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Wetlands Question and Answer – Can I Rebuild My Home if it gets Destroyed?

Wetlands Question and Answer – Can I Rebuild My Home if it gets Destroyed?

Question: If you have a home, let's say on the river, and it's destroyed by a hurricane or some other natural occurrence and you have to rebuild, if your home was less than 75 feet from the wetlands, can you rebuild in same place?

Answer:  Here is the applicable section from the proposed ordinance. 

Sec. 32.007. – Allowable uses.
(a) The following uses shall be permitted in wetlands and other surface waters and buffers, provided they do not have an adverse impact on the wetland or other surface water.
(1) Construction, repair, replacement or maintenance of docks, piers, boardwalks, observation decks, and other elevated walkways, used for water dependent activities, provided such structure meets the design standards contained in section 32.010 of this chapter, and so long as all applicable state and federal permits have been obtained prior to commencement of such activities.
(2) The construction of private seawalls within an artificially created waterbody where such construction adjoins two existing seawalls not more than 150 feet apart.
(3) Parks and recreation uses consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter.
(4) Conservation and preservation areas and nature trails.
(5) Hunting, trapping, and fishing, environmental education, and scientific research where not otherwise prohibited by law, and consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter.
(6) Installation of boundary fences that do not alter the hydrology of the wetland or other surface water and which meet the design standards contained in section 32.010 of this chapter.
(7) Removal of exotic invasive plants in a manner consistent with the design standards set forth in section 32.010 of this chapter.
(8) Development activity for which the developer has received a valid development order from Wakulla County prior to the effective date of this chapter, so long as such development order has not expired or been revoked.
(9)The renewal, improvement or alteration of 50 percent or less of any structure, so long as such renewal, improvement, or alteration remains within the same footprint as the original structure.
(10)The repair or replacement of legally constructed structures damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster or fire, so long as such repair or replacement remains within the same footprint as the original structure.

On the surface, it appears that replacement would be allowed in the wetlands or in the buffer zones as long as the home remains in the same footprint as the original structure.

The only part that troubles me about this section is the first statement, provided they do not have an adverse impact on the wetland or other surface water”. 

I wish I was able to provide all the answers, in this case, I have more questions than answers:
1. 
Who will decide if the replacement home will cause an adverse impact?
2. Who would be willing to say that rebuilding in the wetlands or in the buffer zones will not cause an adverse impact?
3. 
If someone can build in the wetlands and buffer zone without causing an adverse impact, why would we need a wetlands ordinance that prohibited building in the wetlands and buffer zones?

See that word "provided", that's a conditional word that does not convey automatic approval.  I’m afraid, this section is ambiguous and leaves room for approval or disapproval, at some point in the future, depending upon who will make the final determination whether or not there will be an adverse impact on the wetland or other surface water.

The risk I have described above does not currently exist in Wakulla County.  We eliminated this risk when we repealed the Wakulla Wetlands Ordinance.  A yes vote on Referendum A will return this risk to Wakulla County Tax Payers.  If a Wakulla Wetlands Ordinance is adopted, it can only be changed by a unanimous vote of all County Commissions, after 2 years, or by another referendum of Wakulla County Voters.

A NO vote on Referendum A will eliminate this risk!

You now know the truth. Your friends and family deserve to know the truth also. Please share with everyone you know, by Facebook, email, and personal conversations. Also leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

 

 

2 Responses to “Wetlands Question and Answer – Can I Rebuild My Home if it gets Destroyed?”

  1. John Morris Isensee says:

    The odds of all the situational circumstances arriving at once are circumspect and in the eyes of the beholder.  If you currently have ANY home that impacts the environment, the State of Florida will demand that you remedy the situation whether there is a Wetloands amendment or not.

     

    Let's be honest.  The people supporting this amendment are usually involved in the real estate or construction business as they seek to continue to build around the rules and regulations.  Wakulla County is full of mismanaged building sites that have caused the citizens of the county to ante up to repair roads, septic systems, drainage problems and inadequate construction tecniques.

    The commisioners in favor of a NO vote on the amendment use the argument of property rights…..that you should be able to do whatever you want with your property.  That has never been true, and never will be true. If it were you would have oil refineries in the neighborhoods and fossil fuel burning plants as your next door neighbor.

    You, as a commissioner, continue to disregard the will of the people along with other commissioners who have run their election campaign on JOBS.  Those jobs have never come to fruition and it was obvious that the campaign rhetoric was to instill unreasonable hope and play to the voters.

    • ralph says:

      Mr. Isensee,

      Voters deserve to know the truth and should not disregard State Law, specifically in this case, the Bert Harris Act.  http://forwakulla.com/2014/09/16/quick-fact-is-the-financial-risk-to-wakulla-county-real/

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