Once it has been determined that the state of Florida will be able to work with a landowner toward acquiring a parcel, DEP’s Division of State Lands’ Bureau of Real Estate Services becomes involved. This bureau is responsible for acquiring conservation property under the Florida Forever program. The Bureau of Real Estate Services has two sections that ensure the process is completed - the Negotiation section and the Closing section.
In the Negotiation Section, land acquisition agents negotiate full fee acquisitions, conservation easements and other less-than-fee transactions. This section also assists with the acquisition of projects for DEP’s Florida Coastal Office, Division of Recreation and Parks, as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Forest Service and non-conservation entities such as state universities.
The Negotiation Section organizes each acquisition, which requires the following:
Appraisal Map: completed through the Bureau of Survey and Mapping
Title Work: completed through task assignments from contractors
Appraisal Report: completed through the Bureau of Appraisal
Negotiate Offer and Contract Terms: based on appraised value of highest and best use of the property. Conservation easements and other less-than-fee transactions may take longer to negotiate agreeable terms
Board of Trustees' Approval: an approximate six-week process wherein the acquisition is presented to the Board of Trustees (Governor and Cabinet) for approval.
The Closing Section, within the Bureau of Real Estate Services, prepares acquisition real estate transactions for conveyance to state ownership. They are also responsible for processing donations of property that are conveyed to state ownership. The agents utilize contractors to perform some aspects of the closing process, such as title searches, title insurance and other various closing services. The statewide contracts for these services are managed within the Division's Bureau of Real Estate Services Closing Section for accuracy and compliance with Florida statutes and DEP’s policies and procedures. The closing component of the acquisition process includes the steps necessary to close the transaction and acquire title to the subject property.
Due Diligence: Through the use of private contractors, various title work, an environmental site assessment and a survey are obtained to aid in the identification of any issues that may impact the title, boundary, value, manageability and long-term ownership of the property.
Issue Resolution: Staff reviews the due diligence products to identify and evaluate any issues. The seller must resolve those issues prior to closing. Staff may assist in the resolution of issues.
Closing: This phase of the closing process consists of execution of all legal documents between the parties and the delivery of monies necessary to complete the transaction on the terms and conditions of the contract. Title is transferred to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida (Governor and Cabinet).
Donations of Land
While most acquisitions are purchases, the state may accept donations. These follow the same closing process as an acquisition, without the monetary exchange. If interested in making a donation, please contact us at 850-245-2555.
October 9, 2017 - 3:18pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.