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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 1173 — Lands Used for Governmental Purposes

by Government Accountability Committee; Local, Federal, and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; and Rep. Raschein and others (CS/CS/SB 1622 by Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee; Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee; and Senator Flores)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee (EP)

The bill revises the process by which the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Division of State Lands (DSL) acquire nonconservation lands for the purpose of military base buffering.

The bill revises the procedures by which the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (Board of Trustees) may direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to acquire lands on an immediate basis by:

  • Adding lands that will prevent or satisfy private property rights claims resulting from the limitations imposed by the designation of an area of critical state concern to the list of qualified lands; and
  • Authorizing the use of reasonably prudent procedures to estimate the value of such lands, if the parcel of land is estimated to be worth $500,000 or less and the director of the DSL finds that the cost of an outside appraisal is not justified.

The bill requires the DEP to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees with respect to the purchase of lands that are used to prevent or satisfy private property rights claims resulting from limitations imposed by the designation of an area of critical state concern if the parcel is within an area of critical state concern and is on one of the approved acquisition lists established pursuant to ch. 259, F.S., relating to conservation and recreation lands.

The bill authorizes a land authority to contribute tourist impact tax revenues to the county in which it is located for affordable housing and authorizes a land authority to pay certain costs related to affordable housing projects.

The bill adds a goal to the Florida Forever program relating to the mitigating the effects of natural disasters and flood developed areas and provides the criteria by which the goal is to be measured. The bill provides that the purpose of urban greenways and open space projects, within the Florida Communities Trust program, is to provide recreational opportunities, promote community interaction, and connect communities. And that such projects may also serve dual functions as flow ways or temporary water storage areas to mitigate natural disasters and floods in developed areas.

The bill provides legislative intent relating to the designation of the Apalachicola Bay Area as an area of critical state concern to include provision of affordable housing in close proximity to places of employment and to protect and improve the water quality, including construction and operation of wastewater management facilities.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.

Vote: Senate 37-0; House 113-0