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State Lands FAQ Highlights
Florida Forever Sell Land to the State Buy Land from the State Use State-Owned Land
Stewardship Survey and Mapping Disposition of State Lands and Facilities Annual Report Florida Communities Trust (FCT)
 

Florida Forever

Q. What is the Florida Forever program?
A. The Florida Forever program is the state’s blueprint for conservation of Florida’s natural resources. It replaces the Preservation 2000 program (P2000), the largest program of its kind in the United States. P2000 was responsible for the public acquisition and protection of more than 1.7 million acres of land. Florida Forever encompasses a wider range of goals, including water resource development and supply, increased public access, public lands management and maintenance and increased protection of land by acquisition of conservation easements.

Q. How much land has been acquired under the Florida Forever program?
A. The State of Florida has acquired more than 683,000 acres under the Florida Forever program. Combined with the purchases of the Preservation 2000 program, Florida Forever’s forerunner, the state has acquired more than 2.5 million acres since 1990. A complete statistical abstract for conservation land acquisitions may be found at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/stats/land.htm

Q. Who may propose property for purchase by the Division’s Florida Forever program?
A. Anyone may nominate a project. Federal, state and local government agencies, conservation organizations or private citizens are project sponsors. The sponsor is required to contact owners to let them know that their property is being proposed for state acquisition. Complete a  Florida Forever application (see Links & Resources page) or write to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Division of State Lands, Office of Environmental Services, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Mail Station #140, Tallahassee, FL 32399, or by telephone at (850) 245-2555.

Q. What’s the process for amending a project boundary?
A. If the land to be added to a project boundary is less than $2 million in tax assessed value, less than 10 percent of the size of the existing project boundary and less than 1,000 acres in size, a boundary modification form must be completed. If it does not meet all three of these criteria, a Florida Forever project application must be completed instead of the boundary modification form. For boundary amendments that propose to add property to an existing project, a land managing entity must also be contacted to ensure that they are willing to manage the proposed addition. If the land is proposed for acquisition through a conservation easement, the Division of State Lands would be the manager. For fee-simple acquisition, the proposed project manager should provide a letter that addresses the questions in the boundary modification form. If the property is within a project boundary and you would like to have it removed, please send a certified letter identifying the property with a copy of documentation validating your interest in the property (for example, tax statement or land title document) to the following address: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands, Office of Environmental Services, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, MS 140, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Q. Who decides which lands to buy?
A. The Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) consists of 10 members. Four members represent state agencies: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Forest Service of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Division of Historical Resources of the Florida Department of State. Four are citizen appointees of the Governor with backgrounds from scientific disciplines of land, water or environmental science. In 2008, two additional citizen members were added. One was appointed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and one by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Council evaluates and selects projects twice per year in June and December and ranks Florida Forever acquisition projects annually in December. After projects are approved and ranked, the overall Florida Forever list is submitted to the Governor and Cabinet, serving as the Board of Trustees, for approval. The Governor and Cabinet may remove projects from the list but cannot otherwise change the list.

Q. Who actually buys the land?
A. DEP's Division of State Lands and its acquisition partners negotiate with owners to buy land on behalf of the people of Florida. The Division cannot act without the consent of the Governor and Cabinet, serving as the Board of Trustees, who oversee the program by approving the list of projects recommended each year by the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) and approving specific purchases.

Q. Which agencies receive Florida Forever funds when the legislature appropriates funding?
A. The money appropriated by the Legislature is distributed by DEP to the following agencies/programs:

  • 30% to the five water management districts for purchase of conservation lands and for water resource development. These dollars are further divided among the districts as follows:

    • 35% to the South Florida Water Management District
    • 25% to the Southwest Florida Water Management District
    • 25% to the St. Johns River Water Management District
    • 7.5% to the Suwannee River Water Management District
    • 7.5% to the Northwest Florida Water Management District.
  • 58.5% to DEP, Division of State Lands:
    • 35% for the purchase of projects on the Florida Forever List
    • 21% for grants to local governments under the Florida Communities Trust (FCT) Program
    • 2.5% for preservation of working waterfronts under the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts  Program
  • 5% to DEP, Division of Recreation and Parks:
    • 1.5% for the purchase of inholdings and additions to existing conservation areas
    • 2% for park infrastructure project grants under the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP)
    • 1.5% for the purchase of recreational trails and corridors
  • 5% to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), Florida Forest Service:
    • 1.5% for the purchase of inholdings and additions to existing state forests
    • 3.5% for the conservation of working farmlands under the Rural and Family Lands Protection Act
  • 1.5% to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for the purchase of inholdings and additions to existing conservation areas

Q. Who owns the lands purchased by these programs?
A. Lands purchased by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands, DEP’s Division of Recreation and Parks (DRP), Florida Forest Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and under the Rural and Family Lands Protection Act are owned by the Board of Trustees (Governor and Cabinet). Lands purchased under the Florida Communities Trust and Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts programs are usually owned by the local governments that applied for the grants. Lands purchased by the different water management districts are owned by those districts. These lands are held in trust for the citizens of Florida.

Q. How long would it take for the state to buy a piece of property, assuming it gets added to the acquisition list?
A. If funds are available, the process could take up to six months or a year, depending on the complexity of the project. After a project is added to the Florida Forever list and a decision is made that it’s a high priority, then additional steps include a preliminary survey, appraisals, negotiations and final closing products.

Q. When can an owner of property on the Florida Forever list expect to be notified by DEP's Division of State Lands?
A. Sponsors of proposed projects are required to provide proof that they notified owners before submitting an application. The Division also tries to notify owners of large tracts within new projects before the Acquistion and Restoration Council (ARC) ranks the list. A letter is sent that asks about an owner’s willingness to consider selling his or her property. Owners of new projects are also notified before surveying and appraising work begins. A land acquisition agent then contacts owners to begin negotiations.

Q. How does the state determine the price it will offer a land owner?
A. DEP's Division of State Lands uses appraisals as a basis for negotiations. Each property receives at least one appraisal from an independent private sector appraiser to estimate market value.

Q. When are appraisals obtained?
A. DEP's Division of State Lands will request permission from the owner to appraise the property. The exact timing of this request will depend on the location and resource value of the property and the availability of Florida Forever funds. The length of time of the appraisal process varies, depending on the size and the complexity of the project.

Q. What factors do the appraisers consider when estimating value?
A. Appraisers consider many factors including location, size, zoning, highest and best use and economic conditions when reaching their value opinions. These value opinions are based upon and supported by comparable sales information.

Q. May a property owner accompany appraisers on a site visit?
A. Yes. Owners are invited to accompany appraisers and discuss the property with them. Owners are encouraged to provide as much information as possible to appraisers during site visits.

Q. What role can a non-profit organization play?
A. Non-profit organizations may sometimes play a role in helping the Division acquire preservation land. They may act as intermediaries with owners and may assist them with tax and estate planning issues. For information about non-profits, contact The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, The Conservation Fund or the Land Trust Alliance, etc.

Q. Does being on the Florida Forever list affect property value?
A. No. Changes in property value through government action normally occur as a result of local government decisions involving zoning, development permits or changes in local land use plans. Being on the Florida Forever list should not trigger any such action. If lands contain significant natural or cultural resources, however, various laws, rules, and ordinances may affect the use of the property. These same resource values would also attract the state’s interest in acquiring land.

Q. Does a property owner have to sell to the state?
A. No, not under most circumstances. Land acquisition by the Florida Forever program is almost exclusively voluntary.

Q. How can an owner keep his property off the Florida Forever list or get it removed if it is already on the list?
A. Any property owner can ask the state to remove his property from the Florida Forever list. The property owner would need to send a certified letter to the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC), DEP Office of Environmental Services, 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 100, Tallahassee, FL 32399. ARC will drop that piece of property from the acquisition list, but the Governor and Cabinet have an option, when they approve the acquisition list, of putting that property back on the list. That takes a supermajority vote of the Governor and Cabinet, and happens only if the property is judged to be of critical importance.

Q. What are the advantages of selling property to the state?
A. When selling property to the state, it is a cash sale. It may provide certain tax benefits as well. An owner’s decision to sell property to the state has other, less tangible benefits. It can dramatically affect Floridians, visitors to Florida, Florida waters, recreation and future generations who want to learn and experience Florida’s environmental landscape. An owner will have the satisfaction of knowing he or she has helped protect important ecological resources for generations to come.

Q. Are there other ways to protect land without an owner selling all of his or her property rights to the state or another public entity?
A. Yes. Alternate methods are available in some cases, if they are in the best interests of the property owner and the State. An owner might consider a life estate, which enables the owner to continue to live on the property but assures state ownership and management after his or her lifetime. By granting or selling a conservation easement, an owner may protect important resources while also receiving certain tax advantages. A conservation easement allows the owner to retain title to the property along with certain negotiated rights, but protects the natural resource values of the property. If an owner does not wish to sell the property at the present time, he or she could offer the state a first-right-of-refusal. That gives the state the chance to try to buy the land in the future, if circumstances change and an owner decides to put the property on the market. These and other methods of resource protection planning can often solve the needs of the owner and also save part of Florida’s natural or cultural heritage for the future.

Q. How can I get a copy of the latest Florida Forever Plan?
A. The Florida Forever Five-Year Plan can be downloaded. See the Florida Forever Quick Links.

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Sell Land to the State

Q. Would the state be interested in buying my property?
A. It depends on the property. You may follow the steps on the Sell Land to the State page or call (850) 245-2555.

Q. What is needed to close on a property?
A. Three due diligence products are generally needed for a closing with the State: title commitment, survey and environmental site assessment. Once received, the products must be reviewed and approved by staff members, such as closing staff, attorneys and potential managers.

Q. What is an environmental site assessment?
A. An environmental site assessment is a physical inspection of a site (land and improvements) to determine if environmental problems or concerns exist, such as a leaking above ground storage tank or abandoned vehicles.

Appraisal Questions

Q. Why does DEP's Division of State Lands' Bureau of Appraisal maintain a list of appraisers when the Department of Business and Professional Regulation provides a list of all state licensed and certified appraisers?
A. All appraisals and appraisal reviews conducted for acquisition or disposition of state lands must be conducted by appraisers on the Division of State Lands Approved Appraiser List, pursuant to Rule 18-1.007(2), F.A.C.

Q. What are the rules and laws governing the procedures for the Bureau of Appraisal?
A. See Florida Administrative Code Chapters 18-1 (State Land Acquisition Procedures), 18-2 (Management of Uplands Vested in the Board of Trustees) and 18-21 (Sovereignty Submerged Lands Management).

Q. How does an appraiser get on the Approved Appraiser List?
A. Complete and submit an application for review. 

Q. How can I get a copy of the Approved Appraiser List?
A. It is available on the Appraisal page or you may call (850) 245-2555.

Q. What is different about appraisals performed for the Board of Trustees as compared to those performed for banks, estates or other purposes?
A. Appraisals performed for the Board of Trustees must conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and the Supplemental Appraisal Standards for Board of Trustees Land and sometimes federal appraisal procedures.

Q. How does someone become licensed or certified to appraise real estate?
A. Certification and licensing is handled by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate, Real Estate Appraisal Board.

Q. Who is responsible for issuing and updating the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)?
A. The Appraisal Foundation is charged with maintaining the USPAP.

Q. Are there specific procedures for performing timber appraisals?
A. The Division of State Lands, Bureau of Appraisal coordinates timber appraisals with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service. The procedures for timber appraisals can be found in the Timber Cruise/Timber Appraisal (TCTA) Standards.

Q. Does the Bureau of Appraisal require appraisers to adhere to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA or “Yellow Book”)?
A. Under some circumstances the Division of State Lands requires appraisals to be performed to these standards. However, the appraiser will be made aware of such requirement prior to bidding on the assignment.

Q. How can I donate land to the state?
A. The State of Florida does accept land donations, and the process follows the same basic procedures as selling land to the state. An appraisal is not required as a condition of receipt of land by the state.

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Buy Land from the State

Q. Is there a list of all state-owned lands that are available for sale?
A. Yes. See Buy Land from the State for a complete list of properties for bid or sale.

Q. Why can’t an individual buy property that has been purchased for conservation? It doesn’t appear to be used by the Department of Environmental Protection.
A. Land purchased for conservation is often unimproved, allowing for “passive” enjoyment by the public. Some properties are obtained for a purpose, such as preservation of habitat for a specific species of foliage or wildlife. Still other land is purchased for the sole purpose of preserving natural Florida for future generations. The Florida Constitution requires that lands owned by the state for natural resources conservation purposes be managed for the benefit of the citizens and may be disposed of only if two-thirds of the Board of Trustees determines that the property is no longer needed for conservation purposes.

Q. Property owned by the state is listed as owned by TIITF or IITF; what does this stand for?
A. It stands for Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, which consists of the Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Chief Financial Officer of the State of Florida.

Q. What are Murphy Act Lands?
A. Chapter 18296, Laws of Florida (1937), is known as the Murphy Act. The Act provided for forfeiture of lands for nonpayment of property taxes. Tax certificates were issued to landowners who failed to pay their taxes. If the taxes were not paid by June 9, 1939, title to the land went to the State, and these lands are now administered by the Board of Trustees. Chapter 253, F.S., is where the details for Murphy Act Lands can be reviewed. Many lands received under the Murphy Act are wetlands or marshland or have other natural resources and these are managed as conservation lands. However, there are many small Murphy Act parcels scattered about the state which are offered for sale as surplus.

Q. How does the state determine the sales price for state-owned surplus lands?
A. Florida Statutes require that an appraisal of the property be taken into consideration, or, when the estimated value of the land is less than $100,000, a Comparable Sales Analysis or Broker’s opinion of value may be considered.

Q. Can an applicant see the appraisal?
A. Florida law prohibits sharing of appraisals with applicants until two weeks before a contract or agreement for exchange or disposal of surplus land is first considered for approval by the Board of Trustees.

Q. Who pays closing costs on land purchased from the State of Florida?
A. The Purchaser of state-owned land is responsible for all costs associated with the purchase, including, but not limited to, all appraisals, surveys, title searches, closing costs and recording fees.

Q. What happens if the purchaser changes his mind after paying for an appraisal?
A. The appraisal fee is non-refundable after the appraisal has been ordered, as indicated on the Application to Purchase Surplus Lands.

Q. Is a warranty deed provided with the purchase of state-owned land?
A. No, Florida Administrative Code requires that property be conveyed by a quitclaim deed without warranties or representation.

Q. Does the State donate or sell land at a reduced rate to non-profit organizations?
A. No. All surplus land sales follow requirements in Florida Statutes. If state land is not needed for conservation or for state agency use, it must first be offered for lease to state agencies, state universities, and community colleges, with priority consideration given to state universities and community colleges. It may then be offered to local governments for appraised value prior to being offered to the public. Florida Statutes require that the sales price for surplus land take into consideration an appraisal or, when the estimated value of the land is less than $100,000, a Comparable Sales Analysis or Broker’s opinion of value may be considered.

Q. Will an adjacent land owner be given the option to purchase the property before consideration of any other private party, local government or state agency?
A. No. Pursuant to requirements in Florida Statutes, a parcel of land that is being considered for surplus must first be offered for lease to state agencies, state universities, and community colleges, with priority consideration given to state universities and community colleges, prior to being designated as surplus. It must then be offered for purchase to the local government and then to the local municipality where the property is located, prior to being offered for sale or bid to the general public. An adjoining property owner does not receive priority over anyone else who may be interested. 

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Use of State-Owned Land

Q. How do I know if property is currently under lease or state-owned?
A. You may send a location map listing the Section/Township/Range to the Uplands Leasing Section of the Division of State Lands. They will submit a request to the Title and Land Records Section for a determination of any encumbrances, such as an upland lease or easement, on the property. You may also call (850) 245-2555.

Q. The county property records show that TIITF is listed as the owner of an upland. What does TIITF stand for?
A. TIITF is short for Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida – the entity that holds title to state-owned lands in Florida.

Q. Must I pay a fee to use state lands?
A. This depends on the applicant and the proposed use. Fees must be consistent with rules and regulations (Chapter 253, F.S. and Rule 18-2, F.A.C.). For example, a governmental entity, such as a City, can lease state-owned conservation lands for public recreational purposes for $300 annually pursuant to Rule 18-2, F.A.C., subject to (1) determination that no state agency needs the area for lease; and (2) approval of the lease by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. Private citizen requests are handled on a case-by-case basis, and any revenue-generating activities on state-owned lands must be competitively bid unless the Board of Trustees (Governor and Cabinet) determine the project is in the public interest.

Q. What is an easement?
A. An easement is a non-possessory interest in uplands created by a grant or agreement, which gives the applicant the limited right, liberty and privilege to use uplands for a specific purpose, term and fee. Easements provide a less-than-fee interest in the property.

Q. What can be done about a neighbor placing trash over his property line?
A. Unless there is state-owned property involved, the Board of Trustees has no jurisdiction. Contact local law enforcement.

Q. How are reservations released?
A. There are three types of reservations:

       1. Oil and mineral reservations (right-of-entry and exploration only);
       2. Road right-of-way reservations; and
       3. Canal reservations.

The application and instruction sheet explaining the requirements for obtaining releases of reservations are available under Links and Resources. You may also contact the Division of State Lands’ Bureau of Public Land Administration at (850) 245-2555. An application is not needed for releasing right-of-way entry and exploration for oil and mineral reservations on parcels less than 20 acres (Florida Statute 270.11). For parcels larger than 20 acres, the developer must submit an affidavit certifying that each parcel will be a permanent building site and identifying what will be built, the proposed dates of construction and indicating the land will not involve phosphate mineral, metal or petroleum extraction.

Q. What is the process for obtaining a lease or easement over state lands?
A. The application forms are available under Links and Resources (Use of State-Owned Lands). You many also contact DEP's Division of State Lands at (850) 245-2555 for an upland lease or upland easement application. If applying for lease or easement, complete the appropriate application and return it to the Division of State Lands with all materials requested in the application, plus a $300 nonrefundable processing fee.

Submerged Land Leases

Q. I want to build a dock on private property. Who should I contact for permitting? 
A. Contact the local DEP district office for the county where the facility will be located.

Q. I want to obtain a submerged land lease. Who should I contact for permitting?
A. Contact the local DEP district office for the county where the facility will be located.

Q. How can I determine the status of a lease once the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) has been approved?
A. Contact the Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555.

Q. How can I modify or change a submerged lands lease?
A. To change boundaries or revise lease conditions of a leased area, contact the DEP district office for the county where the facility is located. For renewals and assignments to a new upland owner, contact the Division of State Lands at (850) 245-2555. All fees must be current and income reported before any modification will be allowed.

Q. How long will it take to process a lease?
A. From the time the Division of State Lands receives a lease package from the District Office, it takes approximately 3-5 weeks before the lease is mailed to the lessee for execution.

Q. How long are the terms of a lease?
A. Most leases have a standard term of five years. If a facility is 90 percent open to the general public for rent on a first come first served basis, then they would have a standard ten year lease term (18-21.008(1) F.A.C.). Some leases may qualify for a term up to 25 years if they meet the criteria in 18-21.008(2)(a) F.A.C.

Q. Who can I contact for survey information on state lands leases?
A. Contact the Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555.

Q. Who must pay a Submerged Land Lease Fee?
A. This is defined in Rule 18-21, F.A.C., which potentially includes single family homes, condominiums and commercial marinas.

Q. When is the Annual Fee due?
A. Annual fees are due on the anniversary date of the lease, which is the date the lease was executed. Lease holders may expect to receive annual invoices 15 to 30 days prior to the anniversary date.

Q. What is the rate that is used to calculate the Annual Submerged Land Lease Fee?
A. The rate is a five year average of the Consumer Price Index, and the current rate is .156623. This rate is updated every March 1st, pursuant to Rule 18-21, F.A.C.

Q. How is the Annual Submerged Land Lease Fee calculated?
A. [(Square Feet times Rate) Less Discount)] Plus Surcharge, if applicable, or 6 percent of the Gross Revenue received from the use, whichever is greater.

Q. Is this 6 percent State Tax?
A. No, Rule 18-21.011 (1) (a) 1., F.A.C., states that you pay an annual submerged land lease fee or 6 percent of the gross revenue generated on state-owned property, whichever is greater. It is defined as the lease payment for using state-owned property.

Q. Are discounts available to marina owners? How do they qualify?
A. There is a 10 percent Clean Marina Discount for facilities that qualify; marina owners must contact the Clean Marina Program and meet their qualifications. There is a 30 percent discount for facilities that are open to the public on a first come first served basis. A marina must be 90 percent or greater open to anyone, with no qualifying requirements and with only a one year lease term. All publications for the facility must state this and have signs landward and waterward of the docking facility.

Q. Who is responsible for reporting the revenue for a wet slip?
A. The state lands leaseholder is responsible for reporting all revenue received either directly for the use of a wet slip or revenue received by another party for the use of a wet slip within that leaseholder’s lease boundary.

Q. Are leaseholders required to report revenue?
A. Every state lands leaseholder is responsible for reporting the revenue received either directly or indirectly on an annual basis through a self report form mailed to them each year with the annual base invoice. The report is to be completed and returned by each leaseholder in compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease, regardless of revenue.

Q. May Wet Slips (Boat Slips) be bought or sold?
A. Facilities that are required by their lease terms to be open to the public on a first come first serve basis may offer 10 percent of their slips for exclusive use. Facilities that are not required by their lease terms to be open to the public on a first come first serve basis may offer exclusive rights to use for all wet slips (boat slips).

Q. Is it legal that a condominium provides a wet slip as an amenity?
A. It is legal to give an exclusive right to use a wet slip and include reference to that exclusive right in a Warranty Deed. The wet slip should not be included in the legal description or any claim to the bottom land be stated in the Warranty Deed. There should also be an Exclusive Right to Use document issued between the leaseholder and the Warranty Deed owner. The exclusive rights document shall state that there is no claim to the sovereign lands and reference the lease and the term, Rule 18-21.011, F.A.C, and information in regard to the 6 percent that is due on the entire sale transaction attributable to the wet slip. This includes slips that belong to an upland home. Wet slip use agreements should not be contrary to other documents presented to DEP at the time the lease was issued, such as but not limited to the Declaration of Condominium and its recorded uses of common area and limited common area.

Q. Where do I mail lease fees?
A. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands, P.O. Box 3070, Tallahassee, FL 32315-3070.

Q. Who do I make my lease fee check payable to?
A. Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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Stewardship

Q. How do I report suspicious activity (i.e. dumping) that may be affecting the environment?
A. Dial #DEP on a cell phone or call 1-877-2-Save-FL. Appropriate law enforcement offices will be notified.

Q: How can I determine if there are conservation lands in a particular area?
A: Visit www.fnai.org and click on Interactive Map under Conservation Lands for a location map.

Q: When are land management plans due?
A: Management plans are required to be submitted to DEP's Division of State Lands within 12 months of a fully executed lease. Once the plan is received and approved, it should be updated every 10 years.

Q: Will a land management review team ever visit the property I manage for conservation purposes?
A: Yes. If the managed land is owned by the Board of Trustees, a land management review team may visit it. If the managed land is owned by the Board of Trustees and is greater than 1,000 acres, it must be reviewed every 5 years. If the managed land is owned by a water management district, a land management review team may visit it.

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Survey and Mapping

Q. Where can I find Benchmark information?
A. The Division of State Lands maintains benchmark information from various State and Federal governments, available online at LABINS.

Q. Where can I find horizontal survey control information?
A. The Division of State Lands maintains horizontal information from various State and Federal governments, available online at LABINS.

Q. Where can I get information on determining Mean High Water Survey data?
A. Existing Mean High Water Information can be found at LABINS. For procedures to establish a Mean High Water Line, visit LABINS.

Q. Where can I find recent and historic aerial photography that covers a job site?
A. For the most recent, as well as some historic, aerial photography visit the Florida Department of Transportation. For older aerial photography, visit the University of Florida. Both are free services, although the FDOT site requires registration. LABINS offers Digital Ortho Quarter Quads in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), State Plane and Albers projections.

Q. How can I obtain a certified corner record?
A. Visit LABINS.

Q. How can I obtain an Erosion Control Line survey?
A. Erosion Control Line surveys should be obtained from the Public Records of the county where the line exists. Backups of the unrecorded maps and descriptions can be downloaded from LABINS; however, this information may not be as accurate as that recorded in the county public records.

Q. How can I get a property surveyed? Will the Division of State Lands do it?
A. The Division of State Lands' Bureau of Survey and Mapping does not perform private surveys for individuals. For private property surveys, refer to your local Yellow Pages.

Q. Where can I obtain copies of U.S. Government Survey Field Notes (GLO) and any resurveys? Does the Division of State Lands have field notes and plats for work areas?
A. These documents can be found at LABINS.

Q. How can I get a determination of state ownership of property, including ownership of lakes, streams, and submerged coastal areas?
A. Call the Division of State Lands' Title and Land Records Section at 850.245.2555.

Q. How can I get a current map of Florida?
A. The Division of State Lands does not have copies of state maps. To obtain a Florida road map or maps of individual counties, contact the Florida Department of Transportation.

Q. Where is the boundary of an aquatic preserve?
A. Aquatic preserves are managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA).

Q. How does a filled land area qualify for a recordable document (certificate) pursuant to section 253.12(9) & (10) F.S., since it was filled prior to 1975?
A. Completion of  the application for the recordable document will reveal whether the filled land area qualifies for a recordable document.

Q. How can I determine whether a permanent improvement to submerged land qualifies for Butler Act?
A. Review the application for Disclaimer to determine whether the area of interest qualifies.

Q. How can I get historic information on a parcel of property?
A. This information is available to the public and some records can be found on LABINS. The Title and Land Records section of the Bureau of Survey and Mapping is sometimes called upon to assist researchers, attorneys, historians, authors and genealogists to obtain information on land parcels. Some of the items available are copies of deeds, including deeds of acquisition and disposition of state lands, original surveys with field notes from surveys of the state initiated in the 1800s, historic surveyor instructions, U.S. patents, Armed Occupation Permits and other information related to historic state land records. You may call the Division of State Lands, Title and Land Records Section, at (850) 245-2555 for further information.

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Disposition of State Lands and Facilities Annual Report

Background:
The Division of State Lands (DSL), as staff to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida (BOT), is Florida’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship. DSL’s role goes far beyond just acquiring lands for protection. It provides oversight for the management of activities on more than 12 million acres of public lands including lakes, rivers, and islands. These public lands help ensure Florida’s residents and visitors have the opportunity to truly appreciate Florida’s unique landscapes.

The BOT owns approximately 3.3 million acres of uplands (3.1 million acres of conservation lands and .2 million acres of non-conservation lands). In addition, there are .5 million acres of conservation easements. Most of this land is actively used by state agencies for recreation or conservation purposes, and is protected by the Florida Constitution to preserve Florida’s natural and cultural resources.

Q. Why identify and surplus public land?
A. Occasionally state-owned land is determined to be no longer needed by the state. The Division of State Lands’ mission statement stresses that we are the “Public Land Stewards” and we take great pride in making sure that before any lands are considered for surplus that they are not needed for conservation purposes or public use. Lands will only be made available for public ownership after careful review and analysis.

Q. How can the public locate surplus land for sale?
A. If property is cleared through the disposition process and becomes surplus, it will be placed on the Division of State Lands sales list and could be sold to the public. It would be listed on the DSL website (www.dep.state.fl.us/lands).

Q. What are the reasons for surplusing specific properties?

  • A parcel that was purchased as part of a larger acquisition, and that is not needed to achieve the purpose of the larger land purchase.
    • Example: A landowner sells the state 500 acres of land, 450 of which is known conservation land, while the other 50 has no conservation value. The landowner will only sell the 450 acres of resource land if the state also purchases the other 50 acres. The 50 acres would likely ultimately be considered surplus; however, it may show as 50 acres of conservation land, purely for the fact it was purchased using conservation funds, even though there is no conservation value.
  • Parcels thought to be needed for state government to meet its future needs or was purchased for a specific purpose, which are no longer needed.
    • Example: A building may be purchased for anticipated growth of an agency, but the growth doesn’t occur, such as some Highway Safety & Motor Vehicle offices that will not be needed, and are currently listed for potential disposition.
    • Example: Closure of a facility, especially hospitals or correctional facilities, such as Sunland Hospital in Tallahassee.
  • Parcels donated to the state or that came into state ownership as a result of the Murphy Act which are not needed for public purposes.

Q. What are the benefits of surplusing property?

  • When public land is sold to private entities, these parcels are put on county tax rolls and generate revenue for local governments.
  • DEP staff always works to obtain the best possible price for all properties sold.
  • Once any lands are selected for surplus and sold, the proceeds go into either the fund from which the lands were acquired or the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for the protection and conservation of public lands. Money does not go into the state’s general revenue.

Q. What is the surplus process?
A. State property owned by the BOT must go through a specific process before it can be disposed, pursuant to statute and rule. Steps vary depending on whether the property is conservation land or non-conservation land.

  • Non-Conservation Land
    • Before any property can be offered to the public it must first be offered to the following:
      • State Universities, Florida College System institutions, and/or state agencies for lease.
      • Local governments to purchase at market value.
    • If more than one of the above public entities shows interest, preference goes as follows: state universities and Florida College System institutions, state agencies for lease then local governments for sale.
      • If there is no government entity interest, the property is made available to the public.
      • BOT must approve the sale of any property more than $500,000 and any sale between $100,000 and $500,000 that is to be sold for less than market value.
  • Conservation Land
    • Conservation land must first go to the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) before any other steps can be taken.
    • If ARC approves of the disposition of the property it follows the same process as non-conservation land for noticing.
    • All conservation land, no matter the size or value, must be approved by the BOT and determined to be no longer needed for conservation purposes, before a sale can be finalized.

Q. What is the disposition report?
A. The Disposition of State Lands and Facilities Annual Report is produced per Section 216.0153, Florida Statutes, and requires DEP to submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 1 of each year a list of state owned property recommended for disposition.

The report is a result of great interagency collaboration between not only Department of Management Services and DEP, but also nearly 50 state agencies, offices and departments, state universities and community colleges to survey and catalog their facilities and property. Property will continue to be evaluated for possible surplus throughout the year and findings updated annually on October 1.

In 2013, section 216.0152, Florida Statute was revised, part of which, incorporated the Disposition of State Lands and Facilities annual report as part of the DMS and DEP Facilities Inventory Report due Oct 1 of each year.

Q. Where is the disposition report located?
A. It is available on the Division of State Lands website: Disposition of State Lands and Facilities Annual Report.

Q. What does the report identify/outline?
A. Each annual report provides an update to the previous annual report. It lists state-owned properties that have the potential for disposition (including vacant land and land with facilities); have been sold; or have been placed under management leases since the previous report.

The report encompasses three different types of state-owned property with potential for disposition:

  • Under Contract/In Negotiations – this means they are in contract/negotiations to be sold or exchanged to a private party or local government entity.
  • Active – in the process of noticing meaning the current lessee or DSL no longer needs the property, but another public entity may be interested or the noticing process has been completed and the parcel is in the valuation process or available for sale/bid.
  • Possible Surplus/To Be Determined (TBD) – in the process of being analyzed (i.e., FNAI analysis), very beginning of the process, these parcels are not currently for sale.

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    Last updated: October 14, 2013

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