In 2016 our group got involved when the DEP built a new dock on a state-owned parcel purchased in 1978 with Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Funds. EEL funds are designed to protect and preserve land, not turn it into a private, commercial enterprise. Dock permit applications tell the story. The State pulled the wool over the permitting agency’s eyes when they stated they were “re-framing and re-decking an existing dock”.
By law, an EXISTING south dock would have to have been in use within a year of the application in order to receive an ERP exemption. The fact is, in 2004 Hurricane Charley completely destroyed the tiny dock that was at the site, so there was NO EXISTING DOCK for more than 11 years!
The State’s misrepresentation during the dock permitting process earned them an exemption from having to obtain an Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) required by law for all new dock construction. The ERP would have ensured that all stakeholders, including adjacent property owners, would be notified and given a chance to offer input on this change of use to commercial.
This site is adjacent to the Faulkner Calusa Indian Mounds which would have triggered even further involvement from agencies who protect these resources. Had the state been truthful, it’s possible none of this would have ever happened.