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Wetlands Question and Answer – I Don’t Own Any Wetlands

Wetlands Question and Answer – I Don’t Own Any Wetlands

I received the following question from a citizen seeking clarification of the proposed Wetlands Ordinance.  I welcome the opportunity to share the truth!

Question:  I don’t own any wetlands.  This issue doesn’t affect me personally.  Why should I vote NO?

Answer:  This is a question that I hear quite often.  Consider this.  If Referendum A passes every property owner and tax payer in Wakulla County will potentially by affected in at least two ways.

1.  By potential lawsuits.  Wakulla County tax payers have already paid legal fees and settlement costs for law suits related to our first wetlands ordinance.  I covered this in a previous post that you can see by clicking here.   

The Bert Harris Act, in Florida Statutes, states,
“When a specific action of a governmental entity has inordinately burdened an existing use of real property or a vested right to a specific use of real property, the property owner of that real property is entitled to relief, which may include compensation for the actual loss to the fair market value of the real property caused by the action of government, as provided in this section.”  

I covered the Bert Harris Act in detail in a previous post.  You can see it by clicking here. 

2.  By  devaluation of land value.  If Referendum A passes, the proposed buffer zones will decrease the buildable area of lots that contain wetlands.  It will also   decrease the buildable area of many lots that do not contain wetlands.  For example, if you have no wetlands on your property but your neighbor has                     wetlands on his property, the 75 feet wetlands buffer may very well extend onto your property making that portion of your property unbuidable.  When we make land unbuildable or unusable, we decrease the market value of that land.  If we decrease the market value, we also decrease the County Taxable Value.  If we decrease the Taxable Value, the County will receive less tax revenue.  If the County receives less tax revenue a decision has to be be made to cut government services or increase taxes to maintain the current government services.  Both of these options will affect all Wakulla County Citizens.

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  We eliminated this risk when we repealed the Wakulla Wetlands Ordinance.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.

3 Responses to “Wetlands Question and Answer – I Don’t Own Any Wetlands”

  1. Marc Lipsius says:

    You are using this Facebook page to advance your own personal agenda, which is fine. But it is not the opinion of the entire Board of County Commissioners nor of any other official Wakulla County government organization. You should not be trying to impress or influence anyone with your official-looking Wakulla County picture on here as it misrepresents you and the County, it is unethical and may even be illegal. I will be finding that out and others may want to look into that as well. You can have your own Facebook page and your own opinion page in the Wakulla Life magazine, just post your own photo without the Wakulla County logo and county seal behind you.

    • Marc Lipsius says:

      My comment is awaiting moderation, ie, censorship.

    • ralph says:

      Mr. Lipsius,

      Thank you very much for reading my blog. Let me start by agreeing with you. You caught me. I am in fact using Facebook and my personal blog to advance my personal agenda. For the benefit of other readers who may not have figured out what you figured out, I will come clean and reveal my entire personal agenda. It is…

      Spreading the Truth!

      When good people know the truth, they make the best decisions! In case you haven’t noticed, everything I say is sourced, referenced, and backed up by facts. Funny thing, the folks who typically do not like my posts have a tendency to ignore the facts and resort to attacks. Fortunately for me, given my commitment to stick with the facts, my posts are able to withstand the attacks.

      To the best of my memory, I believe this is my first dialogue with you. For that reason, I will overlook your accusations about unethical and illegal behavior and I will dismiss them as a momentary lapse of good judgement.

      I make myself available to discuss this, or any issue with you. You can reach me by phone at 597-3858, or I am willing to meet with you for a glass of sweet tea and a constructive conversation between gentlemen.

      Respectfully,

      Ralph Thomas

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