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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the District considering surplusing its lands?

The District’s Governing Board updated policy 610-4 and directed staff to assess District lands every two years for potential surplus opportunities. The objective of the biennial assessment is to identify and sell lands that may no longer meet the original acquisition purposes of providing substantive water resource benefits. Proceeds from the sale of land may only be used to purchase lands meeting the Districts land acquisition goals or debt service associated with those purchases.

What types of lands will the District surplus?

  • Land that may have been acquired for a specific project that is no longer being pursued, or the project is completed and the land is no longer needed.
  • Land that may have been acquired as part of a much larger acquisition project and does not contribute to the conservation objectives of the acquisition.
  • Lands that may provide environmental benefit but would be better suited for maintenance by others due to size or location. The District will protect the conservation objectives of the acquisition by retaining a conservation easement (or similar instrument) over the land.

What is a conservation easement?

A conservation easement is a legal document used to restrict the types of activities that can occur on a property. This option retains environmental protection but returns land to private ownership.

Will the District surplus large tracts of land?

The District has initiated a deliberate and science-based assessment process. This assessment is expected to identify portions of District lands.

Have District lands already been assessed?

District scientists or subject matter experts (SMEs) developed a tool to help gauge the environmental sensitivity of District lands regarding the District’s four areas of responsibility (AORs): water supply, water quality, flood protection and natural systems. They used the latest scientific and geospatial data developed by federal and state agencies to make recommendations.

How were lands assessed?

The Environmentally Sensitive Lands Tool was used as a coarse review to identify portions of District lands that do not provide significant benefit to the District AORs. The SMEs then performed a detailed evaluation of the identified portions of District lands to better determine if they did not provide substantial water resource benefits and were not a conservation corridor.

Portions of land that were identified for potential surplus were further reviewed to determine if they could be surplused as is or surplused with a conservation easement or a restrictive deed.

How many acres of the District’s lands were assessed?

All of the land owned by the District, approximately 344,000 acres of land were assessed.

Are there any initial assessment results available at this time?

The initial results identified approximately 1,018 acres for potential surplus. The lands are identified here.

Who will decide which lands will be surplused?

The lands proposed for surplus will be reviewed at a public meeting on July 18, 2017 at the District’s Brooksville Headquarters. The proposed surplus lands, along with public comments from this webpage will be reviewed by the Environmental Advisory Committee at its meeting on July 11, 2017. All of the resulting information will be presented to the Governing Board on August 29, 2017 for consideration in its final determination.

Who will be eligible to purchase surplus lands?

Lands with an appraised value of $25,000 or less will first be offered for sale to adjoining owners. Other than that, there are no restrictions on who may purchase surplus lands.

How much will the lands be sold for?

Florida Statutes require that the lands be sold for, at a minimum, current appraised value.

How will the proceeds from the sale of surplus lands be used?

The use of proceeds from the sale of surplus lands will be used for the purchase of other lands, or interests in land.

How can the public stay informed about the surplus lands assessment?

The District has developed a webpage for the 2017 Surplus Lands Biennial Assessment to keep the public informed about the assessment. All upcoming meetings will be posted on the site.

Will the public have an opportunity to be involved in this process?

Anyone can submit comments to the District at