(a) or (b), any moneys used to satisfy encumbrances and expended as costs of administration, appraisal, management, conservation, protection, sale, and real estate sales services and any interest earnings lost to the trust fund that was used as of a date certified by the Department of Environmental Protection shall be replaced first in the trust fund that was used to satisfy any such encumbrance or expense, if those funds were used, and then in the Internal Improvement Trust Fund; and
(b) The remainder shall be distributed as set forth in s. 895.09.
(13) For applications not reviewed pursuant to s. 373.427, the department must review applications for the use of state-owned submerged lands, including a purchase, lease, easement, disclaimer, or other consent to use such lands and must request submittal of all additional information necessary to process the application. Within 30 days after receipt of the additional information, the department must review the information submitted and may request only that information needed to clarify the additional information, to process the appropriate form of approval indicated by the additional information, or to answer those questions raised by, or directly related to, the additional information. An application for the authority to use state-owned submerged land must be approved, denied, or submitted to the board of trustees for approval or denial within 90 days after receipt of the original application or the last item of timely requested additional information. This time is tolled by any notice requirements of s. 253.115 or any hearing held under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. If the review of the application is not completed within the 90-day period, the department must report quarterly to the board the reasons for the failure to complete the report and provide an estimated date by which the application will be approved or denied. Failure to comply with these time periods shall not result in approval by default.
(14) Where necessary to establish a price for the sale or other disposition of state lands, including leases or easements, the Division of State Lands may utilize appropriate appraiser selection and contracting procedures established under s. 253.025. The board of trustees may adopt rules to implement this subsection.
(15) The board of trustees shall encourage the use of sovereign submerged lands for public access and water-dependent uses which may include related minimal secondary nonwater-dependent uses.
(16) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, and the state through its agencies, may not control, regulate, permit, or charge for any severed materials which are removed from the area adjacent to an intake or discharge structure pursuant to an exemption authorized in s. 403.813(1)(f) and (r).
History.s. 1, ch. 15642, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1446(13); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 2, 3, ch. 67-269; s. 2, ch. 67-2236; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 8, ch. 71-286; s. 1, ch. 75-76; s. 1, ch. 78-251; s. 10, ch. 79-255; s. 15, ch. 80-356; s. 3, ch. 82-144; s. 2, ch. 83-223; s. 10, ch. 84-79; s. 4, ch. 84-249; s. 58, ch. 85-80; s. 1, ch. 85-306; s. 2, ch. 87-307; s. 8, ch. 88-168; s. 3, ch. 88-264; s. 1, ch. 88-357; s. 5, ch. 89-102; s. 7, ch. 89-174; s. 16, ch. 89-175; s. 131, ch. 90-179; s. 1, ch. 91-175; s. 2, ch. 92-109; ss. 67, 490, ch. 94-356; s. 57, ch. 96-410; s. 1, ch. 97-22; s. 36, ch. 97-160; s. 2, ch. 97-164; s. 44, ch. 98-200; s. 9, ch. 99-247; s. 4, ch. 2000-170; s. 22, ch. 2004-234; s. 4, ch. 2005-157; s. 27, ch. 2006-1; s. 5, ch. 2007-73; s. 6, ch. 2009-20; s. 20, ch. 2009-21; ss. 6, 10, ch. 2010-280; SJR 8-A, 2010 Special Session A; s. 15, ch. 2015-229; s. 6, ch. 2016-233.
253.031 Land office; custody of documents concerning land; moneys; plats.
(1) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, hereinafter called the “board,” shall establish and maintain a public land office to be located at the seat of government of the state, in which office shall be deposited and preserved all records, surveys, plats, maps, field notes, and patents, and all other evidence touching the title and description of the public domain, and all lands granted by Congress to this state, or which may hereafter be granted, for whatever purpose the same may be given.
(2) The board shall have custody of, and the department shall maintain, all the records, surveys, plats, maps, field notes, and patents and all other evidence touching the title and description of the public domain.
(3) The board shall draw all deeds and conveyances and deliver the same for all sales and transfers, and other disposition of the public domain, that may from time to time be ordered and made by authority of law, and keep a true and faithful record of the same. The board shall keep accounts of the several grants or donations for fixing the seat of government, for seminaries of learning, for common schools, for internal improvements, or for any other purpose, in separate books, accounts, and reports, so that the rights and interests of one shall not be blended or mixed with the rights and interests of another; and each class of land shall pay the expenses of locating the same.
(4) The board shall, in behalf of this state, receive from the Treasury of the United States the 5 percent on sales of the public lands, or any other sums accruing from the general government to the seminary, common school, internal improvement, or land acquisition funds; and shall pay the same into the treasury of this state, or, if they shall belong to a fund, to the treasurer of such fund keeping the same separate and distinct under their respective proper heads. The board shall hold all needful correspondence with the several land offices of the United States in this state, or with the general land office at Washington, and shall attend the public land sales in this state, and visit the said land offices whenever, in its opinion, the interest of the state shall require it, and do and perform all things needful and proper to advance and promote the interests of the same.
(5) The board shall make selections of and secure all swamp and overflowed lands and any other lands inuring to the state under the several acts of Congress providing therefor, and shall provide plats or maps of all lands selected and secured, and append thereto an accurate description of the quality, situation, and location of the same, and whatever else may affect the value of each tract or body of land selected and secured, taking care to keep in separate books, and maps or plats, the lands belonging to each separate fund, which books and maps and plats, with the description thereof, shall be kept and preserved in the office of the board.
(6) Upon the discontinuance by the federal authorities of the office of surveyor-general for the state, the board shall receive all of the field notes, surveys, maps, plats, papers, and records heretofore kept in the office of said surveyor-general as part of the public records of its office, and shall at all times allow any duly accredited authority of the United States full and free access to any and all of such field notes, surveys, maps, plats, papers, and records; and may make and furnish under their hands and seal certified copies of any or all of the same to any person making application therefor.
(7) The board shall keep a suitable seal of office. An impression of this seal shall be made upon the deeds conveying lands sold by the state, by the Board of Education, and by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of this state; and all such deeds shall be signed by the trustees or their agents as authorized under s. 253.431, making the same and impressed with the seal and are operative and valid without witnesses to the execution thereof; and the impression of such seal on any such deeds entitles the same to record and to be received in evidence in all courts.
(8) The fees of the board in the following matters shall be as follows: certification under seal of copies of maps or records in the office will be performed for a fee of $1.50 minimum. The charges for copying, making record searches, and compiling reports and statistical data shall be commensurate with the work involved and cost of material used.
History.s. 1, ch. 63-294; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 74-18; s. 9, ch. 79-65; s. 3, ch. 82-185; s. 2, ch. 2013-152; s. 7, ch. 2016-233.
253.0325 Modernization of state lands records.
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection shall initiate an ongoing computerized information systems program to modernize its state lands records and documents that relate to all lands that have been acquired by all agencies under the Florida Preservation 2000 Act pursuant to s. 259.101 or the Florida Forever Act pursuant to s. 259.105. All recipients of Florida Forever funds shall annually submit their records for lands acquired for compilation of state lands records by the department. The program shall include, at a minimum:
(a) A document management component to automate the storage and retrieval of information contained in state lands records.
(b) A land records management component to organize the records by key elements present in the data.
(c) An evaluation component which includes the collection of resource and environmental data.
(d) A mapping component to generate and store maps of state-owned parcels using data from the land records management and evaluation components.
(2) At all stages of its records modernization program, the department shall seek to ensure information systems compatibility within the department and with other state, local, and regional governmental agencies. The department also shall seek to promote standardization in the collection of information regarding state-owned lands by federal, state, regional, and local agencies.
(3) The information collected and stored as a result of the department’s modernization of state lands records shall not be considered a final or complete accounting of lands which the state owns or to which the state may claim ownership.
History.s. 6, ch. 90-217; s. 68, ch. 94-356; s. 4, ch. 2008-229.
253.033 Inter-American Center property; transfer to board; continued use for government purposes.
(1) All real and personal property presently owned by the Inter-American Center Authority, pursuant to former s. 554.072 or otherwise, and all existing liabilities of said authority are hereby transferred to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. However, the liability to the Department of Transportation for road and bridge work is hereby waived and satisfied. Except as provided in s. 4, chapter 75-131, Laws of Florida, all obligations in connection with contracts and bond issues of the authority shall be assumed and performed by the trustees as provided by law or contract. No action shall be taken as a result of this act that will impair the obligations of any such contract or outstanding bonds.
(2) It is hereby recognized that certain governmental entities have expended substantial public funds in acquiring, planning for, or constructing public facilities for the purpose of carrying out or undertaking governmental functions on property formerly under the jurisdiction of the authority. All property owned or controlled by any governmental entity shall be exempt from the Florida Building Code and any local amendments thereto and from local zoning regulations which might otherwise be applicable in the absence of this section in carrying out or undertaking any such governmental function and purpose.
(3)(a) Except as provided in this subsection, in no event shall any of the lands known as “the Graves tract,” including, without limitation, the land previously transferred to the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County by the Inter-American Center Authority and the lands transferred pursuant to this act, be used for other than public purposes. However, the portion of “the Graves tract” owned by the City of North Miami on the effective date of this act or subsequently acquired by the city shall not be subject to such public purpose use restriction and may be used for any purpose in accordance with local building and zoning regulations.
(b)1. Notwithstanding any provision of paragraph (a) or any other law to the contrary, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall convey and transfer to the City of North Miami as soon as feasible that portion of “the Graves tract” described in this paragraph as set forth with particularity in s. 1, chapter 85-201, Laws of Florida, along with that certain additional portion of “the Graves tract” described as follows: Commencing at the center of Section 21, Township 52S., Range 42E., Miami-Dade County, Florida, run South 87°-38′-50″ West, 180.0 feet to the point of beginning of a parcel of land described as follows: run South 87°-38′-50″ West 804.17 feet to the east right-of-way line of State Road #5, thence run South 15°-20′-05″ West for a distance of 206.85 feet, thence run North 87°-45′-31″ East for a distance of 751.20 feet, thence run North 27°-50′-00″ East for a distance of 229.47 feet to the point of beginning, such parcel containing 3.89 acres more or less, except for that certain portion thereof which the Department of Transportation has reserved for right-of-way for transportation facilities.
2. Upon the recordation in the Official Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida, by the Department of Transportation of a right-of-way map for State Road #5, which reserves a portion of the lands described in subparagraph 1., which said portion reserved is within, but smaller than, the portion reserved from the conveyance required by subparagraph 1. as accomplished by instrument recorded in page 30 of Official Record Book 14405 of the Official Records of Miami-Dade County, Florida, as Deed No. 28289, pursuant to chapter 89-246, Laws of Florida, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall convey and transfer to the City of North Miami as soon as feasible that additional portion of “the Graves tract” which consists of: Parcel No. 1, “Interama Tract” Right-of-Way Reservation for State Road #5, together with Parcel No. 2, “Interama Tract” Right-of-Way Reservation for State Road #5 as described in that certain instrument of conveyance referred to in this subparagraph as Deed No. 28289, less and except that certain portion of said Parcels No. 1 and No. 2 which is, after the effective date of this act, reserved for right-of-way for transportation facilities in a right-of-way map or like instrument hereafter filed and recorded by the Department of Transportation in the official records, so that the City of North Miami obtains title to those additional lands which are not necessary to be reserved for right-of-way for transportation facilities.
3. The City of North Miami shall not be required to pay any monetary consideration for the conveyances of land specified in this paragraph, since these conveyances are in mitigation of the loss sustained by the city upon dissolution of the Inter-American Center Authority pursuant to s. 1 of chapter 75-131, Laws of Florida.
(4) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may lease to Miami-Dade County approximately 300 acres of land, and approximately 90 acres of abutting lagoon and waterways, designated as the Primary Development Area, and may also transfer to Miami-Dade County all or any part of the plans, drawings, maps, etc., of the Inter-American Center Authority existing at the date of transfer, provided Miami-Dade County:
(a) Assumes responsibilities of the following agreements:
1. That certain agreement entered into on June 12, 1972, between the City of Miami and Inter-American Center Authority whereby the authority agreed to repurchase, with revenues derived from the net operating revenue of the project developed on the leased lands after expenses and debt service requirements, the approximately 93 acres of lands previously deeded to the City of Miami as security for repayment of the $8,500,000 owed by the authority to the City of Miami. Title to the land repurchased pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be conveyed to the State of Florida.
2. Those certain rights granted to the City of North Miami pursuant to the provisions of former s. 554.29(1)(a) and former s. 554.30 obligating the authority to issue a revenue bond to the City of North Miami, containing provisions to be determined by Miami-Dade County, to be repaid from all ad valorem taxes, occupational license fees, franchise taxes, utility taxes, and cigarette taxes which would have accrued to the authority or the City of North Miami by nature of property owned by the authority having been in the City of North Miami and from the excess revenue after operating expenses, development cost and debt service requirements, of the project developed on the leased lands.
(b) Develops a plan for the use of the land that meets the approval of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or that meets the following purposes heretofore authorized:
1. To provide a permanent international center which will serve as a meeting ground for the governments and industries of the Western Hemisphere and of other areas of the world.
2. To facilitate broad and continuous exchanges of ideas, persons, and products through cultural, educational, and other exchanges.
3. By appropriate means, to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the Western Hemisphere and to strengthen the ties which unite the United States with other nations of the free world.

Any property leased under this subsection shall not be leased for less than fair market value.

History.ss. 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, ch. 75-131; s. 1, ch. 85-201; s. 1, ch. 87-293; s. 1, ch. 89-246; s. 1, ch. 92-114; s. 9, ch. 97-100; s. 13, ch. 2000-141; s. 34, ch. 2001-186; s. 3, ch. 2001-372; s. 45, ch. 2008-4.
253.034 State-owned lands; uses.
(1) All lands acquired pursuant to chapter 259 shall be managed to serve the public interest by protecting and conserving land, air, water, and the state’s natural resources, which contribute to the public health, welfare, and economy of the state. These lands shall be managed to provide for areas of natural resource based recreation, and to ensure the survival of plant and animal species and the conservation of finite and renewable natural resources. The state’s lands and natural resources shall be managed using a stewardship ethic that assures these resources will be available for the benefit and enjoyment of all people of the state, both present and future. It is the intent of the Legislature that, where feasible and consistent with the goals of protection and conservation of natural resources associated with lands held in the public trust by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, public land not designated for single-use purposes pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) be managed for multiple-use purposes. All multiple-use land management strategies shall address public access and enjoyment, resource conservation and protection, ecosystem maintenance and protection, and protection of threatened and endangered species, and the degree to which public-private partnerships or endowments may allow the entity with management responsibility to enhance its ability to manage these lands. The Acquisition and Restoration Council shall recommend rules to the board of trustees, and the board of trustees shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Multiple use” means the harmonious and coordinated management of timber, recreation, conservation of fish and wildlife, forage, archaeological and historic sites, habitat and other biological resources, or water resources so that they are used in the combination that will best serve the people of the state, making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources and giving consideration to the relative values of the various resources. Where necessary and appropriate for all state-owned lands that are larger than 1,000 acres in project size and are managed for multiple uses, buffers may be formed around any areas that require special protection or have special management needs. Such buffers may not exceed more than one-half of the total acreage. Multiple uses within a buffer area may be restricted to provide the necessary buffering effect desired. Multiple use in this context includes both uses of land or resources by more than one management entity, which may include private sector land managers. In any case, lands identified as multiple-use lands in the land management plan shall be managed to enhance and conserve the lands and resources for the enjoyment of the people of the state.
(b) “Single use” means management for one particular purpose to the exclusion of all other purposes, except that the using entity shall have the option of including in its management program compatible secondary purposes which will not detract from or interfere with the primary management purpose. Such single uses may include, but are not necessarily restricted to, the use of agricultural lands for production of food and livestock, the use of improved sites and grounds for institutional purposes, and the use of lands for parks, preserves, wildlife management, archaeological or historic sites, or wilderness areas where the maintenance of essentially natural conditions is important. 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, including hunting and fishing where deemed appropriate by the managing entity.
(c) “Conservation lands” means lands that are currently managed for conservation, outdoor resource-based recreation, or archaeological or historic preservation, except those lands that were acquired solely to facilitate the acquisition of other conservation lands. Lands acquired for uses other than conservation, outdoor resource-based recreation, or archaeological or historic preservation may not be designated conservation lands except as otherwise authorized under this section. These lands shall include, but not be limited to, the following: correction and detention facilities, military installations and facilities, state office buildings, maintenance yards, state university or Florida College System institution campuses, agricultural field stations or offices, tower sites, law enforcement and license facilities, laboratories, hospitals, clinics, and other sites that do not possess significant natural or historical resources. However, lands acquired solely to facilitate the acquisition of other conservation lands, and for which the land management plan has not yet been completed or updated, may be evaluated by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund on a case-by-case basis to determine if they will be designated conservation lands.
(d) “Public access,” as used in this chapter and chapter 259, means access by the general public to state lands and water, including vessel access made possible by boat ramps, docks, and associated support facilities, where compatible with conservation and recreation objectives.

Lands acquired by the state as a gift, through donation, or by any other conveyance for which no consideration was paid, and which are not managed for conservation, outdoor resource-based recreation, or archaeological or historic preservation under a land management plan approved by the board of trustees are not conservation lands.

(3) Recognizing that recreational trails purchased with rails-to-trails funds pursuant to former s. 259.101(3)(g), Florida Statutes 2014, or s. 259.105(3)(h) have had historic transportation uses and that their linear character may extend many miles, the Legislature intends that if the necessity arises to serve public needs, after balancing the need to protect trail users from collisions with automobiles and a preference for the use of overpasses and underpasses to the greatest extent feasible and practical, transportation uses shall be allowed to cross recreational trails purchased pursuant to former s. 259.101(3)(g), Florida Statutes 2014, or s. 259.105(3)(h). When these crossings are needed, the location and design should consider and mitigate the impact on humans and environmental resources, and the value of the land shall be paid based on fair market value.
(4) A management agreement, lease, or other instrument authorizing the use of lands owned by the board of trustees may not be executed for a period greater than is necessary to provide for the reasonable use of the land for the existing or planned life cycle or amortization of the improvements, except that an easement in perpetuity may be granted by the board of trustees if the improvement is a transportation facility. If an entity managing or leasing state-owned lands from the board of trustees does not meet the short-term goals under paragraph (5)(b) for conservation lands, the Department of Environmental Protection may submit the lands to the Acquisition and Restoration Council to review whether the short-term goals should be modified, consider whether the lands should be offered to another entity for management or leasing, or recommend to the board of trustees whether to surplus the lands. If an entity managing or leasing state-owned lands from the board of trustees does not meet the short-term goals under paragraph (5)(i) for nonconservation lands, the department may submit the lands to the board of trustees to consider whether to require the managing or leasing entity to release its interest in the lands and to consider whether to surplus the lands. If the state-owned lands are determined to be surplus, the board of trustees may require an entity to release its interest in the lands. An entity managing or leasing state-owned lands from the board of trustees may not sublease such lands without prior review by the Division of State Lands and, for conservation lands, by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. All management agreements, leases, or other instruments authorizing the use of lands owned by the board of trustees shall be reviewed for approval by the board of trustees or its designee. The council is not required to review subleases of parcels which are less than 160 acres in size.
(5) Each manager of conservation lands shall submit to the Division of State Lands a land management plan at least every 10 years in a form and manner adopted by rule of the board of trustees and in accordance with s. 259.032. Each manager of conservation lands shall also update a land management plan whenever the manager proposes to add new facilities or make substantive land use or management changes that were not addressed in the approved plan, or within 1 year after the addition of significant new lands. Each manager of nonconservation lands shall submit to the Division of State Lands a land use plan at least every 10 years in a form and manner adopted by rule of the board of trustees. The division shall review each plan for compliance with the requirements of this subsection and the requirements of the rules adopted by the board of trustees pursuant to this section. All nonconservation land use plans, whether for single-use or multiple-use properties, shall be managed to provide the greatest benefit to the state. Plans for managed areas larger than 1,000 acres shall contain an analysis of the multiple-use potential of the property which includes the potential of the property to generate revenues to enhance the management of the property. In addition, the plan shall contain an analysis of the potential use of private land managers to facilitate the restoration or management of these lands. If a newly acquired property has a valid conservation plan that was developed by a soil and conservation district, such plan shall be used to guide management of the property until a formal land use plan is completed.
(a) State conservation lands shall be managed to ensure the conservation of the state’s plant and animal species and to ensure the accessibility of state lands for the benefit and enjoyment of all people of the state, both present and future. Each land management plan for state conservation lands shall provide a desired outcome, describe both short-term and long-term management goals, and include measurable objectives to achieve those goals. Short-term goals shall be achievable within a 2-year planning period, and long-term goals shall be achievable within a 10-year planning period. These short-term and long-term management goals shall be the basis for all subsequent land management activities.
(b) Short-term and long-term management goals for state conservation lands shall include measurable objectives for the following, as appropriate:
1. Habitat restoration and improvement.
2. Public access and recreational opportunities.
3. Hydrological preservation and restoration.
4. Sustainable forest management.
5. Exotic and invasive species maintenance and control.
6. Capital facilities and infrastructure.
7. Cultural and historical resources.
8. Imperiled species habitat maintenance, enhancement, restoration, or population restoration.
(c) The land management plan shall, at a minimum, contain the following elements:
1. A physical description of the land.
2. A quantitative data description of the land which includes an inventory of forest and other natural resources; exotic and invasive plants; hydrological features; infrastructure, including recreational facilities; and other significant land, cultural, or historical features. The inventory shall reflect the number of acres for each resource and feature, when appropriate. The inventory shall be of such detail that objective measures and benchmarks can be established for each tract of land and monitored during the lifetime of the plan. All quantitative data collected shall be aggregated, standardized, collected, and presented in an electronic format to allow for uniform management reporting and analysis. The information collected by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to s. 253.0325(2) shall be available to the land manager and his or her assignee.
3. A detailed description of each short-term and long-term land management goal, the associated measurable objectives, and the related activities that are to be performed to meet the land management objectives. Each land management objective must be addressed by the land management plan, and if practicable, a land management objective may not be performed to the detriment of the other land management objectives.
4. A schedule of land management activities which contains short-term and long-term land management goals and the related measurable objective and activities. The schedule shall include for each activity a timeline for completion, quantitative measures, and detailed expense and manpower budgets. The schedule shall provide a management tool that facilitates development of performance measures.
5. A summary budget for the scheduled land management activities of the land management plan. For state lands containing or anticipated to contain imperiled species habitat, the summary budget shall include any fees anticipated from public or private entities for projects to offset adverse impacts to imperiled species or such habitat, which fees shall be used solely to restore, manage, enhance, repopulate, or acquire imperiled species habitat. The summary budget shall be prepared in such manner that it facilitates computing an aggregate of land management costs for all state-managed lands using the categories described in s. 259.037(3).
(d) Upon completion, the land management plan must be transmitted to the Acquisition and Restoration Council for review. The council shall have 90 days after receipt of the plan to review the plan and submit its recommendations to the board of trustees. During the review period, the land management plan may be revised if agreed to by the primary land manager and the council taking into consideration public input. The land management plan becomes effective upon approval by the board of trustees.
(e) Land management plans are to be updated every 10 years on a rotating basis. Each updated land management plan must identify any conservation lands under the plan, in part or in whole, that are no longer needed for conservation purposes and could be disposed of in fee simple or with the state retaining a permanent conservation easement.
(f) In developing land management plans, at least one public hearing shall be held in any one affected county.
(g) The Division of State Lands shall make available to the public an electronic copy of each land management plan for parcels that exceed 160 acres in size. The division shall review each plan for compliance with the requirements of this subsection, the requirements of chapter 259, and the requirements of the rules adopted by the board of trustees pursuant to this section. The Acquisition and Restoration Council shall also consider the propriety of the recommendations of the managing entity with regard to the future use of the property, the protection of fragile or nonrenewable resources, the potential for alternative or multiple uses not recognized by the managing entity, and the possibility of disposal of the property by the board of trustees. After its review, the council shall submit the plan, along with its recommendations and comments, to the board of trustees. The council shall specifically recommend to the board of trustees whether to approve the plan as submitted, approve the plan with modifications, or reject the plan. If the council fails to make a recommendation for a land management plan, the Secretary of Environmental Protection, Commissioner of Agriculture, or executive director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or their designees shall submit the land management plan to the board of trustees.
(h) The board of trustees shall consider the land management plan submitted by each entity and the recommendations of the Acquisition and Restoration Council and the Division of State Lands and shall approve the plan with or without modification or reject such plan. The use or possession of any such lands that is not in accordance with an approved land management plan is subject to termination by the board of trustees.
(i)1. State nonconservation lands shall be managed to provide the greatest benefit to the state. State nonconservation lands may be grouped by similar land use types under one land use plan. Each land use plan shall, at a minimum, contain the following elements:
a. A physical description of the land to include any significant natural or cultural resources as well as management strategies developed by the land manager to protect such resources.
b. A desired development outcome.
c. A schedule for achieving the desired development outcome.
d. A description of both short-term and long-term development goals.
e. A management and control plan for invasive nonnative plants.
f. A management and control plan for soil erosion and soil and water contamination.
g. Measureable objectives to achieve the goals identified in the land use plan.
2. Short-term goals shall be achievable within a 5-year planning period and long-term goals shall be achievable within a 10-year planning period.
3. The use or possession of any such lands that is not in accordance with an approved land use plan is subject to termination by the board of trustees.
4. Land use plans submitted by a manager shall include reference to appropriate statutory authority for such use or uses and shall conform to the appropriate policies and guidelines of the state land management plan.
(6) This section does not affect:
(a) Other provisions of this chapter relating to oil, gas, or mineral resources.
(b) The exclusive use of state-owned land subject to a lease by the board of trustees of state-owned land for private uses and purposes.
(c) Sovereignty lands not leased for private uses and purposes.
(7)(a) The Legislature recognizes the value of the state’s conservation lands as water recharge areas and air filters.
(b) If state-owned lands are subject to annexation procedures, the Division of State Lands must notify the county legislative delegation of the county in which the land is located.
(8) Land management plans required to be submitted by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Children and Families, or the Department of Education are not subject to review by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. Management plans filed by these agencies shall be made available to the public for a period of 90 days at the administrative offices of the parcel or project affected by the management plan and at the Tallahassee offices of each agency. Any plans not objected to during the public comment period shall be deemed approved. Any plans for which an objection is filed shall be submitted to the board of trustees for consideration. The board of trustees shall approve the plan with or without modification, or reject the plan. The use or possession of any such lands which is not in accordance with an approved land management plan is subject to termination by the board of trustees.
(9) The following additional uses of conservation lands acquired pursuant to the Florida Forever program and other state-funded conservation land purchase programs shall be authorized, upon a finding by the board of trustees, if they meet the criteria specified in paragraphs (a)-(e): water resource development projects, water supply development projects, stormwater management projects, linear facilities, and sustainable agriculture and forestry. Such additional uses are authorized if:
(a) The use is not inconsistent with the management plan for such lands;
(b) The use is compatible with the natural ecosystem and resource values of such lands;
(c) The use is appropriately located on such lands and due consideration is given to the use of other available lands;
(d) The using entity reasonably compensates the titleholder for such use based upon an appropriate measure of value; and
(e) The use is consistent with the public interest.

A decision by the board of trustees pursuant to this section shall be given a presumption of correctness. Moneys received from the use of state lands pursuant to this section shall be returned to the lead managing entity in accordance with s. 259.032(9)(c).

(10) Lands listed as projects for acquisition may be managed for conservation pursuant to s. 259.032, on an interim basis by a private party in anticipation of a state purchase in accordance with a contractual arrangement between the acquiring agency and the private party that may include management service contracts, leases, cost-share arrangements or resource conservation agreements. Lands designated as eligible under this subsection shall be managed to maintain or enhance the resources the state is seeking to protect by acquiring the land. Funding for these contractual arrangements may originate from the documentary stamp tax revenue deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. No more than $6.2 million may be expended from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for this purpose.
(11) Any lands available to governmental employees, including water management district employees, for hunting or other recreational purposes shall also be made available to the general public for such purposes.
History.s. 2, ch. 80-280; s. 167, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 82-36; s. 3, ch. 83-223; s. 2, ch. 84-94; s. 4, ch. 84-197; s. 1, ch. 89-174; ss. 3, 4, 5, ch. 90-1; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 92-109; s. 25, ch. 94-237; s. 3, ch. 97-164; ss. 32, 38, ch. 98-46; ss. 40, 53, ch. 99-228; s. 10, ch. 99-247; s. 24, ch. 2000-152; s. 13, ch. 2000-157; s. 5, ch. 2000-170; s. 2, ch. 2001-275; s. 14, ch. 2003-6; s. 2, ch. 2003-394; s. 1, ch. 2004-35; s. 54, ch. 2004-269; s. 1, ch. 2004-296; s. 39, ch. 2005-71; s. 36, ch. 2006-26; s. 9, ch. 2006-69; s. 7, ch. 2007-6; s. 33, ch. 2007-73; s. 1, ch. 2007-141; s. 46, ch. 2008-4; s. 30, ch. 2008-153; s. 5, ch. 2008-229; s. 7, ch. 2009-20; s. 1, ch. 2009-77; s. 26, ch. 2009-82; s. 1, ch. 2009-196; s. 8, ch. 2010-4; s. 24, ch. 2010-153; ss. 7, 10, ch. 2010-280; SJR 8-A, 2010 Special Session A; s. 27, ch. 2011-47; s. 34, ch. 2013-15; s. 4, ch. 2013-16; s. 3, ch. 2013-152; s. 1, ch. 2013-226; s. 33, ch. 2014-17; s. 49, ch. 2014-19; s. 16, ch. 2015-229; s. 8, ch. 2016-233; s. 9, ch. 2017-3.
253.0341 Surplus of state-owned lands.
(1) The board of trustees shall determine which lands, the title to which is vested in the board, may be surplused. For all conservation lands, the Acquisition and Restoration Council shall make a recommendation to the board of trustees, and the board of trustees shall determine whether the lands are no longer needed for conservation purposes. If the board of trustees determines the lands are no longer needed for conservation purposes, it may dispose of such lands by an affirmative vote of at least three members. In the case of a land exchange involving the disposition of conservation lands, the board of trustees must determine by an affirmative vote of at least three members that the exchange will result in a net positive conservation benefit. For all nonconservation lands, the board of trustees shall determine whether the lands are no longer needed. If the board of trustees determines the lands are no longer needed, it may dispose of such lands by an affirmative vote of at least three members. Local government requests for the state to surplus conservation or nonconservation lands, whether for purchase or exchange, shall be expedited throughout the surplusing process. Property jointly acquired by the state and other entities may not be surplused without the consent of all joint owners.
(2) For purposes of this section, all lands acquired by the state before July 1, 1999, using proceeds from Preservation 2000 bonds, the former Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund, the former Water Management Lands Trust Fund, Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, and the Save Our Coast Program and titled to the board of trustees which are identified as core parcels or within original project boundaries are deemed to have been acquired for conservation purposes.
(3) For any lands purchased by the state on or after July 1, 1999, before acquisition, the board of trustees must determine which parcels must be designated as having been acquired for conservation purposes. Lands acquired for use by the Department of Corrections; the Department of Management Services for use as state offices; the Department of Transportation, except those lands specifically managed for conservation or recreation purposes; the State University System; or the Florida College System may not be designated as having been acquired for conservation purposes.
(4) At least every 10 years, as a component of each land management plan or land use plan and in a form and manner adopted by rule of the board of trustees, each manager shall evaluate and indicate to the board of trustees those lands that are not being used for the purpose for which they were originally leased. For conservation lands, the Acquisition and Restoration Council shall review and recommend to the board of trustees whether such lands should be retained in public ownership or disposed of by the board of trustees. For nonconservation lands, the Division of State Lands shall review and recommend to the board of trustees whether such lands should be retained in public ownership or disposed of by the board of trustees.
(5) Conservation lands owned by the board of trustees which are not actively managed by any state agency or for which a land management plan has not been completed pursuant to s. 253.034(5) must be reviewed by the Acquisition and Restoration Council for its recommendation as to whether such lands should be disposed of by the board of trustees.
(6) Before any decision by the board of trustees to surplus conservation lands, the Acquisition and Restoration Council shall review and make recommendations to the board of trustees concerning the request for surplusing. The council shall determine whether the request for surplusing is compatible with the resource values of and management objectives for such lands.
(7) Before a building or parcel of land is offered for lease or sale to a local or federal unit of government or a private party, it shall first be offered for lease to state agencies, state universities, and Florida College System institutions, with priority consideration given to state universities and Florida College System institutions. Within 60 days after the offer for lease of a surplus building or parcel, a state university or Florida College System institution that requests the lease must submit a plan for review and approval by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund regarding the intended use, including future use, of the building or parcel of land before approval of a lease. Within 60 days after the offer for lease of a surplus building or parcel, a state agency that requests the lease of such facility or parcel must submit a plan for review and approval by the board of trustees regarding the intended use. The state agency plan must, at a minimum, include the proposed use of the facility or parcel, the estimated cost of renovation, a capital improvement plan for the building, evidence that the building or parcel meets an existing need that cannot otherwise be met, and other criteria developed by rule by the board of trustees. The board or its designee shall compare the estimated value of the building or parcel to any submitted business plan to determine if the lease or sale is in the best interest of the state. The board of trustees shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 for the implementation of this section.
(8) The sale price of lands determined to be surplus pursuant to this section and s. 253.82 shall be determined by the Division of State Lands, which shall consider an appraisal of the property or, if the estimated value of the land is $500,000 or less, a comparable sales analysis or a broker’s opinion of value. The division may require a second appraisal. The individual or entity that requests to purchase the surplus parcel shall pay all costs associated with determining the property’s value, if any.
(a) A written valuation of land determined to be surplus pursuant to this section and s. 253.82, and related documents used to form the valuation or which pertain to the valuation, are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
1. The exemption expires 2 weeks before the contract or agreement regarding the purchase, exchange, or disposal of the surplus land is first considered for approval by the board of trustees.
2. Before expiration of the exemption, the Division of State Lands may disclose confidential and exempt appraisals, valuations, or valuation information regarding surplus land:
a. During negotiations for the sale or exchange of the land;
b. During the marketing effort or bidding process associated with the sale, disposal, or exchange of the land to facilitate closure of such effort or process;
c. When the passage of time has made the conclusions of value invalid; or
d. When negotiations or marketing efforts concerning the land are concluded.
(b) A unit of government that acquires title to lands pursuant to this section for less than appraised value may not sell or transfer title to all or any portion of the lands to any private owner for 10 years. A unit of government seeking to transfer or sell lands pursuant to this paragraph must first allow the board of trustees to reacquire such lands for the price at which the board of trustees sold such lands.
(9) Parcels with a market value over $500,000 must be initially offered for sale by competitive bid. Any parcels unsuccessfully offered for sale by competitive bid, and parcels with a market value of $500,000 or less, may be sold by any reasonable means, including procuring real estate services, open or exclusive listings, competitive bid, auction, negotiated direct sales, or other appropriate services, to facilitate the sale.
(10) After reviewing the recommendations of the Acquisition and Restoration Council, the board of trustees shall determine whether conservation lands identified for surplus should be held for other public purposes or are no longer needed. The board of trustees may require an agency to release its interest in such lands. An entity approved to use conservation lands by the board of trustees must secure the property under a fully executed lease within 90 days after being notified that it may use such property or the request is voidable.
(11) Requests to surplus lands may be made by any public or private entity or person and shall be determined by the board of trustees. All requests to surplus conservation lands shall be submitted to the lead managing agency for review and recommendation to the Acquisition and Restoration Council, and all requests to surplus nonconservation lands shall be submitted to the Division of State Lands for review and recommendation to the board of trustees. The lead managing agencies shall review such requests and make recommendations to the council within 90 days after receipt of the requests. Any requests to surplus conservation lands that are not acted upon within the 90-day period shall be immediately scheduled for hearing at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the council. Requests to surplus lands shall be considered by the board of trustees within 60 days after receipt of the requests from the council or division. Requests to surplus lands pursuant to this subsection are not required to be offered to state agencies as provided in subsection (7).
(12) Proceeds from the sale of surplus conservation lands purchased before July 1, 2015, shall be deposited into the Florida Forever Trust Fund.
(13) Proceeds from the sale of surplus conservation lands purchased on or after July 1, 2015, shall be deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, except when such lands were purchased with funds other than those from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund or a land acquisition trust fund created to implement s. 28, Art. X of the State Constitution, the proceeds shall be deposited into the fund from which the lands were purchased.
(14) Funds received from the sale of surplus nonconservation lands or lands that were acquired by gift, by donation, or for no consideration shall be deposited into the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(15) Notwithstanding this section, such disposition of land may not be made if it would have the effect of causing all or any portion of the interest on any revenue bonds issued to lose the exclusion from gross income for federal income tax purposes.
(16) The sale of filled, formerly submerged land that does not exceed 5 acres in area is not subject to review by the Acquisition and Restoration Council.
(17) The board of trustees may adopt rules to administer this section, including procedures for administering surplus land requests and criteria for when the Division of State Lands may approve requests to surplus nonconservation lands on behalf of the board of trustees.
(18) Surplus lands that are conveyed to a local government for affordable housing shall be disposed of by the local government under s. 125.379 or s. 166.0451.
History.s. 3, ch. 2003-394; s. 10, ch. 2006-69; s. 7, ch. 2007-198; s. 6, ch. 2008-229; s. 9, ch. 2016-233.
253.0345 Special events; submerged land leases.
(1) The trustees may issue leases or letters of consent to riparian landowners, special event promoters, and boat show owners to allow the installation of temporary structures, including docks, moorings, pilings, and access walkways, on sovereign submerged lands solely for the purpose of facilitating boat shows and displays in, or adjacent to, established marinas or government-owned upland property. Riparian owners of adjacent uplands who are not seeking a lease or letter of consent shall be notified by certified mail of any request for such a lease or letter of consent before approval by the trustees. The trustees shall balance the interests of any objecting riparian owners with the economic interests of the public and the state as a factor in determining whether a lease or letter of consent should be executed over the objection of adjacent riparian owners. This section does not apply to structures for viewing motorboat racing, high-speed motorboat contests, or high-speed displays in waters where manatees are known to frequent.
(2) A lease or letter of consent for a special event under subsection (1):
(a) Shall be for a period not to exceed 45 days and a duration not to exceed 10 consecutive years.
(b) Shall include a lease fee, if applicable, based solely on the period and actual size of the preemption and conditions to allow reconfiguration of temporary structures within the lease area with notice to the department of the configuration and size of preemption within the lease area.
(c) The lease or letter of consent may contain appropriate requirements for removal of the temporary structures, including the posting of sufficient surety to guarantee appropriate funds for removal of the structures should the promoter or riparian owner fail to do so within the time specified in the agreement.
(3) This section does not allow any lease or letter of consent that would result in harm to the natural resources of the area as a result of the structures or the activities of the special events agreed to.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-339; s. 5, ch. 2013-92.
253.0346 Lease of sovereignty submerged lands for marinas, boatyards, and marine retailers.
(1) For purposes of this section, the term “first-come, first-served basis” means the facility operates on state-owned submerged land for which:
(a) There is not a club membership, stock ownership, equity interest, or other qualifying requirement.
(b) Rental terms do not exceed 12 months and do not include automatic renewal rights or conditions.
(2) For marinas that are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis and for which at least 90 percent of the slips are open for rent to the public, a discount of 30 percent on the annual lease fee shall apply if dockage rate sheet publications and dockage advertising clearly state that slips are open for rent to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
(3) For a facility designated by the department as a Clean Marina, Clean Boatyard, or Clean Marine Retailer under the Clean Marina Program:
(a) A discount of 10 percent on the annual lease fee shall apply if the facility:
1. Actively maintains designation under the program.
2. Complies with the terms of the lease.
3. Does not change use during the term of the lease.
(b) Extended-term lease surcharges shall be waived if the facility:
1. Actively maintains designation under the program.
2. Complies with the terms of the lease.
3. Does not change use during the term of the lease.
4. Is available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
(c) If the facility is in arrears on lease fees or fails to comply with paragraph (b), the facility is not eligible for the discount or waiver under this subsection until arrears have been paid and compliance with the program has been met.
(4) This section applies to new leases or amendments to leases effective after July 1, 2013.
History.s. 6, ch. 2013-92.
253.0347 Lease of sovereignty submerged lands for private residential docks and piers.
(1) The maximum initial term of a standard lease of sovereignty submerged lands for a private residential single-family dock or pier, private residential multifamily dock or pier, or private residential multislip dock is 10 years. A lease is renewable for successive terms of up to 10 years if the parties agree and the lessee complies with all terms of the lease and all applicable laws and rules.
(2)(a) A standard lease contract for sovereignty submerged lands for a private residential single-family dock or pier, private residential multifamily dock or pier, or private residential multislip dock must specify the amount of lease fees as established by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(b) If private residential multifamily docks or piers, private residential multislip docks, and other private residential structures pertaining to the same upland parcel include a total of no more than one wet slip for each approved upland residential unit, the lessee is not required to pay a lease fee on a preempted area of 10 square feet or less of sovereignty submerged lands for each linear foot of shoreline in which the lessee has a sufficient upland interest as determined by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(c) A lessee of sovereignty submerged lands for a private residential single-family dock or pier, private residential multifamily dock or pier, or private residential multislip dock is not required to pay a lease fee on revenue derived from the transfer of fee simple or beneficial ownership of private residential property that is entitled to a homestead exemption pursuant to s. 196.031 at the time of transfer.
(d) A lessee of sovereignty submerged lands for a private residential single-family dock or pier, private residential multifamily dock or pier, or private residential multislip dock must pay a lease fee on any income derived from a wet slip, dock, or pier in the preempted area under lease in an amount determined by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(e) A lessee of sovereignty submerged lands for a private residential single-family dock designed to moor up to four boats is not required to pay lease fees for a preempted area equal to or less than 10 times the riparian shoreline along sovereignty submerged land on the affected waterbody or the square footage authorized for a private residential single-family dock under rules adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for the management of sovereignty submerged lands, whichever is greater.
(f) A lessee of sovereignty submerged lands for a private residential multifamily dock designed to moor boats up to the number of units within the multifamily development is not required to pay lease fees for a preempted area equal to or less than 10 times the riparian shoreline along sovereignty submerged land on the affected waterbody times the number of units with docks in the private multifamily development. Private residential multifamily docks grandfathered-in to use sovereignty submerged lands by January 1, 1998, pursuant to former rule 18-21.00405, Florida Administrative Code, as it existed in rule on March 15, 1990, may moor a number of boats that exceeds the number of units within the private multifamily development as previously authorized under such rule.
(3) The Department of Environmental Protection shall inspect each private residential single-family dock or pier, private residential multifamily dock or pier, private residential multislip dock, or other private residential structure under lease at least once every 10 years to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease.
(4) This section does not prohibit the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or the Department of Environmental Protection from imposing additional application fees, regulatory permitting fees, or other lease requirements as otherwise authorized by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 2012-202; s. 7, ch. 2013-92; s. 1, ch. 2017-163.
253.035 Coastal anchorage areas.On or after January 1, 1993, if an anchorage area at a deepwater port has been formally designated by the United States Coast Guard, it shall be unlawful for commercial vessels waiting to enter the port to anchor outside the anchorage area.
History.s. 2, ch. 90-54.
253.036 Forest management.All land management plans described in s. 253.034(5) which are prepared for parcels larger than 1,000 acres shall contain an analysis of the multiple-use potential of the parcel, which analysis shall include the potential of the parcel to generate revenues to enhance the management of the parcel. The lead agency shall prepare the analysis, which shall contain a component or section prepared by a qualified professional forester which assesses the feasibility of managing timber resources on the parcel for resource conservation and revenue generation purposes through a stewardship ethic that embraces sustainable forest management practices if the lead management agency determines that the timber resource management is not in conflict with the primary management objectives of the parcel. For purposes of this section, practicing sustainable forest management means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic which integrates the reforestation, managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat, and aesthetics. The Legislature intends that each lead management agency, whenever practicable and cost effective, use the services of the Florida Forest Service of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or other qualified private sector professional forester in completing such feasibility assessments and implementing timber resource management. The Legislature further intends that the lead management agency develop a memorandum of agreement with the Florida Forest Service to provide for full reimbursement for any services provided for the feasibility assessments or timber resource management. All additional revenues generated through multiple-use management or compatible secondary use management shall be returned to the lead agency responsible for such management and shall be used to pay for management activities on all conservation, preservation, and recreation lands under the agency’s jurisdiction. In addition, such revenue shall be segregated in an agency trust fund and shall remain available to the agency in subsequent fiscal years to support land management appropriations.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-332; s. 3, ch. 2012-7.
253.037 Use of state-owned land for correctional facilities.
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection shall review, identify, and secure state-owned lands which may be used for correctional facilities subject to determination by the Department of Corrections of where sites are needed and their appropriateness for use as prisons or other correctional facilities.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 253.025, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may purchase federal surplus lands for use as sites for correctional facilities, using federal land purchasing procedures, regulations, and requirements.
History.s. 30, ch. 83-131; s. 69, ch. 94-356; s. 141, ch. 2001-266.
253.04 Duty of board to protect, etc., state lands; state may join in any action brought.
(1) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may police; protect; conserve; improve; and prevent trespass, damage, or depredation upon the lands and the products thereof, on or under the same, owned by the state as set forth in s. 253.03. The board may bring in the name of the board all suits in ejectment, suits for damage, and suits in trespass which in the judgment of the board may be necessary to the full protection and conservation of such lands, or it may take such other action or do such other things as may in its judgment be necessary for the full protection and conservation of such lands; and the state may join with the board in any action or suit, or take part in any proceeding, when it may deem necessary, in the name of this state through the Department of Legal Affairs.
(2) In lieu of seeking monetary damages pursuant to subsection (1) against any person or the agent of any person who has been found to have willfully damaged lands of the state, the ownership or boundaries of which have been established by the state, to have willfully damaged or removed products thereof in violation of state or federal law, to have knowingly refused to comply with or willfully violated the provisions of this chapter, or to have failed to comply with an order of the board to remove or alter any structure or vessel that is not in compliance with applicable rules or with conditions of authorization to locate such a structure or vessel on state-owned land, the board may impose a fine for each offense in an amount up to $10,000 to be fixed by rule and imposed and collected by the board in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense. This subsection does not apply to any act or omission which is currently subject to litigation wherein the state or any agency of the state is a party as of October 1, 1984, or to any person who holds such lands under color of title. Nothing contained herein impairs the rights of any person to obtain a judicial determination in a court of competent jurisdiction of such person’s interest in lands that are the subject of a claim or proceeding by the department under this subsection.
(3)(a) The duty to conserve and improve state-owned lands and the products thereof shall include the preservation and regeneration of seagrass, which is deemed essential to the oceans, gulfs, estuaries, and shorelines of the state. A person operating a vessel outside a lawfully marked channel in a careless manner that causes seagrass scarring within an aquatic preserve established in ss. 258.39-258.399, with the exception of the Lake Jackson, Oklawaha River, Wekiva River, and Rainbow Springs aquatic preserves, commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73. Each violation is a separate offense. As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Seagrass” means Cuban shoal grass (Halodule wrightii), turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum), manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme), star grass (Halophila engelmannii), paddle grass (Halophila decipiens), Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii), or widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima).
2. “Seagrass scarring” means destruction of seagrass roots, shoots, or stems that results in tracks on the substrate commonly referred to as prop scars or propeller scars caused by the operation of a motorized vessel in waters supporting seagrasses.
(b) Any violation under paragraph (a) is a violation of the vessel laws of this state and shall be charged on a uniform boating citation as provided in s. 327.74. Any person who refuses to post a bond or accept and sign a uniform boating citation commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, as provided in s. 327.73(3), punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) Whenever any person or the agent of any person knowingly refuses to comply with or willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter so that such person causes damage to the lands of the state or products thereof, including removal of those products, such violator is liable for such damage. Whenever two or more persons or their agents cause damage, and if such damage is indivisible, each violator is jointly and severally liable for such damage; however, if such damage is divisible and may be attributed to a particular violator or violators, each violator is liable only for that damage and subject to the fine attributable to his or her violation.
(5) If a person or the person’s agent as described in subsection (2) fails to comply with an order of the board to remove or alter a structure on state-owned land, the board may alter or remove the structure and recover the cost of the removal or alteration from such person.
(6) All fines imposed and damages awarded pursuant to this section are a lien upon the real and personal property of the violator or violators, enforceable by the Department of Environmental Protection as are statutory liens under chapter 85.
(7) All moneys collected pursuant to fines imposed or damages awarded pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Internal Improvement Trust Fund created by s. 253.01 and used for the purposes defined in that section.
History.s. 2, ch. 15642, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1446(14); s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 11, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 11, ch. 84-79; s. 2, ch. 89-174; s. 10, ch. 89-175; s. 2, ch. 91-175; s. 15, ch. 91-286; s. 70, ch. 94-356; s. 844, ch. 95-148; ss. 3, 59, ch. 2009-86.
253.05 Prosecuting officers to assist in protecting state lands.State attorneys, other prosecuting officers of the state or county, wildlife officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, conservation officers, together with the Secretary of Environmental Protection, and county sheriffs and their deputies shall see that the lands owned by the state, as described in ss. 253.01 and 253.03, shall not be the object of damage, trespass, depredation, or unlawful use by any person. The said officers and their deputies shall, upon information that unlawful use is being made of state lands, report the same, together with the information in their possession relating thereto, to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and shall cooperate with the said board in carrying out the purposes of ss. 253.01-253.04 and this section. State attorneys and other prosecuting officers of the state or any county, upon request of the Governor or Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, shall institute and maintain such legal proceedings as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of said sections.
History.s. 3, ch. 15642, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 1446(15); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-117; s. 71, ch. 94-356; s. 72, ch. 99-245.
253.111 Riparian owners of land.
(1) If a riparian owner exists with respect to any land to be sold by the board of trustees, such riparian owner shall have a right to secure such land, provided that such riparian owner shall be required to pay for such land upon such prices, terms, and conditions as determined by the board of trustees. Such riparian owner may waive this right.
(2) This section does not apply to:
(a) Any land exchange approved by the board of trustees;
(b) The conveyance of any lands located within the Everglades Agricultural Area; or
(c) Lands managed pursuant to ss. 253.781-253.785.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-324; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 79-83; s. 4, ch. 83-223; s. 3, ch. 89-174; s. 4, ch. 91-80; s. 4, ch. 92-109; s. 3, ch. 2001-275; s. 7, ch. 2008-229; s. 10, ch. 2016-233.
253.115 Public notice and hearings.
(1) After receiving an application in compliance with such forms as may be required by this chapter requesting the board to sell, exchange, lease, or grant an easement on, over, under, above, or across any land to which it holds title, the board must provide notice of the application. The notice shall include the name and address of the applicant; a brief description of the proposed activity and any mitigation; the location of the proposed activity, including whether it is located within an Outstanding Florida Water or aquatic preserve; a map identifying the location of the proposed activity subject to the application; a diagram of the limits of the proposed activity; and a name or number identifying the application and the office where the application can be inspected, and any other information required by rule. A copy of this notice shall be sent to those persons who have requested to be on a mailing list and to each owner of land lying within 500 feet of the land proposed to be leased, sold, exchanged, or subject to an easement, addressed to such owner as the owner’s name and address appears on the latest county tax assessment roll.
(2) The board of trustees, the department, or a water management district, as is appropriate, shall consider comments and objections received in response to the public notice required by this section in reaching its decision to approve or deny use of board of trustees-owned lands for a proposed activity. In the event that substantive objections are raised, the department or water management district may hold an informal public hearing in the county in which the proposed activity lies. If the board of trustees, the department, or a water management district, as is appropriate, determines that the sale, lease, exchange, or granting of an easement is not contrary to the public interest, or is in the public interest when required by law, it may approve the proposed activity. The sale of sovereignty submerged lands shall require a determination that the proposed sale is in the public interest.
(3) The board may also publish, or require an applicant to publish, in a newspaper of general circulation within the affected area, a notice of receipt of the application and a notice of intended agency action. The board shall also provide notice of intended agency action to the applicant and to those who have requested a copy of the intended agency action for that application.
(4) Failure to provide the notice as set out in subsections (1) and (3) shall not invalidate the sale, exchange, lease, or easement.
(5) The notice and publication requirements of this section do not apply to:
(a) The release of any reservations contained in Murphy Act deeds or deeds of the board of trustees;
(b) Any conveyance of land lying landward of the line of mean high water, which land does not exceed 5 acres in area;
(c) Any lands covered by the provisions of ss. 253.12(6), (9), and (10), and 253.129;
(d) The lease or easement for any land when the land is being leased to a state agency;
(e) Sovereignty land easements for existing activities completed prior to March 27, 1982;
(f) The conversion of existing marina licenses to sovereignty land leases;
(g) Sovereignty land leases for registered and existing unregistered grandfathered facilities;
(h) The conveyance of lands pursuant to the provisions of former s. 373.4592(4)(b);
(i) Renewals, modifications, or assignments; or
(j) Lands managed pursuant to ss. 253.781-253.785.
(6) The board may establish alternative notice requirements to those in subsections (1) and (3), including a waiver of notice, if adopted by rule for proposed activities under this section which also qualify for a general permit pursuant to chapter 373. Such alternative notice requirements shall take into account the nature and scope of the proposed activities and the effect on other persons.
(7) In the disposition of parcels of state-owned uplands, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may procure real estate sales services, including open listings, exclusive listings, or auction or other appropriate services, to facilitate the sale of such lands.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-26; s. 1, ch. 77-130; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 3, ch. 82-152; s. 5, ch. 83-223; s. 66, ch. 86-186; s. 4, ch. 88-387; s. 4, ch. 89-174; s. 5, ch. 91-80; s. 491, ch. 94-356; s. 845, ch. 95-148; s. 39, ch. 2001-61; s. 4, ch. 2001-275.
253.12 Title to tidal lands vested in state.
(1) Except submerged lands heretofore conveyed by deed or statute, the title to all sovereignty tidal and submerged bottom lands, including all islands, sandbars, shallow banks, and small islands made by the process of dredging any channel by the United States Government and similar or other islands, sandbars, and shallow banks located in the navigable waters, and including all coastal and intracoastal waters of the state and all submerged lands owned by the state by right of its sovereignty in navigable freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams, is vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. For purposes of fixing bulkhead lines, restrictions on filling land and dredging beyond bulkhead lines, and permits required for filling and dredging, the board shall exercise the same authority over submerged lands owned by the state by right of its sovereignty in navigable freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams as it does over submerged lands otherwise defined in this subsection.
(2)(a) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may sell and convey such islands and submerged lands if determined by the board to be in the public interest, upon such prices, terms, and conditions as it sees fit. However, prior to consummating any such sale, the board shall determine to what extent the sale of such islands or submerged lands and their ownership by private persons or the conveyance of such islands or submerged lands to political subdivisions or public agencies would interfere with the conservation of fish, marine and other wildlife, or other natural resources, including beaches and shores, and would result in destruction of oyster beds, clam beds, or marine productivity, including, but not limited to, destruction of marine habitats, grass flats suitable as nursery or feeding grounds for marine life, and established marine soils suitable for producing plant growth of a type useful as nursery or feeding grounds for marine life, and if so, in what respect and to what extent, and it shall consider any other factors affecting the public interests.
(b) In addition to the requirements in paragraph (a), the board shall not sell or convey any interest in such islands and submerged lands to any applicant who does not, at the time of making application for purchase or conveyance, also have before the board:
1. An application for the establishment of a bulkhead line, in the event no bulkhead line is established for the lands subject to the application; and
2. An application for approval of a fill permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; and
3. A permit or application for a permit to dredge fill material from beneath the navigable waters of the state, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, in the event the applicant intends to secure such fill material. However, such islands or submerged lands may be sold or conveyed to an applicant who does not have such an application for a permit to dredge or fill lands before the board, upon the condition that the sale or conveyance to such an applicant shall contain a restrictive covenant prohibiting dredging, except for navigation purposes, or filling of such islands or submerged lands. The board shall reserve the authority to waive such restrictive covenant when such waiver is in the public interest, pursuant to such terms and conditions as the board may impose.
(3) After receiving application in compliance with such forms as may be required to show clearly what is intended to be accomplished in any proposed development of said lands and the manner in which said development will be accomplished, and after making the determination required by paragraph (2)(a), the board shall give notice as provided by s. 253.115.
(4) If objections are filed, the board shall proceed to determine the merits of the objections. The report required by subsection (7) shall be made part of the record and duly considered at any hearing. If it appears that the sale of such islands and submerged lands and their ownership by private persons or the conveyance of such islands or submerged lands to political subdivisions or public agencies would:
(a) Be contrary to the public interest;
(b) Interfere with the lawful rights granted riparian owners;
(c) Be, or result in, a serious impediment to navigation;
(d) Interfere with the conservation of fish, marine and other wildlife, or other natural resources, including beaches and shores, to such an extent as to be contrary to the public interest; or
(e) Result in the destruction of oyster beds, clam beds, or marine productivity, including, but not limited to, destruction of natural marine habitats, grass flats suitable as nursery or feeding grounds for marine life, and established marine soils suitable for producing plant growth of a type useful as nursery or feeding grounds for marine life to such an extent as to be contrary to the public interest,

the board shall withdraw the lands from sale. Prior to making the determinations above required, the board may consider any other factors affecting the public interest. Anything in this section to the contrary notwithstanding, lands defined herein lying between the ordinary mean high-water line and any bulkhead line established hereunder shall be sold only to the upland riparian owner and to no other person, firm, or corporation; and such sale to the upland riparian owner shall be made pursuant to the provisions herein.

(5)(a) When any state agency or county, city, or other political subdivision extends or adds to existing lands or islands bordering on or being in the navigable waters, as defined in this section, of the state by filling in or causing to be filled in or by draining or causing to be drained such waters, the board may, upon application therefor, convey to the riparian owner or owners of the upland so extended or added to so much of such extended or added land as is not required exclusively for a municipal, county, state, or other public purpose. The board may, however, require a deposit to accompany such application of a sum sufficient to cover the actual cost and expenses of processing such application and preparing instruments of conveyance.
(b) Neither this subsection nor any other provision of this chapter shall be construed to permit any state agency or county, city, or other political subdivision to construct islands or extend or add to existing lands or islands bordering on or being in the navigable waters as defined herein or drain such waters for a municipal, county, state, or other public purpose unless such agency is the riparian upland owner or holds the consent in writing of the riparian upland owner consenting to such construction or extension or drainage operation. For the purposes of this subsection, “riparian upland owners” shall be defined as those persons owning upland property abutting those portions of the waters to be filled or drained, which are within 1,000 feet outboard of said riparian upland, but not more than one-half the distance to the opposite upland, if any, and within the extensions of the side boundary lines thereof, when said side boundary lines are extended in the direction of the channel along an alignment which would be required to distribute equitably the submerged land between the upland and the channel. However, nothing herein shall be construed to deny or limit any state agency or county, city, or other political subdivision from exercising the right of eminent domain to the extent and for the purposes authorized by law in connection with such construction, extension, or drainage projects; and nothing herein shall be construed to have application in those instances when the board is authorized by law to establish an erosion control line to implement an authorized beach nourishment, replenishment, or erosion-control project, or for the placement of sand dredged from navigation channels on beaches fronting the waters of the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, provided such sand is not placed landward of existing lines of vegetation.
(6) Where any person, state agency, county, city, or other political subdivision prior to June 11, 1957, extended or added to existing lands or islands bordering on or being in the navigable waters as defined in this section by filling in or causing to be filled in such lands, the board shall upon application therefor convey said land so filled to the riparian owner or owners of the upland so extended or added to. The consideration for such conveyance shall be the appraised value of said lands as they existed prior to such filling.
(7)(a) In order to assist it in making the determination required by paragraph (2)(a), the board shall require that a biological survey and an ecological study of the lands or interests therein proposed to be sold or conveyed pursuant to any particular application be made, and, when determined by the Department of Environmental Protection to be necessary, that a hydrographic survey be made. All such surveys and studies shall be made by or under the direction of the Department of Environmental Protection, which shall make a report of all such surveys and studies to the board together with its recommendations. The board may adopt regulations requiring that the cost of making any such survey and report be paid by the applicant for purchase of such lands, requiring a deposit by the applicant sufficient to ensure such payment, and providing procedures to be followed in applying for and obtaining such survey and report.
(b) If, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2)(b), the surveys and study required by paragraph (a) have already been made, the provisions of this section shall not operate to require an applicant to pay for any additional surveys or studies within 3 years prior to the issuance of such permit.
(8) All conveyances of sovereignty lands or fill material therein heretofore made by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of Florida subsequent to the enactment of chapter 6451, Acts of 1913, chapter 7304, Acts of 1917, and chapter 57-362, as amended, are hereby ratified, confirmed, and validated in all respects.
1(9) All of the state’s right, title, and interest to all tidally influenced land or tidally influenced islands bordering or being on sovereignty land, which have been permanently extended, filled, added to existing lands, or created before July 1, 1975, by fill, and might be owned by the state, is hereby granted to the landowner having record or other title to all or a portion thereof or to the lands immediately upland thereof and its successors in interest. Thereafter, such lands shall be considered private property, and the state, its political subdivisions, agencies, and all persons claiming by, through, or under any of them, shall be barred from asserting that any such lands are publicly owned sovereignty lands. The foregoing provisions shall act to transfer title only to so much of such extended or added land as was permanently exposed, extended, or added to before July 1, 1975. A showing of dates by which certain lands were filled or added to may be made by aerial photograph or other reasonable method. Upon request of the landowner and submission of a proposed legal description and aerial photographs or other evidence accompanied by a fee set by the board reflecting the actual administrative cost of processing, the board shall provide an appropriate legal description of the waterward boundary line as of July 1, 1975, in a recordable document. The Legislature specifically finds and declares these grants to be in the public interest. The boundary between state-owned sovereignty lands and privately owned uplands is ambulatory and will move as a result of nonavulsive changes. This subsection shall not grant or vest title to any filled, formerly submerged state-owned lands in any person who, as of January 1, 1993, is the record titleholder of the filled or adjacent upland property and who filled or caused to be filled the state-owned lands.
1(10) Subsection (9) shall not operate to affect the title to lands which have been judicially adjudicated or which were the subject of litigation pending on January 1, 1993, involving title to such lands. Further, the provisions of subsection (9) shall not apply to spoil islands nor to any lands which are included on an official acquisition list, on July 1, 1993, of a state agency or water management district for conservation, preservation, or recreation, nor to lands maintained as state or local recreation areas or shore protection structures.
History.s. 1, ch. 7304, 1917; RGS 1061; CGL 1391; ss. 1, 2, ch. 26776, 1951; s. 1, ch. 57-362; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 67-393; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-308; s. 1, ch. 70-81; s. 1, ch. 70-97; s. 1, ch. 70-147; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 1, ch. 72-214; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 4, ch. 82-144; s. 122, ch. 83-217; s. 2, ch. 91-221; s. 81, ch. 93-206; ss. 72, 492, ch. 94-356.
1Note.Section 82, ch. 93-206, provides that “[t]he conveyance of property under this act is intended to be complete and effective without reference to or compliance with other statutory provisions. The various statutory provisions dealing with or setting preconditions or procedures for the conveyance of state-owned property and sovereignty lands shall not apply to conveyance made pursuant to this section.”
253.121 Conveyances of such lands heretofore made, ratified, confirmed, and validated.All conveyances of sovereignty lands heretofore made by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund subsequent to the enactment of chapters 6451 (June 5, 1913), 6960 (June 2, 1915), and 7304 (May 21, 1917), Acts of 1913, 1915, and 1917, respectively, where advertisement therefor was published in the county of sale but not in the county seat, are hereby ratified, confirmed, and validated in all respects, including all defects subject to ratification, confirmance, and validation by the Legislature. Said conveyances shall be deemed valid notwithstanding defects in the publication of newspaper notices and the publication of such newspaper notices in newspapers not published at the county seat of the county in which the lands are located.
History.s. 1, ch. 29763, 1955; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.1221 Bulkhead lines; reestablishment.All bulkhead lines heretofore established pursuant to former s. 253.122 are hereby established at the line of mean high water or ordinary high water. There shall be no filling waterward of the line of mean high water or ordinary high water except upon compliance with this chapter.
History.s. 7, ch. 75-22.
253.1241 Studies.The Department of Environmental Protection shall have a period of 90 days, after application therefor, in which to make the studies and surveys required by s. 253.12. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and others required by those sections to obtain such studies and surveys shall request them within 30 days after the receipt of an application for sale or for a dredge or fill permit, as the case may be.
History.s. 6, ch. 67-393; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-337; s. 79, ch. 77-104; s. 3, ch. 82-27; s. 3, ch. 91-221; s. 73, ch. 94-356.
253.1252 Citation of rule.In addition to any other provisions within this chapter or any rules promulgated hereunder, the permitting agency shall, when requesting information for a permit application pursuant to this chapter or such rules promulgated hereunder, cite a specific rule. If a request for information cannot be accompanied by a rule citation, failure to provide such information cannot be grounds to deny a permit.
History.s. 2, ch. 79-161.
253.126 Legislative intent.The limitations and restrictions imposed by this chapter as amended by chapter 67-393, Laws of Florida, upon the construction of islands or the extension or addition to existing lands or islands bordering on or being in the navigable waters, as defined in s. 253.12, shall apply to the state, its agencies and all political subdivisions and governmental units. No other general or special act shall operate to grant exceptions to this section unless this section is specifically repealed thereby.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Department of Environmental Protection may authorize, by rule, the Department of Transportation to perform any activity covered by this chapter, upon certification by the agency that it will meet all requirements imposed by statute, rule, or standard for environmental control and protection as such statute, rule, or standard applies to a governmental program. To this end, the department may accept such certification of compliance for programs of the agency, conduct investigations for compliance, and, if a violation is found to exist, take all necessary enforcement action pertaining thereto, including, but not limited to, the revocation of certification. The authorization shall be by rule of the department, shall be limited to the maintenance, repair, or replacement of existing structures, and shall be conditioned upon compliance by the agency with specific guidelines or requirements which are set forth in the formal acceptance and deemed necessary by the department to assure future compliance with this chapter and applicable department rules. Failure of the agency to comply with any provision of the written acceptance shall constitute grounds for its revocation by the department.
(2) The provisions of chapter 120 shall be accorded any person where substantial interests will be affected by an activity proposed to be conducted by such agency pursuant to its certification and the department’s acceptance. If a proceeding is conducted pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, the department may intervene as a party. Should an administrative law judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings of the Department of Management Services submit a recommended order pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, the Department of Environmental Protection shall issue a final department order adopting, rejecting, or modifying the recommended order pursuant to such action.
History.s. 6, ch. 57-362; ss. 8, 9, ch. 67-393; s. 75, ch. 71-355; s. 1, ch. 78-437; s. 103, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 74, ch. 94-356; s. 58, ch. 96-410.
253.127 Enforcement.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the board of county commissioners or governing body of any municipality, or any aggrieved person, shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this law by appropriate suit in equity.
History.s. 7, ch. 57-362; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.128 Enforcement; board or agency under special law.In any county where the Legislature by special law or general law with local application has heretofore or hereafter transferred or delegated to any county board or agency other than the board of county commissioners or the governing body of any municipality powers and duties over the establishment of bulkhead line or lines, dredging permits, fill permits, seawall construction or any other powers of a like nature such agency shall have jurisdiction under this law in lieu of the board of county commissioners or the governing body of any municipality as the case may be.
History.s. 8, ch. 57-362.
253.1281 Review by board.
(1) All special acts granting exceptions to the provisions of this chapter relating to issuance of dredge or fill permits shall provide that all action on applications for such permits shall be subject to approval of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, which shall have the power to reject such permits.
(2) Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary, any action after July 7, 1970, on any application for a dredge or fill permit pursuant to any special act heretofore or hereafter enacted shall be subject to approval of the board of trustees, which shall have the power to reject such permit.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-375.
253.129 Confirmation of title in upland owners.The title to all lands heretofore filled or developed is herewith confirmed in the upland owners and the trustees shall on request issue a disclaimer to each such owner.
History.s. 9, ch. 57-362; s. 13, ch. 59-1.
253.135 Construction of ss. 253.12, 253.126, 253.127, 253.128, and 253.129.
(1) This law shall not be construed to be in conflict with any general or special law whereby the state has divested itself of title to submerged land or has granted such title to another.
(2) The provisions of ss. 253.12, 253.126, 253.127, 253.128, and 253.129 shall not affect or apply to the construction of islands or the extension or addition to existing lands or islands bordering on or being in the navigable waters as defined in s. 253.12 of the state which was commenced or application for permit to fill which was filed with the United States Corps of Engineers prior to June 11, 1957, as to lands or bottoms lying between ordinary high-water mark and a bulkhead line heretofore established by any county, city, or other political subdivision of the state by official action of its governing body.
History.ss. 10, 11, 12, ch. 57-362; s. 1, ch. 72-261; s. 79, ch. 77-104; s. 18, ch. 83-216; s. 4, ch. 91-221.
Note.Former s. 253.0013.
253.14 Rights of riparian owners; board of trustees to defend suit.
(1) It is expressly provided that nothing contained in this chapter shall be so construed as to deprive any private riparian owner from bringing an injunction suit in equity against the sale provided for in s. 253.12 on the ground that the owner would be thereby deprived of his or her riparian rights granted to him or her by law; provided, that such suit must be commenced within 30 days after the board of trustees shall have overruled the objections of such owner to such proposed sale.
(2) In case suit is brought by any private owner to enjoin such sale, it shall be in the discretion of the board of trustees to defend such suit or to withdraw said lands from sale.
History.ss. 3, 4, ch. 7304, 1917; RGS 1063; CGL 1393; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 139, ch. 95-148.
253.141 Riparian rights defined; certain submerged bottoms subject to private ownership.
(1) Riparian rights are those incident to land bordering upon navigable waters. They are rights of ingress, egress, boating, bathing, and fishing and such others as may be or have been defined by law. Such rights are not of a proprietary nature. They are rights inuring to the owner of the riparian land but are not owned by him or her. They are appurtenant to and are inseparable from the riparian land. The land to which the owner holds title must extend to the ordinary high watermark of the navigable water in order that riparian rights may attach. Conveyance of title to or lease of the riparian land entitles the grantee to the riparian rights running therewith whether or not mentioned in the deed or lease of the upland.
(2) Navigable waters in this state shall not be held to extend to any permanent or transient waters in the form of so-called lakes, ponds, swamps or overflowed lands, lying over and upon areas which have heretofore been conveyed to private individuals by the United States or by the state without reservation of public rights in and to said waters.
(3) The submerged lands of any nonmeandered lake shall be deemed subject to private ownership where the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of Florida conveyed the same more than 50 years ago without any deductions for water and without any reservation for public use and when taxes have been levied and collected on said submerged lands since conveyance by the state.
(4) Where private ownership of submerged bottoms outward from the shore has originated in a Spanish or other land grant approved by the Congress specifically describing an area in which was included navigable water, or by patent out of the United States prior to the date on which Florida became a state likewise containing a description including navigable water, or upon a valid conveyance out of the state, the submerged land included in such grant, patent, or conveyance shall be subject to taxes lawfully imposed.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 28262, 1953; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 31, ch. 82-226; s. 200, ch. 85-342; s. 140, ch. 95-148.
Note.Former ss. 192.61(1)-(4), 271.09, 197.315(3), 197.228.
253.21 Board of trustees may surrender certain lands to the United States and receive indemnity.Whenever it may appear that any of the swamplands, granted by the United States to this state by Act of Congress approved September 28, 1850, entitled “An Act to enable the State of Arkansas and other states to reclaim the swamplands within their limits,” have been sold or located, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may surrender to the United States the right, title and claim of the state to said lands, and receive from the United States, in lieu thereof, such reclamation as may be due.
History.ch. 631, 1855; RS 439; GS 627; RGS 1076; CGL 1407; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.29 Board of trustees to refund money paid where title to land fails.Any person having heretofore, or who may hereafter purchase in good faith and for value, any lands in the state from the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state, and which title has failed by reason of the fact that the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund had no title or right to convey the same, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall refund to said party the sums of money so paid for said lands without interest thereon upon due proof being made.
History.s. 1, ch. 5175, 1903; GS 635; RGS 1084; CGL 1415; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.34 Transfer of notes owned by board.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may endorse and transfer to any person, with or without recourse, any bills, notes or other obligations which the said board may now own, or may hereafter acquire.
History.s. 5, ch. 6453, 1913; RGS 1089; CGL 1420; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.36 Title to reclaimed marshlands, wetlands, or lowlands in board of trustees.The title to all marsh, wet or lowlands as have become permanently reclaimed, title to which is in the state, is vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to be held by the state and disposed of, as provided in this chapter.
History.s. 1, ch. 7891, 1919; CGL 1425; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.37 Survey to be made; sale of lands; preference to buyers.When it shall be brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund that such lands exist as are defined in s. 253.36, the board may cause a survey of the same to be made, which survey shall be connected with the surveys of the United States Government, or other surveys adjoining such lands, as far as may be practicable, and shall be made in conformity with the rules and regulations prescribed by the Department of the Interior for making federal surveys. When such surveys have been completed and, with the plats thereof, have been filed in the office of the said board, the board may proceed to sell and convey the said lands so surveyed in the same manner that other swamp and overflowed lands are sold and disposed of; provided, that in making sales of such land the board shall give first right to purchase to any adjacent owner thereof who desires to complete or square up any fractional section now owned by him or her or to any person who has settled on, or preempted the same, in amounts not exceeding 80 acres; and, provided further, that any and all other such lands as are covered hereby shall be sold by the board to bona fide settlers in amounts not exceeding 80 acres to each settler.
History.s. 2, ch. 7891, 1919; CGL 1426; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 141, ch. 95-148.
253.38 Riparian rights not affected.Nothing in ss. 253.36 and 253.37 shall be construed as in anywise affecting the riparian rights now or heretofore existing under the laws of this state; but it is expressly provided that the provisions of said sections shall apply only to such lands as the Department of the Interior has declined to convey to the state, or which have become permanently reclaimed; and in making sales thereof, the board of trustees may provide for a complete system of reclamation as part of the consideration thereof, or contract for such permanent reclamation in the manner it deems advisable.
History.s. 3, ch. 7891, 1919; CGL 1427; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.381 Unsurveyed marshlands; sale to upland owners.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state is hereby authorized to make sales of unsurveyed marshlands to record owners of uplands which have been surveyed by the United States, and to make equitable divisions of unsurveyed marsh areas and allocations of the same for sales with due respect to upland ownership, sales heretofore made, natural divisions of the unsurveyed marshes which are indicated by the general courses of water channels within or across the unsurveyed marshes and to other topographical features of the affected areas.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-497; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 29, ch. 2007-217.
253.382 Oyster beds, minerals, and oils reserved to state.The state saves, reserves and excepts all natural oyster beds upon and all minerals and oils in or under the submerged lands until the same shall be filled in and improved by the riparian owner.
History.s. 4, ch. 8537, 1921; CGL 1777.
Note.Former s. 271.04.
253.39 Surveys approved by chief cadastral surveyor validated.All surveys of lands into townships, sections or other regular land divisions, heretofore or hereafter made in this state, and which have or may hereafter be approved by the chief cadastral surveyor for the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, together with the field notes, plats, or other accessories pertaining thereto, are validated and confirmed and are official public surveys of this state of equal force, tenor and effect as surveys made by or under the direction of the United States Government.
History.s. 1, ch. 7892, 1919; CGL 1428; s. 1, ch. 61-187; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.40 To what lands applicable.The provisions for land surveys in ss. 253.39 and 253.41 shall only apply to such lands as have not heretofore been surveyed by the Federal Government; and all acts of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, together with any and all contracts, resolutions and instructions relating to such surveys, are approved, validated and confirmed.
History.s. 2, ch. 7892, 1919; CGL 1429; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.41 Plats and field notes filed in office of Board of Trustees of Internal Improvement Trust Fund.When such surveys, as provided for in ss. 253.39 and 253.40, shall have been made and approved by the chief cadastral surveyor, the plats and field notes thereof shall be filed in the office of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of this state, which shall be the custodian of such plats and field notes for the use of the public, under such regulations as may apply to the use of plats and field notes of the public land surveys of the United States, and a duly certified copy of the same shall be admissible as evidence in any court of this state.
History.s. 3, ch. 7892, 1919; CGL 1430; s. 5, ch. 63-294; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.42 Board of trustees may exchange lands.This section applies to all lands owned by, vested in, or titled in the name of the board of trustees whether the lands were acquired by the state as a purchase, or through gift, donation, or any other conveyance for which no consideration was paid.
(1) The board of trustees may exchange any lands owned by, vested in, or titled in its name for other lands in the state owned by counties, local governments, individuals, or private or public corporations, and may fix the terms and conditions of any such exchange. For conservation lands acquired by the state through gift, donation, or any other conveyance for which no consideration was paid, the state may request land of equal conservation value from the county or local government but no other consideration.
(2) In exchanging state-owned lands not acquired by the state through gift, donation, or any other conveyance for which no consideration was paid, with counties or local governments, the board of trustees shall require an exchange of equal value. Equal value is defined as the conservation benefit of the lands being offered for exchange by a county or local government being equal or greater in conservation benefit than the state-owned lands. Such exchanges may include cash transactions if based on an appropriate measure of value of the state-owned land, but must also include the determination of a net-positive conservation benefit by the Acquisition and Restoration Council, irrespective of appraised value.
(3) The board of trustees shall select and agree upon the state lands to be exchanged and the lands to be conveyed to the state and shall pay or receive any sum of money the board of trustees deems necessary for the purpose of equalizing the value of the exchanged property. The board of trustees is authorized to make and enter into contracts or agreements for such purpose or purposes.
(4)(a) A person who owns land contiguous to state-owned land titled to the board of trustees may submit a request to the Division of State Lands to exchange all or a portion of the privately owned land for all or a portion of the state-owned land, whereby the state retains a permanent conservation easement over all or a portion of the exchanged state-owned land and a permanent conservation easement over all or a portion of the exchanged privately owned land. State-owned land exchanged pursuant to this subsection shall be contiguous to the privately owned land upon which the state retains a permanent conservation easement. If the division elects to proceed with a request, the division must submit the request to the Acquisition and Restoration Council for review and the council must provide recommendations to the division. If the division elects to forward a request to the board of trustees, the division must provide its recommendations and the recommendations of the council to the board. This subsection does not apply to state-owned sovereign submerged land.
(b) After receiving a request and the division’s recommendations, the board of trustees shall consider such request and recommendations and may approve the request if:
1. At least 30 percent of the perimeter of the privately owned land is bordered by state-owned land and the exchange does not create an inholding.
2. The approval does not result in a violation of the terms of a preexisting lease or agreement by the board of trustees, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
3. For state-owned land purchased for conservation purposes, the board of trustees makes a determination that the exchange of land under this subsection will result in a net positive conservation benefit.
4. The approval does not conflict with any existing flowage easement.
5. The request is approved by three or more members of the board of trustees.
(c) Special consideration shall be given to a request that maintains public access for any recreational purpose allowed on the state-owned land at the time the request is submitted to the board of trustees. A person who maintains public access pursuant to this paragraph is entitled to the limitation on liability provided in s. 375.251.
(d) Land subject to a permanent conservation easement granted pursuant to this subsection is subject to inspection by the Department of Environmental Protection to ensure compliance with the terms of the permanent conservation easement.
History.s. 1, ch. 8525, 1921; CGL 1432; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 2003-394; s. 11, ch. 2016-233.
253.43 Convey by deed.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may execute and deliver a deed of conveyance, in its discretion necessary or proper, for the purpose of carrying into effect any such exchange or any contract or agreement therefor, made by said board under or pursuant to the power vested in it by this chapter, or otherwise; and any such deed shall fully convey to and vest in the purchaser or grantee the property so conveyed.
History.s. 2, ch. 8525, 1921; CGL 1433; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.431 Agents may act on behalf of board of trustees.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may, by resolution duly recorded in the records of said board, authorize or employ agents or employees to act in its behalf in the execution and delivery of deeds of conveyance, for the purpose of carrying into effect any exchange or contract or agreement therefor made by said board under or pursuant to the power vested in said board by this chapter, by virtue of the state’s equity in lands under chapter 197, pursuant to conveyances by authority of s. 288.14 or chapter 270, by authority of s. 591.19 or s. 285.14, and by such agents or employees issue disclaimers, releases of oil and mineral rights, quitclaim deeds, releases of any and all reservations of whatever kind in the lands of the state, and such other documents as may be authorized by the board to release or convey the state’s interests. Any deed executed by said agents or employees shall fully convey to and vest in the purchaser or grantee the property so conveyed.
History.s. 2, ch. 67-5; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.44 Disposal of lands received.All lands conveyed to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, pursuant to ss. 253.42, 253.43, 253.44, or ratified by s. 253.43, shall be held and disposed of by said board, pursuant to the laws of the state affecting said Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, and acts amendatory thereto.
History.s. 3, ch. 8525, 1921; CGL 1434; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.45 Sale or lease of phosphate, clay, minerals, etc., in or under state lands.
(1) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may sell or lease any phosphate, earth or clay, sand, gravel, shell, mineral, metal, timber or water, or any other substance similar to the foregoing, in, on, or under, any land the title to which is vested in the state, the Department of Management Services, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the State Board of Education, or any other state board, department, or agency; provided that the board of trustees may not grant such a sale or lease on the land of any other state board, department, or agency without first obtaining approval therefrom. No sale or lease provided for in this section shall be allowed on hard-surfaced beaches that are used for bathing or driving and areas contiguous thereto out to a mean low-water depth of 3 feet and landward to the nearest paved public road. Any sale or lease provided for in this section shall be conducted by competitive bidding as provided for in ss. 253.52, 253.53, and 253.54. The proceeds of such sales or leases are to be credited to the board of trustees, board, department, or agency which has title or control of the land involved.
(2) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or any other state agency authorized to grant leases under this section shall specify in each such lease, in clear and precise terms, the particular minerals for which the lessee is permitted to drill or mine and the manner in which the same may be extracted.
History.s. 1, ch. 9289, 1923; ss. 1, 2, ch. 9315, 1923; s. 1, ch. 13670, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1438(1); s. 1, ch. 59-178; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 69-181; s. 1, ch. 69-239; s. 1, ch. 69-369; ss. 22, 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 173, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 75, ch. 94-356; s. 73, ch. 99-245.
253.451 Construction of term “land the title to which is vested in the state.”For the purposes of ss. 253.45-253.61 the phrase “land the title to which is vested in the state” or words of similar import shall include lands previously held by the state or any agency thereof, in which mineral rights have been retained by the state or such agency.
History.s. 10, ch. 69-369.
253.47 Board of trustees may lease, sell, etc., bottoms of bays, lagoons, straits, etc., owned by state, for petroleum purposes.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state may lease for royalties or for other agreed compensation, or sell and otherwise dispose of the right to drill wells for the discovery and the production of petroleum and natural gas in the bottoms, owned by the state in its sovereign capacity, of the bays, lagoons, straits, sounds, gulf, streams and lakes within the state; provided, that such leases or sales shall not confer upon the person acquiring the same the right to enter upon any private property of another, nor the right to drill any well or otherwise place permanent or stationary obstruction in such waters or upon such bottoms within one-quarter of 1 mile of the shoreline of the lands of any upland owner, without first having the written consent of such upland owner so to do. The leases and sales so made shall convey to the lessee or vendee the rights of ingress and egress to, from, and over the bottoms leased or acquired, and the right to construct and maintain on and over such leased or acquired bottoms, in such manner as not to obstruct transportation, any structures, tanks, docks, stations and other equipment, as may be required for the proper development of such leases and the purposes for which the same are made.
History.s. 1, ch. 12429, 1927; CGL 1445; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.51 Oil and gas leases on state lands by the board of trustees.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is hereby authorized and empowered to negotiate, sell, and convey leasehold estates in and to lands the title to which is vested in any state board, department or agency thereof or lands the title to which is vested in the state with its control and management in any such board, department or agency, for the purpose of the development thereof, and the production therefrom, of oil and gas, to any person, firm, corporation or association authorized to do business in the state, upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the contracting parties, not inconsistent with law and the provisions of the chapter.
History.s. 1, ch. 22824, 1945; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 69-369.
253.511 Reports by lessees of oil and mineral rights, state lands.
(1) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall require from each lessee of public land under s. 253.45, s. 253.47 or s. 253.51 an annual notarized report as to the status of operations on the land under lease. Such report shall include the number of holes drilled, the dates of drilling, the depth of drilling, and the results of the operation. Reports of mining operations shall also include the number of cubic yards mined. The notarized report of both mining or drilling operations shall include a financial report of moneys paid over to the state, if any. The board may require reasonable additional information, as may be necessary, for a better understanding of the operation under lease; provided, that this shall not be construed as authorizing the board to require any lessee to divulge information relating to its work product, trade secrets, or methods of operation not commonly shared with a leasing agency. Failure to submit the report required by this section within 90 days following the anniversary date of the respective lease may be grounds for revoking and setting aside any lease as to which such report should have been made.
(2) The report required by this section may be introduced in evidence in behalf of the state or any agency thereof in any court proceeding as prima facie evidence of the information contained therein.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-236; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
253.512 Applicants for lease of gas, oil, or mineral rights; report as to lease holdings.Each applicant for a lease concerning oil, gas, or mineral exploitation or exploration in the state shall submit to the agency of the state issuing the lease a certified statement as to any lease holdings regarding oil, gas, or minerals the applicant has which were granted by the same or any other agency of the state. Such statement shall also include the number and identification of such leases issued and the state agency which issued the lease or leases.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-237.
253.52 Placing oil and gas leases on market by board.Whenever in the opinion of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund there shall be a demand for the purchase of oil and gas leases on any area, tract, or parcel of the land so owned, controlled, or managed, by any state board, department, or agency, then the board shall place such oil and gas lease or leases on the market in such blocks, tracts, or parcels as it may designate. The lease or leases shall only be made after notice by publication thereof has been made not less than once a week for 4 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published in the vicinity of the lands offered to be leased, the last publication to be not less than 5 days in advance of the sale date. Such notice shall be to the effect that a lease or leases will be offered for sale at such date and time as may be named in said notice and shall describe the land upon which such lease, or leases, will be offered. This notice may be combined with the notice required pursuant to s. 253.115. Before any lease of any block, tract, or parcel of land, submerged, or unsubmerged, within a radius of 3 miles of the boundaries of any incorporated city, or town, or within such radius of any bathing beach, or beaches, outside thereof, such board, department, or agency, shall through one or more of its members hold a public hearing, after notice thereof by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation published at least 1 week prior to said hearing in the vicinity of the land, or lands, offered to be leased, of the offer to lease the same, calling upon all interested persons to attend said hearing where they would be given the opportunity to be heard, all of which shall be considered by the board prior to the execution of any lease or leases to said land, and the board may withdraw said land, or any part thereof, from the market, and refuse to execute such lease or leases if after such hearing, or otherwise, it considers such execution contrary to the public welfare. Before advertising any land for lease the form of the lease or leases to be offered for sale, not inconsistent with law, or the provisions of this section, shall be prescribed by the board and a copy, or copies, thereof, shall be available to the general public at the office of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the advertisements of such sale shall so state.
History.s. 2, ch. 22824, 1945; s. 1, ch. 24339, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 69-369; s. 493, ch. 94-356; s. 12, ch. 2012-212.
253.53 Sealed bids required.All lands subject to this law shall be leased upon sealed bids. All bids shall be directed to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Said bids shall not be opened until the day, time, and place designated by the board of trustees and provided in said notice, at which time all bids shall be opened and at which time any person so desiring may be present. The board shall determine in advance the amount of royalty, never less than one-eighth in kind, or in value, and a definite rental, increasing annually after the first 2 years, upon lands not developed for oil or gas, or upon which no well has been commenced in good faith to secure production in paying quantities of gas or oil. The board may, in its discretion, incorporate within the terms of any lease provisions for pooling or unitizing the leased premises, in whole or in part, with other lands or leases and provisions for payments that may be made in lieu of royalty on wells which have been completed as gas wells and are capable of producing gas in paying quantities but are shut in pending development of a satisfactory market outlet, provided this shut-in period pending development of a satisfactory market outlet shall not exceed 48 months from the date of completion of such gas well or wells as herein described, if the lease is not being otherwise maintained by drilling or reworking or by production, which, if made, shall operate to cause the lease to be considered as producing in paying quantities for all purposes thereof. In addition to such fixed charges for said lease, there shall be a cash consideration. The bids shall be for this cash consideration, offered for said lease, in addition to such fixed charges for royalty, rental, and payments in lieu of royalty and shall be payable upon acceptance of said bid. All bids shall be accompanied by a cashier’s check, or certified check, for the amount of such cash consideration and shall be payable to the state board, department, or agency which holds title to or controls the land offered for lease. No bid filed subsequent to the date and hour of sale specified in the advertisement of sale shall be considered.
History.s. 3, ch. 22824, 1945; s. 4, ch. 69-369; s. 1, ch. 69-405; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 67, ch. 86-186.
253.54 Competitive bidding.On the date specified in the advertisement of sale, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall at a public meeting consider any and all bids submitted prior to such date for the leasing of the land or lands so advertised and, in the discretion of the board, award the lease to the highest and best bidder submitting a bid therefor; provided that if, in the judgment of the board, the bids submitted do not represent the fair value of such lease or leases, the execution of same is contrary to the public welfare, or the responsibility of the bidder offering the highest amount has not been established to its satisfaction, or for any other reason, it may in its discretion reject said bids, give notice and call for new or other bids, or withdraw said land from the market. If several distinct blocks, parcels, or tracts of land can be separately considered, then, and in that event, the board may so consider them, but if they cannot be so considered, then the rejection for any cause of the highest and best bid shall result in the rejection of all bids.
History.s. 4, ch. 22824, 1945; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 69-369; s. 68, ch. 86-186.
253.55 Limitation on term of lease.
(1) Subject to the further provisions hereof, each lease shall be for a primary term prescribed by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund not to exceed 10 years from the date of the lease, and shall provide that such lease, upon which operations are being carried on in good faith and in a skillful and diligent manner with no cessation of more than 30 consecutive days, or oil or gas is being produced therefrom in paying quantities, shall remain in force and effect. The lease shall provide that if, after production is obtained therefrom, such production should cease, the lease may be maintained, if it is within the primary term, by commencing or resuming the payment of rentals or commencing operations for drilling or reworking said land, in good faith and in a skillful and diligent manner, on or before the rental payment date next ensuing after the expiration of 60 days, or, if it be after the expiration of the primary term, the lease may be maintained in force and effect by commencing and continuing operations for drilling or reworking said land for the development and production of oil or gas on or before 60 days after the cessation of production and prosecuting same with diligence and in a skillful manner with no cessation for more than 30 consecutive days, and if such operations within a reasonable time thereafter result in the production of oil or gas from such leased land in paying quantities, the lease shall remain in effect thereafter as long as oil or gas is produced therefrom in paying quantities. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to permit the automatic renewal of a lease by option after the expiration of the primary term, nor to permit the continuance of any lease except in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) Each lease shall provide for its termination in the absence of drilling or reworking operations or production of oil or gas therefrom in paying quantities.
History.s. 5, ch. 22824, 1945; s. 1, ch. 69-238; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 69-369; s. 124, ch. 83-217; s. 5, ch. 88-278; s. 2, ch. 89-358; s. 142, ch. 95-148.
253.56 Responsibility of bidder.Before the acceptance of any bid for such lease the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall establish to its satisfaction the responsibility of the bidder. And no lease shall be assigned in whole, or in part, nor any land covered thereby, until and except the board shall approve and consent to such assignment, and such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.
History.s. 6, ch. 22824, 1945; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 7, ch. 69-369.
253.57 Royalties.The state’s royalties, a part of the consideration of every lease, shall be computed after deducting any oil or gas reasonably used for the production hereof.
History.s. 7, ch. 22824, 1945.
253.571 Proof of financial responsibility required of lessee prior to commencement of drilling.The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may require a surety or property bond, an irrevocable letter of credit, or other proof of financial responsibility from each lessee of public land or mineral interest prior to the time such lessee mines, drills, or extracts in any manner, petroleum, petroleum products, gas, sulphur, or any other mineral from such land. The surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit shall be from a surety company or bank authorized to do business in the state. The surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other proof of financial responsibility shall serve as security and is to be forfeited to the board to pay for any damages caused by mining or drilling operations performed by the lessee. In the case of operations planned in the waters of the state or under other particular circumstances which, by their nature warrant greater security in view of possible damages, the board shall give special consideration to the extent of such possible damages and shall set the amount of an adequate and sufficient surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other proof of financial responsibility accordingly. For the purposes of this section, damages shall include, but not be limited to, air, water, and ground pollution, destruction of wildlife or marine productivity and any other damage which impairs the health and general welfare of the citizens of the state.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-367; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 89-358.
253.60 Conflicting laws.The development of the lands leased by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for the production of oil and gas therefrom shall be in accord with the laws of Florida relating to conservation and control and, if herein is found any conflict with those laws, such laws relating to conservation and control shall prevail.
History.s. 10, ch. 22824, 1945; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 8, ch. 69-369.
253.61 Lands not subject to lease.
(1) Regardless of anything to the contrary contained in this law in any previous section or part thereof, no board or agency mentioned therein or the state shall have the power or authority to sell, execute, or enter into any lease of the type covered by this law relating to any of the following lands, submerged or unsubmerged, except under the circumstances and conditions as hereinafter set out in this section, to wit:
(a) No lease of the type covered by this law shall be granted, sold or executed covering such lands within the corporate limits of any municipality unless the governing authority of the municipality shall have first duly consented to the granting or sale of such lease by resolution.
(b) No lease of the type covered by this law shall be granted, sold or executed covering any such lands in the tidal waters of the state, abutting on or immediately adjacent to the corporate limits of a municipality or within 3 miles of such corporate limits extending from the line of mean high tide into such waters, unless the governing authority of the municipality shall have first duly consented to the granting or sale of such lease by resolution.
(c) No lease of the type covered by this law shall be granted, sold or executed covering such lands on any improved beach, located outside of an incorporated town or municipality, or covering such lands in the tidal waters of the state abutting on or immediately adjacent to any improved beach, or within 3 miles of an improved beach extending from the line of mean high tide into such tidal waters, unless the county commissioners of the county in which such beach is located shall have first duly consented to the granting or sale of such lease by resolution.
(d) Without exception, after July 1, 1989, no lease of the type covered by this law shall be granted, sold, or executed south of 26° north latitude off Florida’s west coast and south of 27° north latitude off Florida’s east coast, within the boundaries of Florida’s territorial seas as defined in 43 U.S.C. 1301. After July 31, 1990, no oil or natural gas lease shall be granted, sold, or executed covering lands located north of 26°00′00″ north latitude off Florida’s west coast to the western boundary of the state bordering Alabama as set forth in s. 1, Art. II of the State Constitution, or located north of 27°00′00″ north latitude off Florida’s east coast to the northern boundary of the state bordering Georgia as set forth in s. 1, Art. II of the State Constitution, within the boundaries of Florida’s territorial seas as defined in 43 U.S.C. 1301.
(2) For the purposes of this section and law an improved beach, situated outside of the corporate limits of any municipality or town, shall be and is hereby defined to be any beach adjacent to or abutting upon the tidal waters of the state and having not less than ten hotels, apartment buildings, residences or other structures, used for residential purposes, on or to any given miles of such beach.
History.s. 11, ch. 22824, 1945; s. 5, ch. 89-175; s. 1, ch. 90-72; s. 7, ch. 91-286.
253.62 Board of trustees authorized to convey certain lands without reservation.
(1) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund in making exchanges of land under ss. 253.42 and 253.43, is hereby authorized in its discretion to convey said land without reservations of oil and gas or of phosphate and other minerals required by s. 270.11, where deeds to lands received in exchange convey title in fee simple without such reservations or to determine the part or parts to be reserved and the part or parts to be conveyed, so as to facilitate exchange on a basis as nearly equal as may be.
(2) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is further authorized in its discretion to convey land to the United States free from reservations for oil, gas, phosphate and other minerals, provided agreement satisfactory to the board be effectuated with the United States whereby, in the event oil, gas, phosphate or other minerals are ever produced from said land, said board shall receive the customary royalty therefrom. In any conveyance heretofore made to the United States for national park or related purpose subsequent to June 30, 1943, which contained such reservations, said board shall have authority to convey said reservations subject to the conditions hereof in respect to customary royalty.
(3) The authority to convey, granted in subsection (2), shall apply to the conveyance of lands by the board of trustees to the United States for the establishment of the Biscayne National Monument, as defined by Pub. L. No. 90-606 of the United States, and the board is authorized to convey public lands to the United States for the establishment of the Biscayne National Monument. All acts and actions of the board of trustees and all agreements between the board and the United States Government regarding the conveyance of any state lands to the United States for the establishment of the Biscayne National Monument are hereby ratified, confirmed, and validated. For the purposes of the conveyance authorized by this subsection, no provision of this chapter shall apply, and the board of trustees shall not be required, prior to such conveyance, to comply with any conditions precedent to sale of lands set out in this chapter, nor shall the board be required to reserve oil, gas, phosphate, or other mineral rights, or enter into an agreement for royalties, if any, if same are produced from said lands. However, the waiver herein shall not apply to the requirements of this chapter relating to the setting of bulkhead lines and to dredging and filling.
(4) The legislative intent embodied in this section is to authorize the board of trustees to convey or obligate itself to convey the herein referred to state-owned lands in accordance with the provisions of Pub. L. No. 90-606. Upon certification to the board by the United States Government that all private lands intended to be acquired have been acquired and that owners of private property who have not donated or otherwise conveyed their lands have been paid therefor, the conveyance herein authorized shall become absolute. Nothing herein shall alter the right of the United States Government to immediate possession of said state-owned lands.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 23617, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-364; s. 1, ch. 70-439.
253.66 Change in bulkhead lines, Pinellas County.
(1) As soon as a county bulkhead line as provided in s. 253.1221 has been fixed by the water and navigation control authority of Pinellas County around the mainland of the county and the offshore islands therein, and the bulkhead line has been formally approved by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the state, all in accordance with the provisions of s. 253.1221, no further change in said bulkhead line shall be made notwithstanding the provisions of s. 253.1221.
(2) It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Legislature that subsection (1) is necessary for the protection of navigable waters in Pinellas County and the fish, wildlife and natural resources therein.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 59-522; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 61-264; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 34, ch. 2014-17.
253.665 Grant of easements, licenses, and leases.
(1) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of this state is authorized and empowered to grant unto riparian owners as herein defined, their heirs, successors and assigns, perpetual easements and easements, licenses and leases for specified terms of years, permitting such riparian owners, their heirs, successors and assigns, to construct, maintain and operate structures and facilities on, in and under the bed of any navigable stream or any river owned in whole or in part by the state, for the purpose of providing water of a suitable quality for industrial, domestic or other use; provided, however, any instrument granting such easement, lease or license may contain provisions to the effect that such structures and facilities shall be so constructed as not to obstruct the channel of the stream or river or unreasonably interfere with navigation, commerce or fishing thereon.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the term “riparian owners” shall include the owners of uplands bounded by either the high-water or low-water mark of any stream or river and shall include lessees and licensees of any such owners or grantees in easements from such owners of such uplands or river bottoms. The term “channel” shall mean the marked, buoyed, or artificially dredged channel, if any, and if none, shall mean a space equal to 20 percent of the average width of the river or stream at the point concerned which furnishes uninterruptedly, through its course, the deepest water at mean low water.
(3) This section is cumulative and shall not restrict or limit any title, right, interest or privilege of any riparian owner under the common law.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 57-325; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106.
Note.Former s. 271.10.
253.67 Definitions.As used in ss. 253.67-253.75:
(1) “Aquaculture” means the cultivation of aquatic organisms and associated activities, including, but not limited to, grading, sorting, transporting, harvesting, holding, storing, growing, and planting.
(2) “Board” means the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(3) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(4) “Water column” means the vertical extent of water, including the surface thereof, above a designated area of submerged bottom land.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 76, ch. 94-356; s. 2, ch. 96-247; s. 3, ch. 2000-364; s. 5, ch. 2005-157.
253.68 Authority to lease or use submerged lands and water column for aquaculture activities.
(1) To the extent that it is not contrary to the public interest, and subject to limitations contained in ss. 253.67-253.75, the board of trustees may lease or authorize the use of submerged lands to which it has title for the conduct of aquaculture activities and grant exclusive use of the bottom and the water column to the extent required by such activities. “Aquaculture activities” means any activities, as determined by board rule, related to the production of aquacultural products, including, but not limited to, producing, storing, handling, grading, sorting, transporting, harvesting, and aquaculture support docking. Such leases or authorizations may permit use of the submerged land and water column for either commercial or experimental purposes. However, a resolution of objection adopted by a majority of the county commission of a county within whose boundaries the proposed leased area would lie, if the boundaries were extended to the extent of the interest of the state, may be filed with the board of trustees within 30 days of the date of the first publication of notice as required by s. 253.70. Prior to the granting of any such leases or authorizations, the board shall by rule establish and publish guidelines to be followed when considering applications for lease or authorization. Such guidelines shall be designed to protect the public’s interest in submerged lands and the publicly owned water column.
(2)(a) The Legislature finds that the state’s ability to supply fresh seafood and other aquaculture products has been diminished by a combination of factors, including a diminution of the resources and restrictions on the harvest of certain marine species. The Legislature declares that it is in the state’s economic, resource enhancement, and food production interests to promote aquaculture production of food and nonfood aquatic species by facilitating the review and approval processes for authorizing the use of sovereignty submerged land or the water column; simplifying environmental permitting; supporting educational, research, and demonstration programs; and assisting certain local governments to develop aquaculture as a means to promote economic development. The Legislature declares that aquaculture shall be recognized as a practicable resource management alternative to produce marine aquaculture products, to protect and conserve natural resources, to reduce competition for natural stocks, and to augment and restore natural populations. Therefore, for the purpose of this section, the Legislature declares that aquaculture is in the public interest.
(b) It shall be the policy of the state to foster aquaculture development when the aquaculture activity is consistent with state resource management goals, environmental protection, proprietary interests, and the state aquaculture plan.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 96-247; s. 4, ch. 97-164; s. 30, ch. 97-220; s. 6, ch. 2005-157.
253.69 Application to lease submerged land and water column.Any applicant desiring to lease a portion of the submerged lands of this state for the purpose of conducting aquaculture activities shall file with the board a written application in such form as it may prescribe, setting forth the following information:
(1) The name and address of the applicant.
(2) A reasonably concise description of the location and amount of submerged land desired and, after the lease is approved, a field survey of the leased area and assurances that the site is properly posted pursuant to the conditions of the lease and s. 327.41.
(3) A description of the aquaculture activities to be conducted, including a specification whether such activities are to be experimental or commercial and an assessment of the current capability of the applicant to carry on such activities.
(4) Such other information as the board of trustees may by regulation require.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 88-207; s. 5, ch. 96-247.
253.70 Public notice.Upon receiving an application under this act that satisfactorily sets forth the information required by s. 253.69, the board shall give notice of the application as provided by s. 253.115.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 494, ch. 94-356.
253.71 The lease contract.When the board has determined that the proposed lease is not incompatible with the public interest and that the applicant has demonstrated his or her capacity to perform the operations upon which the application is based, it may proceed to consummate a lease contract having the following features in addition to others deemed desirable by the board:
(1) TERM.The maximum initial terms shall be 10 years. Leases shall be renewable for successive terms up to the same maximum upon agreement of the parties.
(2) RENTAL FEES.
(a) The lease contract shall specify such amount of rental per acre of leased bottom as may be agreed to by the parties and shall take the form of fixed rental to be paid throughout the term of the lease. Beginning January 1, 1990, a surcharge of $5 per acre, or any fraction of an acre, per annum shall be levied upon each lease according to the guidelines set forth in s. 597.010(7). Beginning January 1, 2001, the surcharge shall be increased to $10 per acre, or any fraction of an acre, per annum.
(b) All leases shall stipulate for the payment of the initial term’s first year’s annual rental within 30 days of the date of execution of the lease instrument, and payment of the annual rental fee for all succeeding years throughout the term of the lease on or before the anniversary date. Failure of the lessee to pay such rent within 30 days of such date shall constitute ground for cancellation of the lease and forfeiture to the state of all works, improvements, and animal and plant life in and upon the leased land and water column.
(3) MAXIMUM AREA TO BE LEASED.The board shall not lease a larger area of submerged land to any single lessee than has been demonstrated to be within the lessee’s capacity to utilize efficiently and consistent with the public interest. However, the board may hold a reasonable area of adjacent bottom land in reserve for the time when a holder of an experimental lease will begin operation under a commercial lease. Successful conduct of aquaculture activities on an experimental basis may be accepted as a demonstration of capacity to conduct such operations on a commercial basis.
(4) PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS.Failure of the lessee to perform effective cultivation shall constitute ground for cancellation of the lease and forfeiture to the state of all the works, improvements, and animal and plant life in and upon the leased land and water column. Effective cultivation shall consist of the grow out of the aquaculture product according to the business plan provided in the lease contract.
(5) DISPOSITION OF IMPROVEMENTS AT TERMINATION OF CONTRACT.Each contract entered into under this act shall stipulate the disposition of improvements and assets upon the leased lands and waters, including animal and plant life resulting from aquaculture activities.
(6) ASSIGNABILITY OF LEASES.Leases granted under this act shall be assignable in whole or in part with the approval of the board.
(7) SPECIAL LEASE CONDITIONS.Leases granted under this section may contain special lease conditions that provide for flexibility in surveying and posting lease boundaries, incorporate conditions necessary to issue permits pursuant to part IV of chapter 373 and chapter 403, and provide for special activities related to aquaculture and resource management.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 88-207; s. 24, ch. 89-175; s. 2, ch. 91-187; s. 3, ch. 91-286; s. 143, ch. 95-148; s. 6, ch. 96-247; s. 4, ch. 2000-364.
253.72 Marking of leased areas; restrictions on public use.
(1) The board shall require all lessees to stake off and mark the areas under lease according to the conditions of the lease agreement and rules of the board, by appropriate ranges, monuments, stakes, buoys, and fences, so placed as not to interfere unnecessarily with navigation and other traditional uses of the surface.
(2) Except to the extent necessary to permit the effective development of the species of animal or plant life being cultivated by the lessee, the public shall be provided with means of reasonable ingress and egress to and from the leased area for traditional water activities such as boating, swimming, and fishing. All limitations upon the use by the public of the areas under lease that are authorized by the terms of the lease shall be clearly posted by the lessee pursuant to rules by the board. Any person willfully violating posted restrictions commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) To assist in protecting shellfish aquaculture products produced on leases authorized pursuant to this chapter and chapter 597, harvesting shellfish is prohibited within a distance of 25 feet outside lawfully marked lease boundaries or within setback and access corridors within specifically designated high-density aquaculture lease areas and aquaculture use zones.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 154, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 98-203; s. 8, ch. 98-333; s. 5, ch. 2000-364.
253.73 Rules; ss. 253.67-253.75.The board has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer the provisions of ss. 253.67-253.75.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 45, ch. 98-200.
253.74 Penalties.
(1) A person who conducts aquaculture activities in excess of those authorized by the board or who conducts such activities on state-owned submerged lands without having previously obtained an authorization from the board commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, is subject to a civil fine in the Class I category pursuant to s. 570.971, or both. In addition to such fine and imprisonment, all works, improvements, and animal and plant life involved in the project may be forfeited to the state.
(2) Any person who is found by the department to have violated the provisions of chapter 403 or chapter 597 shall be subject to having his or her lease of state-owned submerged lands canceled.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 25, 26, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 71-137; s. 10, ch. 79-65; s. 77, ch. 94-356; s. 846, ch. 95-148; s. 7, ch. 2005-157; s. 28, ch. 2006-1; s. 3, ch. 2014-150.
253.75 Studies and recommendations by the department and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; designation of recommended traditional and other use zones; supervision of aquaculture operations.
(1) Prior to the granting of any form of authorization under this act, the board shall request comments by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission when the application relates to bottom land covered by fresh or salt water. Such comments shall be based on such factors as an assessment of the probable effect of the proposed use on the conservation of fish or wildlife or other programs under the constitutional or statutory authority of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) The department and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall both have the following responsibilities with respect to submerged land and water column falling within their respective jurisdictions:
(a) To undertake, or cause to be undertaken, the studies and surveys necessary to support their respective recommendations to the board;
(b) To institute procedures for supervising the aquaculture activities of lessees holding under this act and reporting thereon from time to time to the board; and
(c) To designate in advance areas of submerged land and water column owned by the state for which they recommend reservation for uses that may possibly be inconsistent with the conduct of aquaculture activities. Such uses shall include, but not be limited to, recreational, commercial and sport fishing and other traditional uses, exploration for petroleum and other minerals, and scientific instrumentation. The existence of such designated areas shall be considered by the board in granting leases under this act.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-46; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 78, ch. 94-356; s. 74, ch. 99-245; s. 6, ch. 2000-364; s. 8, ch. 2005-157.
253.763 Judicial review relating to permits and licenses.
(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) “Agency” means any official, officer, commission, authority, council, committee, department, division, bureau, board, section, or other unit or entity of state government.
(b) “Permit” means any permit or license required by this chapter.
(2) Any person substantially affected by a final action of any agency with respect to a permit may seek review within 90 days of the rendering of such decision and request monetary damages and other relief in the circuit court in the judicial circuit in which the affected property is located; however, circuit court review shall be confined solely to determining whether final agency action is an unreasonable exercise of the state’s police power constituting a taking without just compensation. Review of final agency action for the purpose of determining whether the action is in accordance with existing statutes or rules and based on competent substantial evidence shall proceed in accordance with chapter 120.
(3) If the court determines the decision reviewed is an unreasonable exercise of the state’s police power constituting a taking without just compensation, the court shall remand the matter to the agency which shall, within a reasonable time:
(a) Agree to issue the permit;
(b) Agree to pay appropriate monetary damages; however, in determining the amount of compensation to be paid, consideration shall be given by the court to any enhancement to the value of the land attributable to governmental action; or
(c) Agree to modify its decision to avoid an unreasonable exercise of police power.
(4) The agency shall submit a statement of its agreed-upon action to the court in the form of a proposed order. If the action is a reasonable exercise of police power, the court shall enter its final order approving the proposed order. If the agency fails to submit a proposed order within a reasonable time not to exceed 90 days which specifies an action that is a reasonable exercise of police power, the court may order the agency to perform any of the alternatives specified in subsection (3).
(5) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs to the agency or substantially affected person, whichever prevails.
(6) The provisions of this section are cumulative and shall not be deemed to abrogate any other remedies provided by law.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 78-85.
253.77 State lands; state agency authorization for use prohibited without consent of agency in which title vested; concurrent processing requirements.
(1) A person may not commence any excavation, construction, or other activity involving the use of sovereign or other lands of the state, the title to which is vested in the board of trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund under this chapter, until the person has received the required lease, license, easement, or other form of consent authorizing the proposed use.
(2) For applications that are processed concurrently under s. 373.427, the applicant must submit, as part of the application under this part, any information necessary to satisfy the requirements for issuance of any required:
(a) Environmental resource permit or dredge and fill permit under part IV of chapter 373;
(b) Coastal construction permit under s. 161.041;
(c) Coastal construction control line permit under s. 161.053; and
(d) Waiver or variance of the setback requirements under s. 161.052.

Authorization under this section may not be issued unless the requirements for issuance of any additional required authorizations, permits, waivers, variances, and approvals described in paragraphs (a)-(d) are also satisfied. The final action on an authorization issued under this subsection shall be subject to s. 373.4275.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a riparian owner may selectively trim or alter mangroves on adjacent, publicly owned submerged lands, if the selective trimming or alteration is in compliance with the requirements of 1ss. 403.93-403.938, including any required permit under 1ss. 403.93-403.938.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, chapter 373, or chapter 403, for activities authorized by a permit or exemption pursuant to chapter 373 or chapter 403, ports listed in s. 403.021(9)(b) and inland navigation districts created pursuant to s. 374.975(3) shall not be required to pay any fees for activities involving the use of sovereign lands, including leases, easements, or consents of use, except application fees including, but not limited to, those required by this chapter, chapter 161, chapter 373, or chapter 403. Further, any federal, state, or local agency or political subdivision that otherwise qualifies for an exemption under chapter 373 or chapter 403 shall be granted a consent of use or public easement for land owned by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or any water management district upon request and legal description of the affected land.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 76-245; s. 11, ch. 80-66; s. 12, ch. 84-79; s. 3, ch. 93-34; ss. 79, 495, ch. 94-356; s. 67, ch. 99-251.
1Note.Some sections within this range have been repealed; ss. 403.93-403.936 were repealed by s. 13, ch. 95-299. Section 403.938 was amended and transferred to s. 403.9333 by s. 12, ch. 95-299.
253.781 Retention of state-owned lands along former Cross Florida Barge Canal route; creation of Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area; authorizing transfer to the Federal Government for inclusion in Ocala National Forest.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to conserve and protect the natural resources and scenic beauty of the Oklawaha River Valley and all lands and interests formerly acquired by the state or Federal Government for construction and operation of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. It is the finding of the Legislature that these areas have a significant impact upon environmental and recreational resources of statewide importance and that public ownership of and access to such areas are necessary and desirable to protect the health, welfare, safety, and quality of life of the residents of this state and to implement s. 7, Art. II of the State Constitution. It is further the finding of the Legislature that retention of ownership and control of the majority of the lands by the state and the ownership and control of additional portions by the Federal Government as part of the Ocala National Forest will properly protect and conserve the natural resources and scenic beauty of Florida, enhance recreational opportunities, and be in the public interest. To achieve these goals, the Legislature hereby creates the Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area.
(2) The department is authorized to transfer for consideration ownership of all lands or interests in lands previously owned by the canal authority contained within the existing boundary of the Ocala National Forest and any extension of the boundary of the Ocala National Forest in Putnam County to the United States Department of Agriculture for the purpose of inclusion in the Ocala National Forest.
(3) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may acquire by purchase, exchange of other state lands, or the exercise of the power of eminent domain the fee title to lands acquired in less-than-fee title and to privately owned lands that break the continuity of publicly owned lands within the original canal corridor as specified in the University Planning Team Greenway Management Plan along the canal route, using canal authority assets transferred to the department or using state, local, or federal funds dedicated to acquiring lands for conservation and recreation. The Legislature finds that such exercise of the power of eminent domain to accomplish the purposes of this section is necessary and for a public purpose. Such power of eminent domain must be exercised pursuant to chapter 73.
(4) Lands transferred pursuant to this section by the department may reserve existing road rights-of-way.
History.ss. 2, 16, ch. 79-167; ss. 1, 5, ch. 84-287; ss. 1, 10, ch. 90-328; s. 56, ch. 93-213; s. 80, ch. 94-356; s. 6, ch. 99-205.
253.782 Retention of state-owned lands in and around Lake Rousseau and the Cross Florida Barge Canal right-of-way from Lake Rousseau west to the Withlacoochee River.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to conserve, protect, and maintain the natural resources, recreational values, and water management capabilities of Lake Rousseau and the Withlacoochee River. It is the finding of the Legislature that said lands and waters are areas containing and having a significant impact on environmental and recreational resources of statewide importance and that public ownership of and access to such areas are necessary and desirable to protect the health, welfare, safety, and quality of life of the residents of this state and to implement s. 7, Art. II of the State Constitution. It is further the finding of the Legislature that retention of ownership and control of said lands by the state will properly protect and conserve the natural resources of Florida, enhance recreational opportunities, and be in the public interest.
(2) The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to retain ownership of and maintain all lands or interests in land owned by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, including all fee and less than fee interests in lands previously owned by the canal authority in Lake Rousseau and the Cross Florida Barge Canal right-of-way from Lake Rousseau at U.S. Highway 41 west to and including the Withlacoochee River.
(3) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may acquire by purchase, exchange of other state lands, or the exercise of the power of eminent domain the fee title to any less-than-fee title interest in land owned by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, including interests previously owned by the canal authority, as described in subsection (2). The Legislature finds that such exercise of the power of eminent domain to accomplish the purposes of this section is necessary and for a public purpose. Such power of eminent domain shall be exercised pursuant to the provisions of chapter 73.
History.ss. 3, 16, ch. 79-167; s. 5, ch. 84-287; s. 57, ch. 93-213; s. 81, ch. 94-356; s. 12, ch. 2016-233.
253.7821 Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area assigned to the Department of Environmental Protection.The Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area is established and assigned to the department. The department shall manage the greenways pursuant to the department’s existing statutory authority until administrative rules are adopted by the department. However, the provisions of this act shall control in any conflict between this act and any other authority of the department.
History.s. 49, ch. 93-213; s. 82, ch. 94-356; s. 9, ch. 99-5; s. 13, ch. 2016-233.
253.7822 Boundaries of the Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area; coordination of management activities.
(1) The initial boundaries of the greenways shall be as follows, as described in the August 30, 1992, management plan published by the University of Florida University Planning Team:
(a) Segments 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of the Base Boundary.
(b) Segments 3 and 4 of the Payback Boundary II.
(2) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is authorized to include other contiguous lands acquired after the effective date of this act which are suitable for recreation, conservation, or as wildlife corridors within the greenways. The board is also authorized to modify the greenways boundaries as needed to resolve boundary disputes and to reflect the sale of surplus lands; however, no such modifications may result in a discontinuous corridor or a corridor less than 300 yards in width, except as provided for by federal law.
(3) If lands located outside the greenways boundaries are designated by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund as important to the overall management of the greenways and are purchased by other land acquisition programs, or are otherwise made available for management, the board may direct the greenways-managing entity to coordinate management activities to enhance the greenways to the greatest extent possible, or assume lead agency responsibilities when appropriate.
History.s. 50, ch. 93-213.
253.7823 Disposition of surplus lands; compensation of counties located within the Cross Florida Canal Navigation District.
(1) The department may identify parcels of former barge canal lands that may be sold or exchanged. In identifying said surplus lands, the department shall give priority to those lands not having high recreation or conservation values, and those having the greatest assessed valuations. Although the department shall immediately begin to identify the parcels of surplus lands to be sold, the department shall offer the lands for sale in a manner designed to maximize the amounts received over a reasonable period of time.
(2) The department is authorized to sell surplus additional former canal lands if they are determined to be unnecessary to the effective provision of the type of recreational opportunities and conservation activities for which the greenway was created.
History.s. 51, ch. 93-213; s. 83, ch. 94-356; s. 5, ch. 2003-394.
253.7824 Sale of products; proceeds.The Department of Environmental Protection may authorize the removal and sale of products from the land where environmentally appropriate, the proceeds from which shall be deposited into the appropriate trust fund in accordance with the same disposition provided under s. 253.0341 applicable to the sale of land.
History.s. 52, ch. 93-213; s. 7, ch. 99-205; s. 17, ch. 2015-229; s. 34, ch. 2016-233.
253.7825 Recreational uses.
(1) The Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area must be managed as a multiple-use area pursuant to s. 253.034(2)(a), and as provided in this section. Future site-specific studies and investigations must be conducted by the department to determine compatibility with, and potential for adverse impact to, existing natural resources, need for the facility, the availability of other alternative locations with reduced adverse impacts to existing natural resources, and the proper specific sites and locations for the more comprehensive and complex facilities. Furthermore, it is appropriate, with the approval of the department, to allow more fishing docks, boat launches, and other user-oriented facilities to be developed and maintained by local governments.
(2) In determining appropriate recreational uses of greenways lands, the promotion and development of resources-based activities shall be given priority consideration, although user-oriented activities shall not be arbitrarily prohibited when site-specific studies indicate compatibility of the proposed use with natural or cultural resources.
(3) For purposes of this section, “user-oriented activities” are those which can be provided in a variety of locations and include such activities as golf, tennis, baseball, archery, target shooting, and playground activities. “Resources-based” activities are dependent on some particular element or combination of elements in the natural or cultural environment and include such activities as fishing, camping, hunting, boating, bicycling, nature study, horseback riding, visiting historical sites, and hiking.
(4)(a) A horse park-agricultural center may be constructed by or on behalf of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on not more than 500 acres of former canal lands.
(b) A multipurpose visitor center may be constructed in conjunction with the horse park-agricultural center on lands dedicated for the horse park-agricultural center.
(c) Resources-based recreational activities associated with the horse park-agricultural center, including, but not limited to, recreational trails, trails for endurance or competitive riding, steeplechase, and other related activities may be permitted within the greenways boundary. The greenways managing entity shall retain jurisdiction over such activities occurring within the greenways boundary.
(d) Those activities and structures associated with the horse park-agricultural center which are determined by the greenways managing entity to be inappropriate uses of greenways lands shall be sited on lands outside the greenways boundary.
(e) The Legislature finds that the proposed horse park-agricultural center constitutes a public-private partnership project entitling the state to share in the profits generated from the horse park-agricultural center, in lieu of the payment of lease fees.
History.s. 53, ch. 93-213; s. 84, ch. 94-356; s. 5, ch. 97-164; s. 11, ch. 99-247; s. 38, ch. 99-391; s. 58, ch. 2010-102.
253.7827 Transportation and utility crossings of greenways lands.
(1) The Legislature recognizes that from time to time it may be necessary to serve statewide public needs by allowing transportation and utility uses to cross the greenways lands. When these crossings are needed, the location and design should consider and mitigate the impact on environmental resources, and the value of the land shall be paid based on fair market value.
(2) In furtherance of previous legislative decisions and policy, the Legislature recognizes the need for the Lebanon Station-to-Wildwood Turnpike toll road extension and the need for it to cross greenways lands at the intersection of State Road 200 and State Road 484. The Department of Transportation shall pay fair compensation for the lands needed to accomplish the crossing of greenways lands and shall mitigate the impacts of the crossing to the extent practical.
(3) Furthermore, the Legislature recognizes the needs expressed by Marion County to provide for the southerly extension of Sixtieth Avenue between State Road 200 and Interstate 75 and for the extension to cross the greenways lands to allow for the orderly growth and development of Marion County. Right-of-way for this extension across greenways lands shall be designed to mitigate the impacts to the extent practical, and the value of such lands shall be paid based on fair market value.
History.s. 55, ch. 93-213; s. 1, ch. 2013-231.
253.7828 Impairment of use or conservation by agencies prohibited.All agencies of the state, water management districts, and local governments shall recognize the special character of the lands and waters designated by the state as the Cross Florida Greenways State Recreation and Conservation Area and shall not take any action which will impair its use and conservation.
History.s. 60, ch. 93-213; s. 14, ch. 2015-30.
253.783 Expenditures for acquisition of land for a canal connecting the waters of the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico via the St. Johns River prohibited.The department shall make no expenditures for the purpose of acquiring land for constructing, operating, or promoting a canal across the peninsula of Florida connecting the waters of the Atlantic Ocean with the waters of the Gulf of Mexico via the St. Johns River.
History.ss. 4, 16, ch. 79-167; ss. 2, 5, ch. 84-287; ss. 1, 4, ch. 85-302; ss. 3, 10, ch. 90-328; s. 1, ch. 92-116; s. 59, ch. 93-213; s. 87, ch. 94-356; s. 848, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 97-259; s. 9, ch. 99-205; s. 2, ch. 2013-231.
253.784 Contracts.The department shall have the power and authority to enter into any and all contracts necessary or convenient to the exercise of any of the powers granted to the department by this act. The department is authorized to assign, transfer, and convey to the United States, or to any appropriate agency thereof, such assets, franchises, and property, or interests therein, of the department, including lands, easements, and rights-of-way acquired by the state, and to accept moneys for the same as may be necessary or convenient to the exercise of such powers consistent with this act. The department is authorized to receive by dedication, grant, or transfer any fee or less-than-fee lands owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The department is authorized to enter into agreements with the Federal Government for restoration of areas or receipt of funds for restoration of areas in and around Lake Rousseau, the Cross Florida Barge Canal right-of-way from Lake Rousseau to the Withlacoochee River, the Withlacoochee River, and the Cross Florida Barge Canal right-of-way from the eastern boundary of the expanded Ocala National Forest to the St. Johns River.
History.ss. 6, 16, ch. 79-167; s. 5, ch. 84-287; s. 88, ch. 94-356.
253.785 Liberal construction of act.It is intended that the provisions of this act shall be liberally construed for accomplishing the work authorized and provided for or intended to be provided for by this act, and when strict construction would result in the defeat of the accomplishment of any part of the work authorized by this act, and a liberal construction would permit or assist in the accomplishment thereof, the liberal construction shall be chosen.
History.ss. 10, 16, ch. 79-167; s. 5, ch. 84-287.
253.80 Murphy Act lands; costs and attorney fees for quieting title.No costs or attorney fees of any party adverse to the state may be charged to the state in any proceeding to quiet title in any person to lands the title to which vested in the state under the provisions of chapter 18296, Laws of Florida, 1937.
History.s. 1, ch. 72-268; s. 1, ch. 75-269; s. 52, ch. 77-104; s. 89, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 84-197.
Note.Former s. 197.361.
253.81 Murphy Act; tax certificates barred.The right to apply for a tax deed or to institute other action for recovery on, or enforcement of, tax sale certificates, and subsequent and omitted taxes in connection therewith, that were sold and assigned under the provisions of chapter 18296, Laws of Florida, 1937, commonly known as the Murphy Act, and which certificates are held by private holders, natural or corporate, partnership, trustee, estate of deceased person, or other person or persons under disability, or otherwise, shall be deemed and held to be barred by this section from and after midnight June 30, 1956.
History.s. 1, ch. 29794, 1955; ss. 1, 2, ch. 69-55; s. 1, ch. 72-268; s. 1, ch. 84-197.
Note.Former ss. 192.351, 197.325, 197.366.
253.82 Title of state or private owners to Murphy Act lands.
(1)(a) The interest of the state in any land which was acquired by the state under chapter 18296, Laws of Florida, 1937, but which is listed on a county tax assessment roll as being owned by a person other than the state and on which ad valorem taxes have been paid at least since January 1, 1971, is hereby released to such person. The rights that are released under this subsection are all rights in the land, including state-held subsurface rights.
(b) Upon request by any person, the county tax collector shall record in the official records of the county in which the land is located a certificate that the taxes have been paid since January 1, 1971, by the landowner or the landowner’s predecessor in title, if in fact the taxes have been paid. Such certificate is conclusive evidence of that fact.
(2)(a) The title to any land which was acquired by the state under chapter 18296, Laws of Florida, 1937, except those parcels which have been sold, conveyed, dedicated, or released by the state pursuant to subsection (1), is hereby vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(b) Land to which title is vested in the board of trustees by paragraph (a) shall be treated in the same manner as other nonsovereignty lands owned by the board. However, any parcel of land the title to which is vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund pursuant to this section which is 10 acres or less in size and has a market value of $250,000 or less is hereby declared surplus, except for lands determined to be needed for state use, and may be sold in any manner provided by law. All proceeds from the sale of such land shall be deposited into the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is authorized to adopt rules to implement the provisions of this subsection.
(c) The holder of a claim or lien against land vested in the board of trustees by paragraph (a), including a municipality or special taxing district, has until October 1, 1985, to institute suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to establish or enforce the claim or lien. The failure to institute suit by October 1, 1985, is conclusive evidence of abandonment of the claim or lien, and such claim or lien will become unenforceable. This paragraph shall not operate to revive any claim or lien previously extinguished by operation of law.
(3) Any person who has a claim to Murphy Act lands based upon a defect in a deed executed by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund has until October 1, 1985, to institute suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to establish the claim, or it will be forever barred.
(4) This section does not affect marketability of title established pursuant to chapter 712 prior to October 1, 1984.
(5) This section does not affect the validity of previous conveyances of Murphy Act lands by the board of trustees or previous reservations or restrictions in such conveyances made prior to July 1, 1991.
History.s. 2, ch. 84-197; s. 6, ch. 91-56; s. 144, ch. 95-148; s. 5, ch. 2001-275; s. 8, ch. 2008-229.
253.83 Construction of recodification.The recodification of the sections relating to chapter 18296, Laws of Florida, 1937, by chapters 72-268 and 84-197, Laws of Florida, shall not serve to reinstate any right to maintain any action that had expired prior to October 1, 1984.
History.s. 1, ch. 72-268; s. 3, ch. 84-197.
Note.Former s. 197.391.
253.86 Management and use of state-owned or other uplands; rulemaking authority.
(1) The Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas of the Department of Environmental Protection shall have the authority to promulgate rules to govern the management and use of state-owned or other uplands assigned to it for management. Such rules may include, but shall not be limited to, establishing prohibited activities or restrictions on activities, consistent with the purposes for which the lands were acquired, designated, or dedicated, and charging fees for use of lands. All fees collected shall be used for the management of uplands managed by the office.
(2) Any person violating or otherwise failing to comply with the rules adopted under this section commits a noncriminal violation as defined in s. 775.08(3), punishable by fine, not to exceed $500 per violation.
History.s. 6, ch. 2001-275.
253.87 Inventory of state, federal, and local government conservation lands by the Department of Environmental Protection.
(1) By July 1, 2018, the department shall include in the Florida State-Owned Lands and Records Information System (FL-SOLARIS) database all federally owned conservation lands in the state, all lands on which the Federal Government retains a permanent conservation easement in the state, and all lands on which the state retains a permanent conservation easement. The department shall update the database at least every 5 years.
(2) By July 1, 2018, for counties and municipalities, and by July 1, 2019, for financially disadvantaged small communities, as defined in s. 403.1838, and at least every 5 years thereafter, respectively, each county, municipality, and financially disadvantaged small community shall identify all conservation lands that it owns in fee simple and all lands on which it retains a permanent conservation easement and submit, in a manner determined by the department, a list of such lands to the department. Within 6 months after receiving such list, the department shall add such lands to the FL-SOLARIS database.
(3) By January 1, 2018, the department shall conduct a study and submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the technical and economic feasibility of including the following lands in the FL-SOLARIS database or a similar public lands inventory:
(a) All lands on which local comprehensive plans, land use restrictions, zoning ordinances, or land development regulations prohibit the land from being developed or limit the amount of development to one unit per 40 or more acres.
(b) All publicly and privately owned lands for which development rights have been transferred.
(c) All privately owned lands under a permanent conservation easement.
(d) All lands owned by a nonprofit or nongovernmental organization for conservation purposes.
(e) All lands that are part of a mitigation bank.
History.s. 14, ch. 2016-233.