(1) Not later than November 1, 1988, the St. Johns River Water Management District shall adopt rules establishing protection zones adjacent to the watercourses in the Wekiva River System, as designated in s. 369.303(10). Such protection zones shall be sufficiently wide to prevent harm to the Wekiva River System, including water quality, water quantity, hydrology, wetlands, and aquatic and wetland-dependent wildlife species, caused by any of the activities regulated under this part. Factors on which the widths of the protection zones shall be based shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) The biological significance of the wetlands and uplands adjacent to the designated watercourses in the Wekiva River System, including the nesting, feeding, breeding, and resting needs of aquatic species and wetland-dependent wildlife species.
(b) The sensitivity of these species to disturbance, including the short-term and long-term adaptability to disturbance of the more sensitive species, both migratory and resident.
(c) The susceptibility of these lands to erosion, including the slope, soils, runoff characteristics, and vegetative cover.
In addition, the rules may establish permitting thresholds, permitting exemptions, or general permits, if such thresholds, exemptions, or general permits do not allow significant adverse impacts to the Wekiva River System to occur individually or cumulatively.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 120.60, the St. Johns River Water Management District shall not issue any permit under this part within the Wekiva River Protection Area, as defined in s. 369.303(9), until the appropriate local government has provided written notification to the district that the proposed activity is consistent with the local comprehensive plan and is in compliance with any land development regulation in effect in the area where the development will take place. The district may, however, inform any property owner who makes a request for such information as to the location of the protection zone or zones on his or her property. However, if a development proposal is amended as the result of the review by the district, a permit may be issued prior to the development proposal being returned, if necessary, to the local government for additional review.
(3) Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of the water management districts created by this chapter to adopt similar protection zones for other watercourses.
(4) Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of the water management districts created by this chapter to decline to issue permits for development which have not been determined to be consistent with local comprehensive plans or in compliance with land development regulations in areas outside the Wekiva River Protection Area.
(5) Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of counties or municipalities to establish setbacks from any surface waters or watercourses.
(6) The provisions of s. 373.617 are applicable to final actions of the St. Johns River Water Management District with respect to a permit or permits issued pursuant to this section.