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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Abatement of water pollution and shore erosion of inland lakes.
Section 125.563, Florida Statutes 2004

125.563  Abatement of water pollution and shore erosion of inland lakes.--

(1)(a)  It is declared to be the legislative intent to provide for a speedy and effective procedure whereby property owners of land abutting or constituting the bottom of the small inland lakes of this state shall be able to gain relief from water pollution and shore erosion through the ordinance-making powers of the boards of county commissioners.

(b)  "Small inland lakes," for the purpose of this section, shall be those inland freshwater lakes essentially at rest and essentially surrounded by land, having a water surface area at mean water level of 150 acres or less.

(2)  The following activities shall constitute a nuisance on evidence indicating that the shores of the small inland lakes are being eroded or that their waters are being polluted by:

(a)  Dumping of raw or treated sewage into the lake.

(b)  Introduction into the lake of chemicals which threaten, rather than enhance, the natural ecosystem of the lake.

(c)  Use of dynamite or other explosives in the water or in altering the shoreline.

(d)  Dumping of refuse into the water or dredging or filling operations in the lake.

(e)  Removal from, or addition to, the lake of sufficient quantities of water to substantially alter the water level.

(3)  Owners of more than 50 percent of the land abutting the lake or constituting the bottom of privately owned lakes may file a petition with the appropriate board of county commissioners (or boards when the lake lies in more than one county) alleging that any one of the nuisances enumerated in subsection (2) exists. The petition may be informally prepared, but each owner's signature shall be acknowledged by an officer authorized to administer oaths. When the state or any of its agencies is an abutting or bottom owner, the responsible state official may sign for the state or his or her agency.

(4)  On receipt of the petition, the chair of the board of county commissioners shall notify the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. Such agencies may submit recommendations to the board of county commissioners within 60 days of receipt of notice of the petition.

(5)  On receipt of the recommendations from the state agencies listed in subsection (4), or sooner if no such recommendations are to be submitted, the board of county commissioners may determine if any of the nuisances enumerated in subsection (2) exists. If such a positive determination is made, the board may enact an ordinance to abate such nuisance in such manner as is reasonable, unless there is a compelling public purpose to permit its continuance. Violation of such ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083

(6)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as restricting any general or local laws or ordinances of greater stringency or any municipal jurisdiction or powers over inland lakes, or portions thereof, within a municipality.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 73-147; s. 2, ch. 79-65; s. 15, ch. 94-356; s. 1435, ch. 95-147.