Natural Bridge Acquisition in Leon County
Once it has been determined that the State of Florida will be
able to work with a landowner toward acquiring a parcel, DEP’s Division
of State Lands’ Bureau of Land Acquisition becomes involved. This bureau
is responsible for acquiring conservation property under the Florida Forever
The Bureau of Land Acquisition is divided into two sections:
In the Negotiation Section land acquisition agents negotiate full
fee acquisitions, conservation easements and other less-than-fee transactions.
This section also assists with the acquisition of projects for DEP’s Office
of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, Division of Recreation and Parks, as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission, Florida Forest Service and other non-conservation entities
such as state universities and the Florida Department of Corrections.
The Negotiation Section organizes each acquisition, which requires the following:
- Appraisal Map: completed through the Bureau of Survey and Mapping,
- Appraisal Report: completed through the Bureau of Appraisal,
- Negotiate Offer and Contract Terms: based on appraised value
of highest and best use of the property. Conservation easements and
other less-than-fee transactions may take longer to negotiate agreeable terms, and
- Board of Trustees' Approval: an approximate six-week process
wherein the acquisition is presented to the Board of Trustees (Governor and Cabinet)
The Closing Section within the Bureau of Land Acquisition prepares the
transaction for conveyance to state ownership. The agents utilize contractors
to perform some aspects of the closing process, such as title searches,
title insurance, closing services and environmental site assessments. The
statewide contracts for these services are managed within the Division's Bureau
of Land Acquisition Closing Section for accuracy and compliance with Florida
Statutes and DEP’s policies and procedures. The closing component of the
acquisition process includes the steps necessary to close the transaction and
acquire title to the subject property.
A summary of the land acquisition process:
- Due Diligence: Through the use of private contractors, title work,
an environmental site assessment and a survey are obtained to aid in the
identification of any issues which may impact the title, boundary, value,
manageability and long-term ownership of the property.
- Issue Resolution: Staff reviews the due diligence products to identify
and evaluate any issues. The seller must resolve those issues prior to closing.
Staff may assist in the resolution of issues.
- Closing: This phase of the closing process consists of execution
of all legal documents between the parties and the delivery of monies
necessary to complete the transaction on the terms and conditions of the
contract. Title is transferred to the Board of Trustees of the Internal
Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida (Governor and Cabinet).
Donations of Land
While most acquisitions are purchases, the state may accept donations.
These follow the same closing process as an acquisition, without the monetary
exchange. If interested in making a donation, please contact us.
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