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1 1) CALL TO ORDER NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING HIGHLANDS COUNTY ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OCTOBER 13, 2015, AT 3:00 P.M. OR AS SOON THEREAFTER AS POSSIBLE IN THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS BOARD ROOM HIGHLANDS COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER BUILDING 600 SOUTH COMMERCE AVE., SEBRING, FLORIDA. 2) ANNOUNCEMENT OF DIBLE BEEPERS AND CELLULAR PHONES 3) ROLL CALL 4) CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES FROM PREVIOUS MEETING 5) OLD BUSINESS: A. HEARING #1770 APPEAL OF ZONING SUPERVISOR S APPROVAL OF TEMPORARY USE PERMIT NO C/O DONALD SKIPPER An approximate 1,125 acre parcel located along the Highlands County and Hardee County line located on Marguerite Road, approximately 1 mile south of West Josephine Road and approximately 5 miles west of Payne Road, the address being 1200 Marguerite Road (also known as: 1028 Sugarberry Trail), Lake Placid, Florida; and abbreviated legal as follows: An approximate 1,125 acre parcel located in Section 7, Township 36 South, Range 28 East, Highlands County, Florida. The applicant is requesting an appeal of the Zoning Supervisor s approval of the Swamp Hammock Temporary Use Permit. 6) NEW BUSINESS: A. HEARING #1778 PL E. & SANDRA KAY HINMAN An approximate 0.25 acre parcel located approximately 0.52 of a mile east of County Road 635 and 0.10 of a mile south of Hammock Road on the west side of Lockman Blvd.; the address being 3207 Lockman Blvd., Sebring, Florida; and legally described as follows: Lot 244, WEST SEBRING EST, Section B, according to the plat thereof as recorded in Plat Book 7, Page 43, of the Public Records of Highlands County, Florida. The applicant is requesting a variance to allow a 24.4 and a 24.9 foot front yard setback instead of the required 25 feet for an existing dwelling. B. HEARING #1779 ANDREW & JULIE FLORIO - C/O ELIZABETH SOTILLE An approximate 0.25 acre parcel located 0.45 of a mile west of US 27 and 0.12 of a mile south of Sebring Lakes Blvd. on the south side of Riverway Drive; the address being 5333 Riverway Dr., Sebring, Florida; and legally described as follows: Lots 41 and 42,

2 Block 2, SEBRING LAKES REPLAT, according to the plat thereof as recorded in Plat Book 8, Page 45 of the Public Records of Highlands County, Florida. The applicant is requesting a variance to allow a 7.1 foot side yard setback instead of the required 7.5 feet for an existing dwelling and a 4.0 rear yard setback instead of the required 7.5 feet for an existing pool enclosure. C. HEARING # 1780 EDMUNDO G. RUBIN de CELIS & SILVINA A. CORREA An approximate acre parcel located approximately 0.34 of a mile east of US 27 on the south side of Ben Hill Griffin Road; the address being 55 Ben Hill Griffin Road, Venus, Florida; and abbreviated legal as follows: A portion of Section 4, Township 39 South, Range 30 East, Highlands County, Florida. The applicant is requesting a special exception to allow a maximum of 30 hogs, including offspring, instead of the required maximum of 3 hogs. D. HEARING #1781 NORMAN & TONYA GIFFORD LEE An approximate 0.31 acre parcel located approximately 0.06 of a mile east of US 27 on the east side of Hickory Lane; the address being 108 Hickory Lane, Lake Placid, Florida; and abbreviated legal as follows: A portion of Section 17, Township 37 South, Range 30 East, Highlands County, Florida. The applicant is requesting a variance to allow a 21.4 and a 24.7 foot front yard setback instead of the instead of the required 25 feet for an existing single family dwelling. E. HEARING #1782 THOBURN, CALLAWAY, MEDINA & MEMOLI C/O MILTON A CALLAWAY, JR. An approximate 0.60 acre parcel located approximately 0.82 of a mile northeast of US 27 on the north side of Lake Clay Drive; the address being 1521 Lake Clay Dr., Lake Placid, Florida; and legally described as follows: Lots 7 and 8, Block 9, Vacation Estates, according to the plat thereof as recorded in Plat Book 5, Page 11, of the Public Records of Highlands County, Florida. The applicant is requesting a variance to allow a 2.0 and a 4.9 foot side yard setback instead of the instead of the required 7.5 feet for an existing single family dwelling. 7) BOARD MEMBERS 8) DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT 9) CITIZENS NOT ON THE AGENDA 10) ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING G:\BOARD\ZON\.New ZON (To be retained)\all LINDA'S FILES ON F DRIVE\.New ZON (To be retained)\agendas & Minutes\BOA AGENDAS\2015 Agendas\OCTOBER 2015.doc, Last updated on 9/18/ :07 AM




6 Highlands County, Florida Appeal Application ~ SECTION I. THIS SECTION FOR STAFF USE ONLY! Date Received lo TAXMAP# 0\0-C.. CASEBOA#-_l_':J(DHEARINGDATE:_(jJI q\ V6 SECTION 11. PLEASE PRINT OR WRITE CLEARLY ALL APPUCABLE INFORMATION. This application and all required supplemental information must be properly completed according to the instructions. All information and exhibits submitted in connection with this application will become a permanent part of the public records of Highlands County. Please submit the application to the Zoning Department to be checked for completeness by staff before the applicable deadline. The Department accepts no responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of the application and will not advertise the application for public bearing until all required information is deemed to be accurate and complete. It is recommended that the applicant. agent, or representatives be present at the public bearing. The followidg Appeal is requested punuant to Section of the Code of Ordinances, Highlands County, Florida before the Board of Acljutment (Use separate sheet If necessary): Review ofternporary Use Permit No ITUP). pursuant to (A). Administrative Review and seeking to have the permit invalidated. rescinded or otherwise wjtbdrawn because it allows activities that are. amoog other things. inconsistent wjtb the land use designatjgo "Agriculhue in the Highlands County Comprehensive Land Plan ~n ~for completeness and dete$t;'~~t: Signed: Zoning Supervisor I. Name of Applicant: ~~- LJC\G'L1 Print Name: ~.A.IA L 2:J 1_1_.L. ct- -1'\. Mailing Address:K'/7;; Yv /(JAJ(:;, 0!. Telephone No. <8b3> 3~-!- I 7 f J 2. Legal Description and Strap of Property Covered by Application: (If subdivided: lot, block. complete name of subdivision, plat book, page number, section, township, and range. If metes and bounds description: complete description, including section, township, and range.) See attached t-"1jitt'(j.i::( A I Date STRAP#: C-Ql_- 3 ~ -l_f- ~j_ 0 -fl. 0 1._ 0 -.fl_.a_a_a._ 3. Street Address of Property Covered by AppUcation: 1200 Marguerite Rd.. Lake Placid. FL 4. Name of project, subdivision, or overall project, if part of a larger project, if appucable: Swamp Hammock SECTION Ill; BURDEN OF froof S. Explain why this request for an appeal from the order, requirements, decision, or determination made by the enforcing official should be approved. (Use separate sheet if necessary) The parties appealing the issuance of the TUP are aggrieved persons affected by the decision of the enforcing official. (LOR (A). They are abutting landowners, area residents and landowners who will be substantially affected by the development allowed..... ts.) ~~~~tl~.~!.~jtt!~~z: ~;~ C:\anypdt\data\in\ l.doc I

7 SECTION IV: MAP AND UST OF PROPERTY OWNERS 6. Map Properties Directly Coatiguous for appeal: A drawing, sketch or plat in duplicate. showing each parcel of land directly contiguous to the premises involved in the application. 7. List of Property Ownen: List of all current property owners directly contiguous to the premises involved in the application. including name, mailing address and legal description of their properties. (Attach separate sheet to this application.) If the applicant is different from the property O\\:'tlef of the premises involved in the application, the property owner shall be included in this list. which paper you want the Public Notice advertised in. ~3 NewsSun 2 C:\auypdf.data\in \ l.doc

8 Additional Material Highlands County Appeal Application Swamp Hammock TUP No Section III: Burden of Proof The zoning supervisor did not have authority to the Temporary Use Permit No for the Swamp Hammock commercial mud bog (TUP) for the following reasons. 1) The activities are inconsistent Highlands County Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Element ("Comp Pian'), and therefore Florida Statute and case law. See attachment A, legal Memorandum from Appealing Parties with exhibits. 2) The TUP was issued for an infinite duration, rather than for only one year, as required under the Land Development Regulations. See attached LDR Section and page 8 of TUP The four months period of operation can begin at any time in the future, which makes the TUP effective for longer than one year. See attachment B, LDR Section and page 8 oftup ) The Swamp Hammock activities will not be in harmony with the area, will injure the value of adjoining or abutting property owners and will materially endanger public health or safety. See the following attachments. Attachment C, LDR Section (D) Attachment D realtor opinion Attachment E letters from area residents Attachment F opinion regarding negative impacts on area ranching Attachment G summary of events similar to Swamp Hammock Attachment H articles that illustrate that the proposed development will not be in harmony with the area in which it is to be located. 4) Health and safety were recognized as issues at the BOCC hearing. As one illustration of the obvious problems, including ingress and egress on the twlane country road, adjacent and abutting property owners were to be protected from encroachment of activities by Braha. Swamp Hammock property is long (3 miles) and thin (1/2) miles. At no time will any rider be more than 1A mile from wandering on neighboring properties that are surrounded by barbed wire. Braha was to provide insurance or indemnity for neighboring property owners, but has not. A draft "Indemnity Agreement'' was prepared by Attorney Karlson, but not included in the TUP. See attachment I draft Indemnity Agreement. Further support for the above and other reasons will be presented at hearing.

9 MEMORANDUM To: From: Subject: Date: Highlands County Board of Adjustments Rick logier, Chairman Appealing Parties, Attorney Paula J. House Temporary use Permit No Appeal March 13, 2015 After two public hearings to consider the Braha Sebring (Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreation Club) application to rezone a remote section of Highlands County in the agriculture district for a commercial, off-road, big-tire truck mud bog and motor sports development, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) denied the request. A copy of the minutes showing the March 26,2013, denial of the rezone at Book 22, Page 463 is attached as Exhibit 1. Shortly after the rezoning was denied to Braha Sebring, LLC and others, the Highlands County Planning Department began to work with Braha on an application for a temporary use permit for the same activities that were requested in the rezoning application. On February 20, 2015, the Highlands County Zoning Supervisor approved a Temporary Use Permit No (TUP) that allows substantially all of the activities in the rezoning application by Braha that was previously denied by the HCBOCC. Appealing Parties contend that the Zoning Supervisor did not have authority to issue the TUP, because it is inconsistent with the Comp Plan, evades local and state mandated limitations on development and disregards planning restrictions of Highlands County. No temporary use permit can be issued for uses that are inconsistent with the Future Land Use Element classification of the property found in the 1

10 comprehensive plan. Florida Statute, Section (6) and Section 163, 3194(3) (a). Comp Plan FLUE Policy 1.3(4) of the Comp Plan is applicable and specifically states as follows: "A property's development potential and development order approvals shall be consistent with the Future Land Use Element as a whole and with other applicable goals, policies, and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan." See also, Dixon v. The City of jacksonville, 774 So.2d 763, 764 (Fla.App. 1 Dist. 2000) (It is well established that a development order shall be consistent with the governmental body's objectives, policies, land uses, etc., as provided in its comprehensive plan.) Appealing Parties contend and legal authority supports that the term "recreation" as it appears in the agriculture land use category in the Comp Plan ("Ag Category'') does not include commercial, off-road motor sports and related activities of the type intended by Braha and approved in the TUP. The zoning supervisor did not, therefore, have authority to issue the TUP. When considering whether a particular land use will be allowed under a comprehensive plan, the court will look to the definitions provided in the plan, and to the "plain and ordinary" meaning of the words. See, e.g., Saadeh v. City of jacksonville, 969 So.2d 1079 (1084) (Fla.App.1Dist. 2007) In Saadeh, the court determined that the word "park" did not include buildings owned by a private organization for social, educational or recreational purposes. The court said that the Applicant's interpretation of the term "park" was "so broad as to render the referenced term "parks" meaningless." /d. See, also, Dixon v. The City of jacksonville, 2

11 774 So.2d 763, 766 (Fla.App. 1 Oist 2000) (The City's 2010 Comprehensive Plan was not ambiguous, thereby making it susceptible to different interpretations, and "hotel" even though it was used in prefatory language in the land use subcategory, was not allowed in ResidentialfProfessionalflnstitutional zone.) In our case, the type of "recreation" that will be allowed in the agriculture district lands is expressly defined in the Ag Category and does not include anything close to a commercial off-road motor sports facility, mud bogs, big-tire truck rallies, outdoor concerts and other activities contemplated by Braha and allowed by the TUP. There are two references to "recreation" in the Ag Category, FLUE Policy 1.2(0)(1). The first reference appears in prefatory language and states that the Ag Category "encompasses those activities generally associated with rural settlements" and includes "recreation." A second reference is made to "public recreational facilities" meant to "serve the rural population." Comp Plan, FLUE Policy 1.2(0)(1)(d). There are no other references to recreation in the Ag Category. These two references, when read together with other sections of the Comp Plan, make clear that commercial, motor vehicle sports events to draw large crowds for profit are not included as an allowable use in the Ag Category. Elsewhere in the Comp Plan, these activities are allowed, expressly and by implication, in the Commercial District of the Comp Plan. A copy ofcomp Plan Sections 1.2(0)(1) (Agriculture) and a copy of 0(1)(7) (Commercial) are attached as Exhibit 2. The primary intended activity at Swamp Hammock is commercial off-road motor sports and mud bogging events and some will be exempt from the Highlands 3

12 County noise ordinance limitation. These events are intended to draw large crowds, as many as 20,000 people at other events in Florida, which is a far greater scale and intensity of activity than any referenced in the Ag Category. It will bring increased traffic, noise, lack of security and personal safety, numbers of people, and it will change the historic character of the community. Swamp Hammock is not the type and intensity of activity that is "generally associated with rural settlements" or intended "to serve the rural population," -the only kinds of recreation allowed in the Ag Category. Swamp Hammock activities are designed to make a profit by drawing large crowds of people from far and wide, creating noise nuisance and congestion on a rural road, that until very recently, was partially merely gravel. The Comp Plan identifies what land uses are permitted within the Agricultural district. The allowed "as of right" uses include residences subject to density restriction, places of worship, emergency support services, public schools, public recreational facilities, community center, public libraries, museums, and galleries. Comp Plan FLUE Policy 1.3(D)(1)(d) (2011). Other uses that can be granted through application approval are cemeteries, agro-industrial research and education facilities, telecommunications facilities, temporary plants, solar power generation facilities, and wastewater treatment plants. Comp Plan FLUE Policy 1.3(D)(1)(d)(2011). None of the primary or secondary uses reasonably imply that a commercial off-road motor vehicle sports development is contemplated or allowed by the Ag Category. Florida case law is clear regarding how to determine if a land use is or is not consistent with a Comp Plan. If the proposed use is not included expressly or by 4

13 implication in a list of land uses allowed in the Comp Plan category, then ordinances or land development code regulations cannot be used to permit additional uses. See Saadeh v. City of jacksonville, 979 So. 2d 1079, 1084 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007) (The word "park" was defined too broadly by the applicant and did not include buildings owned by a private organization for social, education or recreational purposes); Dixon v. City of jacksonville, 774 So.2d 763, 766 (Fla. 2000) (A hotel was not allowed in residential/professional/institutional zoning. even though the word was used in the prefatory language in the land use subcategory); Pinecrest Lakes, Inc. v. Shidel, 795 So.2d 191, 198 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001 ); Alachua County v. Eagle's Nest Farms, Inc., 473 So.2d 257, (Fla.App. 1st Dist. 1985). When considering whether a particular land use will be allowed under the comprehensive plan, the question is what language will allow the use. No language in the Comp Plan allows the primary uses granted in the TUP in the Ag Category. Other references in the Comp Plan support that agriculture lands are not appropriate for commercial off-road motor sports, mud bogs, big-tire truck rallies or outdoor concerts as allowed in the TUP. In the Definitions and Acronyms section of the comprehensive plan, no definition of "recreation" includes anything remotely close to the high intensity, off road, commercial motorized vehicle mud sports and events allowed in the TUP. A copy of the Comp Plan Definitions and Acronyms p. 18 is attached as Exhibit 3. ) What Braha has requested is non-ag related, commercial, destructive to the existing community, destructive to the environment, a public safety hazard and not in harmony with any other allowable uses in the Ag Category. 5

14 Other land use categories would allow such a use, either expressly or by implication. The "Commercial" land use category (FLUE Policy 1.2(0)(7) includes sports complex, archery and gun club, golf driving ranges, horse racing track, etc., which are akin to the activities sought by Braha for Swamp Hammock. The Industrial-2 zoning in the Land Development Regulations expressly allows motor sports racetracks as a special exception, LOR (E). These references support that commercial off-road motor sports are not "generally associated" with rural settlements, nor intended to serve the rural populations and therefore would not be allowed in agricultural lands. The issuance of a temporary use permit for an off-road motor park at Swamp Hammock is a development order not consistent with Comp Plan FLUE Policy 1.2(0)(1) and should not have been issued. 6

15 To: Highlands County Board of Adjustments Rick lngler, Chairman From: Subject: Date: Donald Skipper, An Appealing Party Temporary use Permit No. 15-Q2 Appeal March 19, 2015 After reading the list of members on the Board of Adjustments I have several concerns. 1. Mr. Lew Carter works at Polston Engineering, who did engineering work on the Swamp Hammock proposal. With this in mind he would have an obvious conflict of interest if allowed to sit on this board. Strongly recommend recusing Mr. Carter from this board. 2. Mr. Dave Travers has been a friend of the Skipper family since high school. He went to the University of West Florida with my brother lee Skipper and his wife, Becky, was a roommate with my brother's wife, Barbara. While I don't question Mr. Travers character, I do feel that there may be at least the appearance of impropriety to anyone who knows of our history together. I recommend recusing Mr. Travers from this board also. 3. If either or both of the above recommendations are granted then I would recommend that you try to get a replacement with an agriculture background. Any consideration given to this request will be appreciated and accepted. Very respectfully, (_(l_tl 'IJ 44tH Donald W. Skipper

16 BOOK 22 PAGE 460 REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD, MARCH 26, The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. in the Board of County Commission Chambers a' 600 S. Commerce Ave., Sebring, Florida, with the following members present: Commissioner Jack L Riehle Commissioner Ron Handley Commissioner James L. Brooks Commissioner R. Greg Hams Commissioner Don Elwell Also present: June Fisher, County Administrator; J. Ross Ma~th. Board Attorney; Robert W. Germaine, Clerk of Courts; and Pamela Nava, Deputy Clerk. 2. INVOCATION The meeting opened with a prayer by Commissioner Brooks. 3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Harris. 4. ANNOUNCEMENTS ~ ~ Mar26 9:3()~!!gh~_~fl!l~~- ~2300_~~~~ng.FL ----~ Mar 26 3:00 pm Highlands County Soil Conservation District. Rm. #3, Bert J. Harris, Jr. Agricultural Center, _I ~ ~ J Sebrillg, fl. A. Other meetings: The Highlands County Tourist Development Council will meet on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 8:15 a.m. in room #3 of the Bert J. Harris, Jr. Agricultural Center at 4509 George Boulevard in Sebring. 5. CLERK OF COURTS: No report. 6. CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS -ANNOUNCEMENTS: No announcements. Chairman Richie recognized Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper who was in the audience today. 7. RECOGNITIONS, PRESENTATIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS: None presented. 8. CONSENT AGENDA (1 ): Commissioner Brooks made a motion and Commissioner Handley seconded the motion, to move to approve the consent agenda as presented. Upon roll call, all Commissioners voted aye. The motion canied REG

17 BOOK 22 PAGE 461 A. Request approval to pay all duly authorized bills and employee benefibs March 26, See Check Report 2013 file. GENERAL FUtiD COUNTY TRANSPORT TRUST CONSERVATION TRUST FUND LOCAL GOVT INFRA SURTAX AFFORDABLE HOUSING ASST COURT TECH (12) (E) 1 SOLID WASTE ENERGY RECOVERY INSURANCE FUND 186, , , , , , B. Request approval of House of Representatives and Senate versions of a letter in support of legislation that would require the Florida Deparbnent of Transportation to adopt rules governing use of the deparbnent's unused capacity in the communication networks for non-transportation purpose, In accordance with U.S.C. Title 23, Section 1.23 (c) and the most recent policy guidelines released by the FHA. See SMB 96 Page 88. C. Request from the Sheriff's Office to expend funds from the State Forfeiture Funds. See SMB 96 Page 89. D. Request approval of Budget Amendment for an emergency Air Conditioning Unit for the County Jail from Reserve for Contingency. See Budget Amendment 2013 file & SMB 96 Page CONSENT AGENDA (2): A. Request approval to pay all bills with voting conflicts. There being no further bills with potential voting conflicts, this item was not motioned for approval. See SillS 96 Page PUBLIC HEARING: Public Hearing to consider a zoning change, P&Z Hearing No. 2002, for Braha Sebring (Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreation Club). Chairman Richie announced that this was a quasi-judicial hearing. Bob Germaine, Clerk of Courts, swore in every person wishing to speak during the hearing. Commissioner Richie addressed the order of how the public hearing was going to take place and the order of public comments. Linda Conrad, Zoning Supervisor, read the caption of the Resolution into the record and stated that a Proof of Publication was provided to the Clerk to become part of the pennanent record. Ms. Conrad questioned if the Commissioners held ex-parte communications with the applicant or the surrounding property owners. All Commissioners stated yes and described for the record the nature and substance of their communications. Written communications were submitted to the Clerk to become part of the permanent record. Kandi Harper, Planner II, read the staff report and the recommended action into the record with conditions. Susan BuChans, Planning Supervisor, and Ms. Conrad also read conditions into the record REG

18 BOOK 22 PAGE 463 The Commission addressed their concerns in great detail. Mr. Macbeth pointed out that the proposed Resolution and the site plan were not motioned for and that the motion, as it stood, would not accomplish adopting the Resolution or the site plan. Commissioner Harris amended his motion to move to approve and adopt by P&Z Hearing No. 2002, and amend the Official Zoning Atlas for approximately 1,135 acres from (Agricultural District) to /PO (AgriculturaVPianned Development District) with a proposed site development plan with conditions and referencing the mandatory findings of fact and becoming effective as provided by law; adopting the Resolution which will include the conditions governing the development of the property as follows: as was read earlier into the record. The motion died for lack of a second. Commissioner Handley made a motion to move that we deny the rezoning and we vote to pass a special events ordinance, so that we can move forward with this project - a temporary use permit. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Ms. Conrad stated that a temporary use permit is at the discretion of the Zoning Supervisor, but there would be conditions in place. Mr. Macbeth stated that an ordinance would have to be approved to allow for special use permits and if the Board wished to do this by a special use permit, he would bring this issue back before the Board. Upon roll call, all Commissioners voted aye, except Commissioner Harris, who voted nay. The motion carried. Chairman Richie gave direction to staff to continue working on this issue immediately. See Comprehensive Plan Amendment file for copy of all documentation provided as well as written communications provided by the Commissioners. 10. ACTION: Commissioner Elwell made a motion and Commissioner Harris seconded the motion, to move to set the action agenda. Upon roll call, all Commissioners voted aye. The motion carried. A. Board Attorney: No report. B. County Administrator: No report. 11. CmZENS NOT ON THE AGENDA No participants REG

19 BOOK 22 PAGE COMMISSIONERS: > Commissioner Elwell: Commissioner Elwell extended his appreciation for everyone's patience. > Commissioner Brooks: Commissioner Brooks extended his appreciation to staff, the County Attorney, and the rezoning applicants and stated that this issue needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. > Commissioner Handley: No report. > Commissioner Harris: No report. > Commissioner Riehle: No report. 13. ADJOURN The meeting was adjourned at 10:01 p.m REG

20 HIGHLANDS COUNTY 2030 Canprehensive Plan AdqJted Septanba" 7, 2010 Ranedial AmendrnentsAdqJted June21, 2011 Effective Date Al , 2011

21 . ' Adopted Pelley 1.3: Land UeCal:ep-i~ Denati~ and I ntfnlitias Effective Date: August 23, 2011 A. Official Future Land Use Map Established: I. Land Use Categories shall be depicted on the Future Land Use Map series for all properties in the unincorporated area of Highlands County. This map series shall be part of the Future Land Use Element. Each land use map, of the map series, shall be consistent with the scale of the Zoning Atlas and at other scales as appropriate in order to facilitate cross referencing and identifying inconsistencies. Collectively, the land use maps shall constitute the official Future Land Use Map. 2. Each Future Land Use category shall be identified on each map by the designations established within this Comprehensive Plan. 3. Where specified by DCA's Notice of Intent, selected vested subdivisions shall be noted in outline as an overlay category with Agriculture as the base land use category. A single comprehensive land use map index, illustrating the Future Land Use categories in appropriate colors, shall be provided at I" = 1 mile in scale and at other scales as appropriate. 4. A property's development potential and development order approvals shall be consistent with the Future Land Use Element as a whole and with other applicable goals, policies, and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan. 5. Urban land use designations are those land uses allowing for high density and intensity of development ( 4 dulac or higher), not including the Agriculture land use, Conservation Management land use or Low Density residential land use. B. As a means to allow aquifer recharge, the following maximum site coverage standards for impervious surfaces have been applied to the Land Use Categories described in Paragraph "D" below. C. Nonresidential Land Use Categories: The intensity of nonresidential development shall recognize natural environmental constraints, traffic and access, the character of surrounding development, and the necessity of potable water and central wastewater installations as a prerequisite to development. The intensity to which a property may be developed for the nonresidential land uses described in Paragraph "D" below shall be governed by the indicated site coverage standards and floor area ratios (FAR). The County shall amend its Land Development Regulations to incorporate these standards and ratios. Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 13

22 . ' Adopted Effective Date: August 23, 2011 which are or may be potentially harmful or injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life, or property, or unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property. [S:>urre: Fllle9J-5, FACJ POTABLE WATER FAOLIT/ES- Means a system of structures designed to collect, treat, or distribute potable water, and includes water wells, treatment plants, reservoirs and distribution mains. [Sxlrce: Fllle9J-5, FACJ PUBLIC FAOLITJES- Means transportation systems or facilities, sewer systems or facilities, solid waste systems or facilities, drainage systems or facilities, potable water systems or facilities, educational systems or facilities, parks and recreation systems or facilities, and public health systems or facilities. [Sxlrce: Fllle9J-5, FACJ PUBLIC POTABLE WATER WELL - Means any well serving 15 or more residential households or serving a commercial or industrial property, as defined by Chapter , FAC. PUBLIC RECREATION STES- Means sites owned or leased on a long-term basis by a federal, State, regional, or local government agency for purposes of recreational use. [ S:Jurce: Fllle 9J-5, FACJ PUBLIC SERVICES - Means any administrative, entitlement, protective, maintenance, or utility provided by Highlands County to the general public. [ S:Jurce: Fllle 9J-5, FAG] RECREATION F ACI Ll TY- Means a component of a recreation site used by the public such as a trail, court, athletic field, or swimming pool. [ S:Jurce: Fllle9J-5, FACJ RECREATION, ACT/ VE - Means leisure-time activities, usually of a formal nature and often performed with other people, requiring equipment and taking place at prescribed places, sites, or fields. Such activities include swimming, tennis, and other court games, baseball and other field sports such as football and soccer, track, and playground activities. RECREATION, PASSVE- Means activities that involve relatively inactive or less energetic activities, such as walking, sitting, picnicking, card games, chess, checkers, and similar table games, and nature walks and observation. RECREATIONAL USES- Means activities within areas where recreation occurs. [ S:Jurce: Fllle9J-5, FACJ Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Definitions and Acronyms Page 18

23 Adopted Effective Date: August 23, 2011 dwelling unit per five acres (less than 5 acres in size) pursuant to either clustering or transfer of development rights are subject to the following provisions: 1. Individual lots shall have a minimum lot size of one acre, when resource protection pursuant to NRE Objective 3 is not involved. (Protected resources cannot be used as part of this minimum lot size computation); n. Must achieve the purposes of FLUE Policy 3.3 and/or protect agriculture lands that are being used for farming or achieve the purposes of the land protection objectives of Natural Resource Element Objectives 3 and 4; iii. IV. Must conform to all other requirements of the adopted Land Development Regulations (including platting requirements), Land Development Regulations, and Comprehensive Plan, as applicable to other agriculture properties; Have direct access to a publicly maintained road; v. Have at least one-half (1/2) acre of land which will be sufficient to accommodate the proposed development, in accordance with wetland and other land protection polices contained in Natural Resource Element Objectives 3 and 4. (Protected resources cannot be used as part of this minimum lot size computation); v1. Must file a legal instrument that acknowledges the receipt and understanding of the provisions of F.S , the Florida Right to Farm Act; vn. Must provide a minimum fifty foot buffer and building setback from any property line between an adjacent agriculture use Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 15

24 .' Adopted Effective Date: August 23, 2011 and any non-agriculture use proposed on the property. This buffer shall be provided by the non-agriculture development; vm. ix. The undeveloped portion of such tracts that is the sending parcel, and is used to transfer development density to the receiving parcel, pursuant to the transfer provisions and requirements of the transfer of development rights ordinance, must be reserved in either an agriculture, open space or conservation easement. The use of the agriculture, recreation and open space, or conservation easement for other purposes shall require an equivalent transfer of density from another parcel and the recordation of an equivalent easement that meets identical purposes of FLUE Policy 3.3, including protection of agriculture lands that are being used for farming or achieve the purposes of the land protection objectives of Natural Resource Element Objectives 3 and 4; and, The sending parcel's density must be equal or less than the receiving parcel's density 3) Subdivision development for lots greater than 5 acres shall not be required to follow the clustering or transfer of development rights provisions stated above but shall be required to conform to the platting requirements of the adopted Land Development Regulations, and Comprehensive Plan, as applicable to other agriculture properties. 4) New subdivisions in the Agriculture land use category which create more than 20 lots are required to cluster. Such lots should have frontage on a publicly maintained road, and be reasonably accessible to other urban services. c. Wetland and Flood Plain Density: A density of 0.10 units/acre (1 dwelling for every 10 acres) shall be assigned to any delineated jurisdictional wetland and flood plain area, within the Agriculture land use category which is depicted on the Future Land Use Map series. Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 16

25 .. Adopted Effective Date: August 23, 2011 Any legally created property that is only partially impacted by wetlands or flood plains is exempt from this provisions, as long as development can be achieved on the property maintaining the required setbacks from lot lines and wetland resources and has a minimum of 1 acre of contiguous area for that development that is not impacted by the delineated jurisdictional wetland or flood plain area. d. Additional Allowable Uses: Places of worship; emergency support services. Public schools (Elementary & Middle) consistent with Policy of the Public School Facilities Element; to serve the rural population to the greatest extent possible collocated with the following public facilities to the extent possible: public recreational facilities; community centers; public library; museum; and gallery. e. Additional Uses which may be granted upon approval of an application Subject to Specific Criteria set forth in the Land Development Regulations: Other non-resource based uses such as cemeteries; agro-industrial research and education facilities (i.e. typically co-located with the agricultural or resource uses); telecommunication facilities; and self-contained temporary plants such as asphalt plants or pipe yards intended to serve a specific project for a limited period of time; solar based power generation facilities; and wastewater treatment plants, provided they meet the following: Power plants shall be allowed subject to the criteria below and consistent with the Florida Administrative Code 9J-5.006(3)(c)3, the Power Plant Siting Act, Transmission Line Siting Act, Highlands County Comprehensive Plan, and the Highlands County Land Development Regulations. Criteria for granting such approval of additional uses shall be based upon site specific evaluation of soil suitability, stormwater treatment, traffic, land use compatibility with surrounding properties, water supply including aquifer recharge, utility availability including water, wastewater and solid waste disposal and impact on natural resources and environmental systems. I. The provision of the facilities and services is in conformity with the provisions of this and other elements of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan; Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 17

26 Adopted Effective Date: August 23, The use meets all local, State, and federal regulatory requirements and performance standards; The location, type, scale, density/intensity, and design of the facilities are compatible with the overall character of the existing, as well as the proposed future development of the area; Facilities and structures must be located and designed in such a manner as to protect the safety of individuals nearby and to ensure that neighboring properties and structures are protected during the normal operation of these facilities and structures and in the event that the facilities or structures are damaged or destroyed; The use does not attract spin-off urban development or may not be a desirable activity in the urbanized area because of external impacts on adjacent lands. f. Accessory Uses: The accessory activity and/or its structure: ( 1) is subordinate in area, extent and purpose to the principal use; (2) is consistent and contributes to the comfort, convenience or necessity of the principal use; (3) is located on the same lot or parcel and in the same implementing zoning district as the principal use; and ( 4) is necessary structure and infrastructure. 2. LON Demity Residential: (abbreviatim = RL): This land use classification requires large lots for single-family housing which is typical of estate subdivisions or ranchettes. This land use is primarily utilized as a means to define the transition to agrarian settlement patterns within the County, such as in Existing Rural Villages. It performs the function of an urban/rural threshold around the urban cores. Low Density Residential should be the primary land use option for the development of less accessible lands or less useable lands on the Lake Wales Ridge. a. Starting Density: 1.00 units per acre. b. Maximum Density: 3.00 units per acre. Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 18

27 Adopted Effective Date: August 23, 2011 c7. Ccxnmercial: River, connecting the Chain of Lakes with Lake Okeechobee. The Conceptual Plan Line (See FLU Policy 2.4) will show proposed CARL (Conservation and Recreation Lands) sites, Water Management District purchases of environmentally sensitive land, the Kissimmee River Restoration project, proposed County purchases, or Save Our River purchases. a. Development Capacity: 1 unit/80 acres, plus facilities and improvements necessary for the intended conservation use or activity. b. Maximum Intensity: Floor Area Ratio: Up to 0.15 FAR. c. Maximum Impervious Surface: Limited to that which is necessary to support the intended conservation or management use or activity. d. Additional Uses: Campgrounds, in association with trails, trailheads and hiking stations for accessing recreation facilities such as boat ramps and equestrian camping facilities, supported by on-site parking facilities, are permitted uses when part of a management plan by a public agency and single family residential uses in vested subdivisions. e. Accessory Uses: The accessory activity and/or its structure: ( 1) is subordinate in area, extent and extent and purpose to the principal use; (2) is consistent and contributes to the comfort, convenience or necessity of the principal use; and (3) is located on the same lot or parcel and in the same implementing zoning district as the principal use e - _, (ablrelllation = C) Retail business operations which serve as convenience shopping or personal service destinations for nearby residential neighborhoods. Generally, such uses should locate at the intersection of arterial/collector roads or at the center of large scale subdivisions. Examples include dry cleaning outlets, convenience stores, salons and barber shops, pharmacies, small retail shops, branch banks, small dry goods or hardware stores, antique shops, service stations, and similar types of use. Businesses serving a county-wide or regional market area which provide a variety of trade goods and commodities at retail and Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 23 '\

28 Adopted Effective Date: August 23, 2011 wholesale levels. These commercial uses are usually dependent upon highway or arterial intersection locations. Community serving commercial businesses may develop in combination with neighborhood commercial businesses. Examples are large department stores, auto dealerships and repair garages, strip shopping centers, motels, larger restaurants, corporate headquarters, and other retail complexes. Shopping centers and malls over 5 acres in size must be developed under PD zoning. Business operations that provide administrative, personal, or professional services to the general public or to other businesses. As a general rule, such uses are not associated with on-site activities common to stock and trade commercial operations, such as the retail sale and display of commodities or fair trade items. Under this heading are assisted living facilities (ALF), offices or studios for doctors, veterinarians, stock brokerages, real estate agencies, attorneys, engineers, architects, accountants, artists, postal services, financial consultants, travel agencies, and similar non-intensive, single purpose businesses. Commercial uses of a special nature range in character from rural to urban and represent a principal growth factor for the recreation/tourist economy of Highlands County. Commercial recreation businesses and resort recreation facilities which are established for seasonal populations and temporary occupancy should be the primary focus for special commercial use. Because of the specific location, factors related to recreation sport and certain commercial attractions, a special commercial uses should generally be located in proximity to Rural Villages or along a rural highway or close to the recreational feature it serves. Examples of this would be a specialized single purpose commercial use such as a fish camp resort, amusement park, outdoor farmers market, horse racing track, equestrian resort, marina, archery and gun club, golf driving ranges, or a sports complex. a. Maximum Intensity - Floor Area Ratio: Up to FAR for office; Up to 0.80 for other commercial uses. b. Accessory Uses: The accessory activity and/or its structure: ( 1) is subordinate in area, extent and purpose to the principal use; (2) is consistent and contributes to the comfort, convenience or necessity of the principal use; and (3) is located on the same lot or parcel and in the same implementing zoning district as the principal use. Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 24

29 Adopted Effective Date: August 23, 2011 c. Site Specific Criteria of As9ftoo Living Facilities. All ALF facilities must meet the following: 1) Be within a designated urban services area, once such area is approved; 2) Have access on or to a traffic collector or arterial road; 3) Have access to on-site or adjacent open space areas or to a County or Municipal Park or recreation area; and 4) Have central water and central wastewater or equivalent or comply with the restrictions of F.A.C. 1 OD Canmerdalllnduslrial Mixed Use: (abbrariatim = Cl): This mixed land use category is intended to permit a limited amount of low traffic, light industrial land uses in combination with highway dependent businesses and heavy commercial operations. Examples are mini warehouses, small scale inside assembly operations, retail sales in association with citrus operations, industrial offices, outside storage facilities which are screened and landscaped, and similar uses. The commercial use is the primary use in this land use category; the industrial mixed use is an optional secondary use. An industrial use shall always be subordinate to the commercial use in site area, floor area, and traffic generation. Mixed uses must be developed in accordance with PD zoning regulations and employ buffers. The Urban Growth Area or Sustainable Communities would be the primary, but not exclusive, location for this land use category. a. Mixed Use Ratio: Up to 40% of gross site area for the secondary industrial use. b. Maximum Intensity - Floor Area Ratio: Up to 0.80 FAR. c. Accessory Uses: The accessory activity and/or its structure: ( 1) is subordinate in area, extent and extent and purpose to the principal use; (2) is consistent and contributes to the comfort, convenience or necessity of the principal use; and (3) is located on the same lot or parcel and in the same implementing zoning district as the principal use. Highlands County 2030 Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element Page 25

30 Section Temporary use permits. Temporary use permits may be issued at the discretion of the zoning supervisor for a specified length of time, not to exceed one year, subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards. Such use permits may be renewed for a period not to exceed one year.

31 Permit No TEMPORARY USE PERMIT Highlands County, Florida PROPERTY OWNER: Braha Sebring, L.L.C. OCCUPANT/LESSEE: Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreation Club, Inc. LEGAL DESCRIPTION OF SUBJECT PROPERTY: See attached Exhibit "A". SUBJECT PROPERTY ADDRESS: 1200 Marguerite Road (also known as: 1028 Sugarberry Trail), Lake Placid, Florida Exhibits attached hereto are incorporated herein as part of this permit I. SUBJECT/DESCRIPTION OF TEMPORARY USE PERMIT: To allow the Property Owner to operate an outdoor recreation facility. II. REASONS FOR THE TEMPORARY USE PERMIT: Pursuant to the Board of County Commissioners meeting on March 26, 2013, the Commission directed staff to work with the Property Owner on a request for a Temporary Use Permit including conditions of approval. III. CONDITIONS OF THE TEMPORARY USE PERMIT CfUP): A. MISCELLANEOUS: I. If any of the following conditions are not met as determined by the Zoning Supervisor, this TUP may be revoked. Unless the violation of the conditions set forth herein is incurable, the Property Owner shall be provided a reasonable opportunity to cure pursuant to condition 12 below. 2. This TUP shall comply with the provisions of the Highlands County Comprehensive Plan, Highlands County Land Development Regulations (LDRs), and the Highlands County Concurrency Management System in effect within the duration of this TUP. 3. The property shall be treated as one (I) project for review in issuing this TUP. 4. This permit is non-transferrable and non-assignable. 5. The use ofthis property shall be in compliance with the conditions of this TUP. The TUP will be limited to the uses listed on Exhibit "B" and areas depicted on Exhibit "C". 6. The events shall be limited to the hours of activities stated in Exhibit "B". 7. The number and type of events shall be limited as stated in Exhibit "B". 8. All events are subject to the Highlands County Noise COntrol Ordinance. 9. A wash-down area shall be required for exterior vehicular wash-down. The wash-down area shall be at the location as shown on Exhibit ''C", and shall be subject to the review and permitting of the South Florida Water Management District. I 0. The Property Owner shall comply with all county, state and federal regulations. Page 1 of8

32 EFFECTIVE: This Temporary Use Permit shall be effective for a period of four (4) months beginning on the date of the first event conducted in accordance herewith. Prior to marketing or advertising the first event, the Property Owner must submit certification of compliance with all pre-event, site preparation related conditions and intent to comply with all non-site preparation related conditions contained herein. Within five (5) working days after the submission of said certification, the County will verify compliance and either issue a Notice to Proceed or a Notice of Deficiencies. In the event that deficiencies are noted, the Property Owner shall correct said deficiencies and recertify compliance with all pre-event, site preparation related conditions. Within five (5) working days thereafter, the County will verify compliance and the process will repeat until such time as full compliance has been achieved. Once a Notice to Proceed has been issued by the County, the Property Owner may begin marketing and advertising its first event. This Temporary Use Permit may be extended by the Zoning Supervisor in accordance with Section , LDRs. APPROVED AND ISSUED BY: ~ ~..L Linda Conrad, Zoning Supervisor DATE: ~fls Please be advised that the Development Services Department of Highlands County, Florida, has issued this Temporary Use Permit subject to the adoption of any new land use regulations by Highlands County and any additional requirements reflected therein. Page 8 of8

33 Latest Ordinance# , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and Effective Date: 12/04/2009 HIGHLANDS COUNTY CODE OF ORDINANCES LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS

34 lllghlands COUNTY LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS 1 C. Powers in the granting of special exceptions. The BOA is empowered to hear and decide only such special exceptions as it is specifically authorized to pass on by the terms of this chapter; to decide such questions as are involved in determining whether special exceptions should be granted; and to grant special exceptions with such conditions and safeguards as are appropriate under this chapter; or to deny requests for special exceptions when not in harmony with the purpose and intent of this chapter. A special exception shall not be granted unless and until: 1. A written application for a special exception is submitted, indicating the section of this chapter under which the special exception is sought and stating fully the grounds on which it is requested, including compliance with the standards set forth in section C. and D. 2. Notice of a public hearing on such request for special exception is given as required in sections and The public hearing shall be held. Any party may appear in person, or by agent or attorney. 4. If all requirements of this section C. and D are satisfied by the applicant, the BOA shall issue the requested permit if it finds, based upon the information submitted at the hearing, that the application is complete and that the development will comply with all requirements of this chapter and Florida law. D. General standards of approval. Even if the BOA finds that the application complies with all other provisions of this chapter, it may deny the permit if it concludes, based upon the information submitted at the hearing, that if completed as proposed, the development, more probably than not: I. Will materially endanger the public health or safety; or 2. Will substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property; or 3. Will not be in harmony with the area in which it is to be located; or 4. Will not comply with one or more requirements of the adopted Highlands County Land Development Regulations; or 5. Will not be in compliance with the adopted Highlands County Comprehensive Plan or other plan officially adopted by the BCC. E. Burden of presenting evidence; burden of persuasion. Once a complete application has been submitted, the burden of presenting evidence to the BOA sufficient to establish that the application should be granted shall be upon the applicant. The burden of persuasion remains at all times on the applicant. ARTICLE 3 -ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT 76

35 Attachment D Realtor Opinion

36 Attachment E Letters from area residents regarding Swamp Hammock SFWMD public records, e-permitting

37 From: To: Cc: Subject: Date: Katherine Majn Skjnner Mary; com; ierjcudey beiisqyth net oro oro: oro": ted com fwcconservadonplanningser\iices MYfWC COM: com com: njcholsway grnai! com com; dalewmard grnaj! com: com; com; leskyb grnail com com Jane Heede <samatseas grnaj! com) Alexis org com; Markle Jesse; Conroy Barbara Raymond Eve; McCreedy Carolvn; Cole Natalie; Priest Gary; Colios Thomas; Sanford Timothy Romona Washjngton Re: Environmental Resource Permit Application - SWAMP HAMMOCK OUlDOOR RECREATION CLUB (Application # ll):Highlands County Friday, March 06, :31:42 AM Dear Ms. Skinner, I was on Beth Skipper ranch the other day to purchase an item. While there I saw an eagle, a crested caracara bird, meadowlarks, and just enjoyed being surrounded with the beauty and quiet of the place. I met her brother-in-law who told me about the gopher tortoises they have on the ranch. I also saw right across the fence the area that is going to be turned into a mudding area for large noisy truck; a playground for those who choose to tear up the environment. I found it so strange that on one side of the fence there are several species that are endangered and a few feet away on the other side of the fence none of those species can be found. Do you not find that strange as well? I was told by employees at Archbold that this is the area of the headwaters of fisheating creek, a valuable Florida resource. Yet there is still issued a permit for the Swamp Hammock Group for trucks and other off road vehicles to tear up the land, and for those vehicles to potentially drain fuel into the soil. I do not understand how any agency that deals with the environment can condone what is being done here. Conservation planning going on here? I think NOT!

38 The whole community should be up in arms over this destruction of the environment! Sincerely yours, Katherine Main From: "Skinner, Mary" To: "Jane Heede "Markle, Jesse" "Conmy, Barbara" "Raymond, Eve" "McCreedy, Carolyn" "Cole, Natalie" "Priest, Gary" "Colios, Thomas" "Sanford, Timothy" Sent: Tuesday, March 3, :59PM Subject: Environmental Resource Permit Application- SWAMP HAMMOCK OUTDOOR RECREATION CLUB (Application # ):Highlands County A RAI extension has been issued for the above referenced application. Click on the link below to view the letter. Environmental Resource Permit Application- SWAMP HAMMOCK OUTDOOR RECREATION ClUB (Application # ll) Higblands County To view additional information regarding this permit, please visit the District's epermitting website at www sfwmd ~ov/epermjttin~. Mary L. Skinner Permit Technician 3 Okeechobee Service Center 3800 NW 16th Blvd., Suite A

39 I~ IZ 1 '1- II October From: The Concerned Citizens of West Josephine Rd. UCT Okeechobee Service Center To: The South Florida Water Management District The following are a short list of concerns we have This is at the absolute head of the fisheating creek watershed area and there aren't any measures taken to keep oil and oil products form entering the aquifer. We recommend. A) A clay or other approved liner be required under all mud pits and the Wash down area. The liners should extend outward for at least forty feet from all houndaries. B) The wash down area should be confined to a designated pit not just an area. The pit should be a recycling type pit approved by the EPA C) Require an emergency oil spill clean up kit for the inevitable engine failure, transfer case failure, or differential failure. 2. There is nothing to keep people out of the designated wet lands. They are required to have the red plastic fencing around almost the entire property and should be required to also fence off the sensitive areas and wet land areas (Two Mile Pond, Crews Hammock). 3. Explain the permitting process. SFWMD, Army Corps of Engineers, State Wildlife, EP ~ County. Where do they stand in this process? 4. Is the South West Florida Management District involved in this at all? 5. With the new Story Company grove on the west side ofthe Co. line using a lot of water how does this impact the water level underground for the ranchers who require water relatively close to ground level for grass growth. 6. Water flow seems very slow to our south']; ';.(Rick Murry) Donald Skipper (863)

40 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ConuniS!ilon..,~,...,.. IIGMidA.~ OIMtNn._s.Y.-...a Vloe c::mir ,.... Mile,.,...,... -u.....,...,.._,.l'il1,... ~-... E ~ttvc Stollft Nck..., IE--. Dlflaca M:s.tell... EMiuiM DINatar "-Ven111111&11a ClllwtflfSWt June 5, 2014 Kelly Cranford, P.E. South.Florida Water Management District 3301 Gun Club Road West him Beach, Florida RE: ADDITIONAL INFO. JUN D 5 20~ OKS t3ru~-"'l ~ ~~ Ck/~11~ Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreation aub, Environmental Resource Permit Application No. J 3 J Modification of Permit No P, Highlands County Dear Ms. Cranford: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (fwc) staff bas reviewed the above-~ferenccd ERP application and provides the following comments and recommendations for your consideration, in acc.ordan«with Chapter 379, florida Statutes. PtnaltHjstory This current application is to modify the existing South Florida Water Management District {SFWMD) pennit for the Horizon Equestrian Estates, which was requested and receivod in 2007 (Application l). The original petmit was is.sued for a proposed low-density residential development on a J, J 40-acrc parcel in western Highlands County. The site is located on Marguerite Road between West Josephine Road and to Mile Grade Road. Under the existing permit, the proposed community would include 100 lowdensity residential Jots with a minimum size of 10 acres. The muter storm water management sy.stcm. consisting of 24 wet detention ponds and dry swalcs. would provide water quality treatment and stonn water attenuation for the entire project area. The property has been ~ as a cow-calf operation with occasional harvesting of Bahia aod- Offla! at t,_. E~ Oiroei.Ol,..., E--. Dhctor... (aijo) m (810) al..fi711&...,_,.....,.,...,..,._,...,.,_...,._.,...,.._. sizes..,,... Tat - Flelldl JZ3Ie.OCIO vee. ( W876 UOSCIIIIIIMeiNIIII5ttMt Thirty-four trcshwater wetlands totalina acres were delineated on the property. Most of the wetlands exhibited effects of the fomler agricultural activities as evidenced by low plant diversity and reduced hydroperiods, resulting from the extensive field ditching system on site. As part of the original permit. the applicant proposed to p~e acres of wetland areas, enhance 1.41 acres ofwt:tland areas, and provide acres of adjacent upland buffer zones, totaling acres to be placed under a conservation casement. The pennit was modified several times to allow for improved drainage, changes in culvert diameters, and modifications to weir elevations and pond Project Description The current application proposes to amend the existing permit and change the pennitted use on approximately l, 135 acres from low-density residential subdivision to an outdoor recreational park. Approximately 730 acres of.. upjand activities" would change from residential to recreational park uses and include a.;tivitics and facilities such as off-road vehicle (OR V) and motorcycle racing. alj-teitain vehicle (ATV) trails, lawn mower racing, go-cart racing. radio-controlled model areas, truck and traclllr pull, fishing piers (at several of the treatment ponds), horseback riding.. vendor areas, a music concert area, ~... - z o:t

41 Kelly Cranford Pap2 JUDe5,2014 camping (trailer, short-term. primitive). and grass parking. The application also includes construction of five.. mud-holes" to be used for ORV vehida. The applicant has modified the application. aa part of their April 7, 2014 raponae to the Request for Additionallnfonnation, to construct all five mud-holes in uplanda (over 24 acre&). ChiJlFs may occur in water use and surface waacr tnajibfidelll 111 ruutt of the proposed activities. 1be only entrance to tbe property is via Marperitc Road. Potentially Alfeded Filla ud Wildlife Rnauras The 2006 JL Environmental survey report submitted u part oftbc original application matcriala {Horizon Equestrian F.atatcs WiJdlife Suney permit ) indicates that Audubon's crested caracaras (CGTtiCdl'a clreriwczy aduboltdi, FedcnUy Tbrcarened). florida andhill awa (Grw Ctllladet&tris prajeluis, State-Threatened), IOUthcutem American kestrd (Falco spai"veritls paulus. s.a.1"1uutcncd). and a JOpbcr tortoiae ( Gopherus po/yphelrtu.t. State-Threatened) burrow were obaervcd on-aite. The 2006 survey also noted that the little blue heron (Egrelltl caendea, State Species of Special Concern [SSC]). snowy ep (EgretJa lllula, SSC), tricolored bema (Egre111:1 tricolor, SSC), and white ibis (EudocillniS olbus, SSC) ~ ajao oblervcd usociated with the wetlanda and lakes orwite. Compliance monitoring reports submitted in 2009 and 2012 continued to indicate similar apecies utilizina the lite. SFWMD staff, who conducted 1 si1e visit in 2014, indicated that a pair of burrowing owls (Atlmu! cwucularia, SSC) and a gopher tortoise Ina-row were obaerved. The lite al10 falls within tbe potential oc:cupiod naac of the grauhoppcr sparrow (.hujrodloamus StllltiiJIIQI'Wif jloridalal8, Federally Endanpml). The property is within or adjacent to the secondary raop of the Florida black bear ( Um16 IJ1IJI!I'ictllfJI6 ftoritjmul,) Gladea/HiJhlands population. Additionally, the project site is ncar sc"yeral Wetland Rcaave Program (WRP) euements: within 0.1 miles ofwrp euement 158,0.5 miles ofwrpauement 139,and 1.6 miles of WRP euemcnt l J 7. The site is also within liJc5 of Higblands Hammock Stale Park, and 3 mila to the Lake Wales Ridge Wildlife and EDvitonmental Area. COIIIIRelltJ ad Teclallbl A.IIUt.aalee The potaltiaj ~ to fulb and wildlife resourcca CJODaidercd u part of tbe existing permit for Horizon Equestrian Estates (AppUcatioo J) wen: identified auumina tbe site would be developed as a low~ty n:sidential developmem with conservation cascmenla for the on-site wetlands. Potential impactausociated with the requested chanae may differ from thole impacts originally coaaidered as part of the existina permit. Additionally. species u.saae, habitats, and site conditi0011 within the 1, J 3.5 acres may bave changed since the time of the surveys., and au.rvey protocols have been updated to mlcct the 11101t recent available scientific data. A review of the permittins documents in the SFWMD files related to tbe proposed application indicates that a wildlife IIWVCY w initially conduc:ted in ~12006 by JL EnvirotmlcntaJ with additional compliance monitoring reports in 2009 and While tbe surveys identified.scvcraj state-and federally listat species present on lite, we are

42 Jrelly Cranford P8p3 June&, 2014 WJable to aucn potential impacts to state-listed species and their habitats based on the information provided wi1h the application materials. FWC staff ra:ommcnd that additional wildlife aurveya be conducted on site to assess potential impacas to tbe followinl species: burrowin& owl, 50Ulhcastem American bstn:l. florida lllldhiu cnne, wading birds, and gopher tortoises. It may aj10 be neeeeaary to coontinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the potential for graubopper sparrows and Audubon a crested caracara. Specic&-spccific wildlife surveys arc time senaitivc. and FWC recommenda that all wijdlife 1111'\'eya follow survey protocols established by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the FWC. slll'\'eyi ahould also be conducted by qualified individuals with ncent documented experience for caclj potcnual species. Buic guidance for conducting wildlife IUI'VC)'I.m&y be found in tbe Florida Wildlife Comervation Guide (bup:i~coiiioj\'atioqtvalg;jfws.al). FWC atafr diac:uaaed with tbe applicant the proposed project and the potential for listed species to UJe the JXOIICilY. The following information is intended as technicaj assistance to help the applicadt in completins the species-specific surveys identified above and in minimizidj potential impacts to listed species. Bird Spedes The burrowing owl. southeastern American kestrel. Florida &andhill ct'ule, and Audubon's crested c:aracata commonly usc improved puture. All of these species wen reported to occur on site. AdditioaaJ surveys may be necessary to identify potential nesting locations and avoid impada to these specie&. Sapdbill Cranes Florida IIDdbi11 cnncs can bcpn blcccting as early as.decc:mber and extend nesting throujh August; however, they nest primarily fmrn February through April. Nests an: built of plant stads insballow marzhcs whele tbcwaterdepth at nests averages 13 to 33 em (S to 13 in). Such habitat ia known to occur witbin the project area. Distu.rbances dlllina breeding may result in cxteadcd incubation periods, which lower hatclling and nestliq survival rata (Stys 1997). Nesting cranes flush when approached within 75 m (250ft) of the licit, and may not return to the nest for up to three boura after flushing (Dwyer and Tamer 1992). Por new development aaivitics 1hat involve ocxupkd or potential Florida SllldhiU cnmc habitat, but do not involve mnoval of nests, the following guidelines should minimize potential impacta: Avoid activity within 125m (400ft) oflmown nest sites during the breeding season (January to Auguat). Avoid placement of roads and trails adjacent to wetlands used by nes.tin& sandhill cranes. Soutbwtem Alneris;an kestrel Southeastern American kestrels require specific habitat conditions to successfully utilize a given area. An individual kestrel pair requires at least 0.5 km 2 (approximately 0.19 mi 2 ) of babi1at that includes suitable cavity trees. nest boxes, or other man-made cavities; scattered pen:h sites; an hmbaccous ground cover dominated by Corns and grasses of low.. -. A"

43 Kelly Cr&Dford Page4.June fi, 2014 siatir (primarily <2S em [<10 ill) tau); and widely spaced tree cow.r. Should kestrel ncstb be found during IUI'Veys, specific recommc:adcd pidelines an: (Stys 1993): Where active DC81s..., located in suitable forqina habitat. they should be protected by I 150-m buffer. Oiaturblnce lhoutd be avoided altogetber within lbe licit stie buffu during the breeding -.on (January to August). Bwrpwinc Owl Since burrowin& owls were observed on site, a wildlift: lurvey should be oonducta::d to documeat any bumjws on tbe property, at which time Jpeeifie JX*Ctions can be recommc:adcd for thia project. Some iaitial information and n=commendations for eonsideration are idcjudcd below. 11l.e Fbida bwtowin& owl breeding seaaon is February tbrouafl July ( FWC 2013<:). Burrowin& owl fiunilies will often wse a lnedil~g bumrw. u wetl aa aatellitc burrows. Juvenile. rely on botb primary and aatel~ burrowl up to 60 daya after they III'C ftisbt capable (Mealy 1997). Wbile tbe followina recoauneraddona were developed for wban -, we rcc:ommeod that: A buffer of 150 ft ftom the nest burrow should be establisbod aad activity should be avoided within this area. If tbe propoaed activities within tbe nest buffer cannot be avoided and wiu occur during the lxeediftg season, FWC staff should be eontacllld to diaeuss potential pmnittidg alternatives. wmr Birdl Initial wildjife surveya did not identify any wadio& bijd.moa aniu within the wetlands on site. but more aystautic IU!Ve)B MCd to be conductmd to delenainc if any ofthe wetlands con&ain wactiq bird ncstina or roostinl an:aa. Natiaa in tbe project area typically occurs belwcell Maid~ tllroqh Augutt. Should roostifta or ncstid& arab be found within lhe ptoject area, we recommend tbat NeatiDg site~~ with hich riab of human disturbanc:ca should be posu!d and should be visited replarty to maintain poatina. A 91-m (300-foot} buffer di&iulce (Rod&ers and Smith 199S} around wading bird colonies should be established to proteet mlonial ne&fin& wading birds fiom dilturbmccs wbile breedift&. {Note- this waa ellablilbed usin,g noilc levels &om airboat~ (<S5 decibela (db) to point aourc:e). Decibellevell from fbe proposed activities may n:qujrc diffeleat 'buffer distances ifnestina 8l'eal are found oa site.} If nesting colonie& are identified onaite, pleale eontact P\VC ataffto discuu avoidance or permitting ahmlativea. Goplter Tortebes The survey and the information from the SFWMD staffs site visit indicate that gopher tonoile burrows exist OR the property. Since the 2006 I1IIVe)' document, pennittiq and survey mprirementb have cbaqed. We J"CQOIIlmcnd tbe applicant referalcc the FWc s Oopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelinca (Reviled September 2012) (ht!;p:/1~14jiw... ~iw> for survey methodology and pennitting pidancc prior to any construction or upland activity that could impaet gopher tortoises or their borrows within 25 feet from the mouth of the burrow. Specific guidance

44 Kelly Cranford Papli June&, 2014 in the permitting guidelines includes methods for avoiding permittir& as well as optiona and ~tate requin:mcata for minimiz.ing. mitipting. mel pcnnittina poten1iaj impacts of the propoled activities. Thil webaite abo provide~ the contact information for the gopher tiddoiae eonacnation biologist in the ata. fipphgp'w marrow AI i1jdicatcd above, the property falls witbin tbe potential occupied range of the Florida grauhopper apsnow. We m:ommend that the appliqdt contact the U.S. Fiah and Wildlife Service (USFWS) -Vero Beach Office b a fidii determination on the poatial impeda to the Florida passhopper span'ow. For re&re111ce, formal dcteetioo aurveys may need to be conduca:d in April-June to coofinn if f'1orida passhopper sparrows are lmlcdiq on the property. Oru&hopper sparrows only vocalize during aprina and summer montha, making tbeir detection in the winter unlitdy even if they were praent. Please contact the USFWS for additionaj information and consultation for this species. Audybqp'a 9J*d caragn The Horizon Equestrian Estates, J.L Environmental WilcDife Survey indicated that Auduboa., cresf.lld caracara have been known to uae habitats on site. We recommend that the applitmt amtaet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Vcro Bach Office to ddcrminc if surveys lhould be conclueted and appropriate actions to take if nesting areas a.e faudd witbin the project area or within the adjaeeot aras. The applicant may want to conlidcr the following information when assessing impacts to Audubon's CRIIted canan. While caracan pain may tolerate a wide ranee of human activity, indudiq Ydaicles. machinery, and livestock, tolerance to new potential di~ may depend on previous exposure and other circum8tancca (Morrison 200 J ). Cancans are moat sensitive to disturbance during the breedid& season (November to April). Clump in activity level near a brecdinj site, even when such changes oceur outside of DC8Cin& seaaon, may cause nest site abandonmcdt by an established pair. Ratbct dum a apedfic activity type, it is altered pauem& of adivity within a home range that may impact cancaraa. However, the followin&ir typical guidelines for conaidcndion: Establilh a primary buffer zone of 300 m (9BS ft) durlna the nesting sea&oil (November to April). in order to provide conditions for s~ful reproduction. Limit human aaivities in this zone; activity within this buffer will generally cause the adult to ftlllh. If the dilturbadce level or frequency idcreae.s. this bufm' may need to be increased depending upon the level of dilturbancc. Florida Panther In addition to the species-specific survey information provided above, we would lilcc to provide the applicant information rcprdinj the potential for panther UBC of the site. The 2006 J.L.. Environmcmal survey indicated that a radio-telemetry reading of a co1lan:d Florida panther (.PuiJICI concolor coryi, Federally Endangered) occurmi within S to8 milcs from the site. Further. the 2006 survey indicat.cd ~ ij a. below averap density of prey species utilizing the site and that the sit!: docs not contain adequate cover or highquality habitat for prey &pccies.

45 Kelly Cranford Pa,e6 June 5, 2014 The wetland forateci area complex on the western aide of the property, whtcb extends into tbc ~ landowuen properties, forma a nab111ll corridor for panchcrs to mcve DOrth and aouth. FWC' s detailed tdanetty of the c:olt.ed J*1Cbcr DOted in the 2006 J. L. Environmc:nW report showed that 1be panlber appeared to move bctweea the WRP CODICI'VatiOD laodt 1oc:atcd louth of the property, tbroucb the wedaad foralcd anw within the property bouadaryand otber wetllndlforatcd hemmock Mal to the north. to ceac:b the other WRP ad CODICt'VMioo m.s to tbe DOith of the project sito. AddJtionally, uncollan:d paatben bavc been documented 1o0 be travdina between the WllP corwenation.,._to tbe aoutb and cast of the project lite to the north to Hiabiands Hammed Staae Pack. Additionally, KC~CUID tbe property i.s along a sin&le medway rou11e. Th11 route crosacs lbo ab<m: ideatified lulbicat corridor, which is klmwd to 1upport pll1tber movement. One p.mher wu reeendy killed md auotbcr was injumi oa roedways eaociatcd with this corridor of CODIG'Yatioo lands. The influx of sipificant numbers of vehicles durin& the proposed recreational eventa may tncreue the potential for padther roadkiijs. There are IC'Va8l optioas av&llable to addral the poeemial pentbcr Ule of the.subject property. For io...,.., tbe llpptic:ant may want to C'4Nidcr revilid& the ret1c8tional plaol to keep the we&lao wedand f'uicited ana c:omplc:x im.:t by n:joeatint the propoicd reaational vebicle ua araa, campina mas. and J*kin~Ea~ to ouaside of lbe wetland-fon:51 complex. Also, since acceu to the lite il along a liqle mad network. the applicant may want 10 provide additional cnforcaneat of the speed ZODeS along the accea route durin& CYalb to limit po~&ibility ofpilllbc:r rodills 8l1d injwiea. PloritlaiiiKk Bean While the florida bbd bear waa delisted by the FWC in SUllie 2012, a c:odici'vation plan for 1be black belr bu been developed and approved by tbe FWC as ~ fur further i~ of!ltd~ Matus of the bear. BJ.ct bar& will taa advanta&e of easily accemlble food aourcea. includiog untecurd... and pet food While black bear tt.t live in ranoec amaa tend to sby away fmm people, they~ adlptable and will take advantacc oftbeae human-provtdcd food eourca. Once bean become accus&<mcd to findina food around poople, their natural warinal is reduced to tbe point 1ha1 there ean be an increased risk to public aafety. FWC encoura&es project dcsi.p and awaja~en Pf01J'31UI that reduce the mk of humanwildlife interactions. f'wc recommeods thai best manqemcnt prachces be followed by r~nrina clean sila with garbqc bciq secured in wildjife-railtant trubcans ~or bear-proof dumplaen to avoid attncttng wildlife IUCh as bean CO)'Otes. foxes. and raccoons; cooduc:t frequent trub removal; and ~ proper food sknp and n:moval on sitea Additional infonnallon about Florida black bean can be found an oar websi1c at: hupj/wn.myfwc.pjd'wd f!jh.hitmlmamtmd&wl.llld FWC sta1fia available to 885ist with incorporatina the above fatum. Reautioeal Adlvtda Proecn~ plaanina for outdoor recreation can bewtce recreatiolw.l opportunltics with fish and wikllife usc of an an:a. FWC Recreational MMta' Plans uae a mechodology to determine potential for wildlife dmurbence from planned activities (Jones 2007;

46 Kelly Cranford Page7 June 5, 2014 Appendill 4~ C.anying Capac tty Methodology, FWC). This report prov1des a summary of literature ajona with recommendations on designs for avoidin& nnpacts to fis.h and wildlife resourcci. The applicant may want to consider this report when planning reaeat1onal uae of the site. Additionally, a combtnation of private and mdustry planrung studies and suggested management practices for A TV and OR V activitie&. trails, and recreauonal parks ha~ been published ova the past 2Q years. The Best Management Practices for ORVs (Sw1taJski A Jones 2008) recommend that a mmimum buffer distance of 150ft from all wetlands be eslablilhcd for all trails. The document also outlines the polential for disturbance to wildlife and recommends monitorinallld mitigative actiom to u&ess and reduce or eliminate those potential impacts. The applicant may also want to consider inct."\flioi'l tion of IIOrDC of these Best Management PractM:ea for OR V s on the property ORV gwdehnts by the Ammcan Moton:ych&t Alsoc1atton lama) (Wemex 1994) stater. tha1 unusually high lewts of OHV use may have an effect on certain smaitivc waldlife species, especially during reproductive stages. The guiddines also indicate that 98 db ;s currently the accepted majtimum for OHVs on public lands managed by the federal government and 96 db is recommended by the Motorcycle Industry Council. The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) guiddines (Cnmmtn~ 2006) m::ommcnd that proper trail design is a ma.jor factor in achieving desired recreational plan resulta. The guidelines recommend that trails be located or ~located to avoid scmitive areas IUCh as riparian zones. culturaj sites., add important or key wildlife habitats. &th orpmzation guidelines recommend seasonal closures that protect the area during critical periods but allow uae for a& mudt of the season as possible. The documents referenced above may provide the applicant with additional mfonnation to reduce the potential listed spec~ pemutting need~ associalcd with the proposed actjvitie5 and should be considered during project plaruung and design. C IUVMiaa Alternatl~et As di5cusscd with the applicant, the property is located within an area of high conservation inicrst As indtc:ated above, numero115 conservation land5 arc with1n a four-mile radius of the property, including several WRP areas. Because of the wildlife corridors and wetlandlbabitat restoration activities that are occurring near the property, the property owner may wish to consider enrolling in the WRP or other codkrvatlon prograrru. FWC itatt is available to assist~ landowner in identifying various conservation options ifahernative land uses~ being considered S m-.ry In summary and aa dis.::usscd with the applicant: The applicant will need to conduct fish and wildlife surveys of the property acconi.ing to standardized methods to accurately assess po1cntial impact5 to h&ted!lpecjes; Pending the completion of the fish and wtldjife surveys. the ap(tlicant may need to coordinate with FWC to dnermine meam to avo1d, m1tiaate or obtam necess.'u)' permit~ for listed species. such as gopher tortoises. burrowing owls. southea~m American kestrel, sandhill cranes, and various wadmg bird species, The proposed activities surrounding many of the wetland sites. the ~.d mudholes. and conversion of some of the pasture la.tld may rendcr the hsbi tat

47 Kelly Cranford Pafe8 June 5, 2014 unsuitable for brccdmg and foragjns of state listed specie&~ FWC should be contacted to dt.:usa perrnittir& alternatives. The applicant may also want to consider: Con~ation alternatives for the property, Revising the recnationaj plans to keep the weatcm wetland forested area complex mtact to mamrain a natural corridor and allow fur pandacr movemcnr between eventl~ Providing additional cnforcemeut of ipccd zooee alq the access route to the site during events to limit possibility of panther roadkilla and tnjuries: FollowinJ belt~ practices to prevent human bear interactions. Followmg ORV trail desipt best management practic:ea that sugest a mintmum of ISO feet buffer distances away from any wctlanda. Consider adjustin& activities to lower effects from decibel levels~ to locahzed concentrations ofohvs and ''Mud-Bog vehiclca'' u described by the various natioiw organizations. We appreciate the opportunity to review this project and we will cominuc to work with the applicant throujhout thil proceu. If yoo need amy furtbcr uillance, please do not hesitate to coatact Jane Chabre either by phone at (8SO) 410-S367 or by at lf you have specific technical questions reprding tbe content of this letts, pleue conhld Theodore Hoehn at (850) or by at Sincerety, Jennifer D. Goff Land Use Plannina Program Admini5trator Office of CONCrVattoo Planning Services jdwth ENII i-l Z s_,ha-.c~----ku 1~ ~ doc cc: Jeas Markel, SWFWMD-Olceec.hobee imarklejtsfwmd.mv Eve Raymond. SWF\\'MD-Okee.chobce Ralph Braha. Bnha Sebnng, ll.c Jeff Kennedy. JR,Kcooedyma!(box Emlfil cqm June Fisher, HiJhlands County Board of County Commissioners j Jeri Curley, JL Environmental cricurle)'(ijbc;jlsouth.net

48 ~ly Cranford Pap9 June 5, 2014 Ci1adoas: Crinuninl, T.M Manaaement Guidelines for Off-Highway Veh1cle Recreation National Off-Hiahway Vehicle ConterVation Council. Dwyer, N.C., and G. W. Tanner Nesting SUCCCIS tn Florida sandhill cranes. Wilson BuJlettn I 04:2~-31. Florida Fish and WUdlife Conservation Commission 2013a A species action plan for the Florida sandhill crane. Tallahassee, Flonda. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conaervanon Commissaon. 20J3b. A spec1es action plan for the soutbcastem Amcric.an keatrel. Tallahassee. Florida. Florida Fish and Wildlife C005emttion Commi&Aon. 20 I 3c. A.species action plan for the Florida burrowing owl. Tallabasaee. Florida. Jones, PJ Wildlife and Recreation: Managing impacts on florida's natural seas. Office of Recreation Services. Florida Fiatt and Wi ldlifc Conservation Commis61on. Mealy, B Reproductive ecojoay of the bunowillj owls, Speotyto ewticulana _floridam, in Dade and Browwd Counties, Florida. Journal of Raptor Research ,.o_ Morrison. J. L. 200!. Recommended management practices and survey protocols for Audubon's created c.aracara { Caracara cjreri way tllltflvbolfil) in Florida. T echnicaj Report No. 18. Florida Fiah and Wildhfc Conservation Commission. Tallahuaee, Florida. Rodgers, J.A. and H.T. Smtth Set-back distancea to protect nesting bini colonies from human dilturbance in Florida. Con!lcrvat.ion Biology 9( 1 ): 89-'l'J Scys, B Erology and habttat protectton needs of the IOUthcastmt Amcncan kestrel (Falco.1parverius paulw) on large--seale development Sltes m Florida. Florida Game and f'rah Water Piah Cornmis&ton. Noopme Wtldlife Program Teclmical Report No. 13. Tallahallee, Florida. hgp://fwcg.myfwc.comldoq.'soutbcas1em Amgtcan kgrrel Teduucal Report.pdf Stys, B Ecology of the Florida sandhill cn~.ne. Flonda Game and fresh Water Fish Commwion. Nonpme Wildhfe Program Tccluucal Repon No. 15. Tallahassee. Flonda. hnp:llrqearq.mvfwc.comipublicationslpublicatim info.asp?id-=49382 Switalski. T. A., md A. Jones Off-road vehicle best manaplcdt practice& for forestlands: A rev1ew of scicnt1fic literature and guidance for managen. Journal of Coruervation Planning Vol, 8, Wemell, J Off-h1ghway Motorcycle and A TV Trails: Guidcli~ for ~1gn, COI18tnlct1on. Maintenance and User Satisfaction. Second Edition. Amencan Motorcyclist Assoctatton.

49 fr'oln: To: Subject: o.te: Qleryl Parsons ~ Permit for Swamp Hammock Recreation aub Thursday, May 22, :26:30 AM -clubrevisited#.u34gufldv8e Dear Sirs, Please view the above fink to a current story May 21,2014 on Redneck Yacht Club. these parks is anything but good for the natural environment, the water system, or The activities at neighboring properties. In the best interest of the natural environment, the ground water system, and the neighboring properties, ranches, and farms, I am respectfully requesting that you deny the pemit for The Swa~ Hammock Outdoor Recreation Club. Sincerely Yours, Jesse Parsons

50 From: To: Cc: Sullject: o.la: Ravnpnd Eye Slcjoocr Mary McCreedy yrplyn Markle ]esse PN: SWN4P HAMMOCK PROPOSAL Monday, May 19, :18:46 AM Please post to as third party comments. Thank you From: Jane Hee:1e Sent: Sunday, May 18, :45 PM To: Raymond, Eve Subject: SWAMP HAMMOCK PROPOSAL ATTENTION: Eve Raymond South Florida Water Management Department I am but one more voice giving my opinion of the mud bogging proposition for Swamp Hammock. It is such a very bad idea. I could go on and on here giving my opinion. Instead I refer you to the heartfelt guest column April 23, 2014 in the News-Sun offered by Robert Hummel, President of the Highlands County Audubon Society. To watch mud bogging damage important wet lands is an absolute travesty. According to

51 Mr. Hummel, the application says that these wetlands are 'almost useless.' In my opinion, NO WETLANDS are useless. It is this kind of shortsightedness which has damaged natural water systems everywhere. The calm, quiet, tranquil lifestyle of people in Highlands County will be affected for generations. The well being of wild and domestic animals will follow. The land will never recover. In large and small ways, life will never be the same for all those of us who cherish Highlands County. Never. Allowing this permit is wrong in so many ways. Don't let it happen. Sincerely yours, J. L. "SAM" Heede Sebring, Florida

52 SIERRA CLUB Florida Panther Critical Habitat Campaign Fort Myers, FL TEL: (727) RE: : Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreation Club Dear South Florida Water Management District, Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than two million members and supporters. Our successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. The Sierra Club Florida ("Sierra") thanks the SFWMD for its important work to protect the natural resources of Florida and for your consideration of these comments. Pending before you is ERP Application by Braha Sebring, LLC, # for alteration of 39 acres of a 1,300 acre parcel intended to be used as a commercial mud bog sports arena for off road vehicles. The intended location is the headwaters of Fisheating Creek, Highlands County, known as Swamp Hammock (Swamp Hammock). Since at least 1972, Sierra has been involved in the assessment and monitoring of the effect of off road vehicle on the environment. Based on scientific data, Sierra concludes that the introduction of this activity in this area will have long term and grave consequences for not just the applicant's land, but the surrounding environment, wildlife and Florida's drinking water. Sierra urges the SFWMD to deny the ERP application, based on the criteria found Rules and FAC. Off road use of vehicles presents serious and special problems of impact on the environment and incompatibility with other users of land. Once ORVs are allowed, it has been impossible to keep them confined to authorized areas. Lawsuits by Sierra and others are now pending on this very issue. Although the 1,300 acres of Swamp Hammock may seem enough to accommodate roaming ORVs, the shape of Swamp Hammock, which is long (3 miles east to west) and thin (~ mile north to south), guarantees that ORVs will quickly invade neighboring wetlands and ranchlands. At no time will any ORV be more than Y.. mile from straying into neighboring properties. The fence proposed by the applicant is wholly ineffective to keep out straying motorized vehicles. It is a warning fence, but no more. If it is unseen, blown over, or simply disregarded, the ORV user may find himself decapitated by barbwire fence, which is the next boundary marker after the warning fence proposed by the applicant. Under Florida law, landowners adjacent to the mud bog have no duty to insure that the activities undertaken there do not encroach on their land. The permit application appears to affect only 39 acres, but it will affect much more than that. The proposed use is a commercial mud bog and motor vehicle sports arena in the most highly sensitive wetlands in Florida. The proposed activity consists of interfacing custom built monster trucks, ATVs, mud bikes, etc., with mud, water, sand, inclines and obstacles, all of which are highly destructive to the environment. As one researcher put it, "... mudbogging consists of driving through ponds, bogs and mudholes for the

53 challenge of not getting stuck and the fun of making mud fly and creating ruts. The end result is pretty miserable for anything living there." 1 Swamp Hammock, like Red Neck Yacht Club in Charlotte County and other mud parks, seeks to attract not just hundreds, but potentially thousands of people to events that last 2 to 3 ~ days. There will be camping and parking places. ORVs will move freely about the property, and to and from mud bogs and race track events. These activities will cause significant and severe direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on the entire 1,300 acre parcel and surrounding area. Fisheating Creek is the second-largest natural water source for the Lake Okeechobee. It is also a recharge area for the Floridan aquifer. Wet organic soils cannot bear heavy weights and the results on the property will be to create wide, muddy quagmires and run off. Petroleum products and lubricants will mix with the water, soil and air. These pollutants must go somewhere. Where will they go? Into the receiving body, Fisheating Creek, and sink into the underground Floridan Aquifer. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has recognized this area as critical habitat for endangered species, including the Florida Panther. It is an established wildlife corridor, surrounded by conservation areas including to the west: Bright Hour Preserve; to the north: Highlands Hammock State Park and Avon Park Air Force Range; to the east: Jack Creek Preserve, Josephine Creek, and Royce Unit of Lake Wales Ridge WEA; to the south: Fisheating Creek Conservation easements. This is one of the last intact large areas left in Florida for wildlife. Just this month, a panther was killed by a car not far from Swamp Hammock, on Route 27. If there is any place in Florida worthy of being protected from activities that intentionally destroy the environment, it is Swamp Hammock. In addition to the obvious casualties, the organisms that live on or just beneath the surface of the soil are extremely vulnerable to ORV traffic. It has been found that recreational use exerts profound effects on microhabitats, with invertebrate species associated with the soil or ground flora more likely to be affected. When the underlying flora and fauna are disrupted, there are the introductions of exotic diseases and invasive vegetation. Silence is a resource in the area of Swamp Hammock upon which many species living there depend, including people. That silence will be destroyed by the intensity of the activity in terms of numbers of people attending, and the noise of the machines used in the mudbogging events. In a densely forested setting, the noise from the average motorcycle is audible to the human ear 7,000 feet away. In an open environment it may be detectable at two to three times that distance. The lack of mufflers, and the twostroke and four-stroke engines make ORV activity exceptionally noisy. This harms, disrupts and drives out wildlife, disturbs neighbors and will destroy the character of the entire area. ORVs release far greater quantities of pollutants than do vehicles not intended for off-road use. In addition to spills from self-repairs and refueling at Swamp Hammock, researchers have found that some ORV types vent 25 to 30 percent of their oil and gas into the air unburned. Under current laws, this means that people playing with these machines in the forest are permitted to introduce vastly more pollution into the ground and atmosphere than commuters. The two-stroke engines used on many A TVs emit such toxins as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone, particulate matter, aldehydes, butadieness, benzenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in concentrations far greater that those produced by automobiles. Scientific literature indisputably demonstrates that ORVs cause significant and severe direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on the environment. These impacts include: 1 "The Impacts of Off Road Vehicles and Roads on Wildlife Habitat in Florida's National Forests," August, 2002, Defenders of Wildlife.

54 SIERRA CLUB Florida Panther Critical Habitat Campaign Fort Myers, FL TEL: (727) Wildlife disturbance, harassment, displacement and mortality; Vegetation and wildlife habitat destruction; Habitat fragmentation, soil pulverization and compaction; Noise and chemical pollution; Invasion of exotic species and disease The Sierra Club urges SFWMD to find that the criteria for granting the ERP for Swamp Hammock are not and cannot be satisfied and to deny the application for permit. Sincerely, Alexis Meyer Associate Organizing Representative Florida Panther Critical Habitat Campaign Sierra Club

55 April21,2014 Mrs. Eve Raymond South Florida Water Management Division 3301 Gun Club Avenue West Palm Beach, Florida Dear Ms. Raymond I have read with great interest about Swamp Hammock Recreational Facility proposed construction on Marguerite Road, Lake Placid, Florida. While I do not live in the immediate vicinity, the entire natural environmental area will be adversely affected if this facility is permitted. Flora and fauna, as well as human health and safety issues are of great concern. A few negative issues not addressed are: 1) narrow country roads 2) inadequate road lighting 3) inadequate water draininage 4) polluted water supply 5) noise and vehicle pollution If your department's permitting process for Swamp Hammock is under review, I respectfully request the permit be denied. Sincerely,. y '-"<- < L/~ \ Lois Connell Ms. Lais E. Connell 1746T~I.II Lake PlaCid A

56 Brigadier General (Ret.) Robert A. Lee 2633 Jasmine Way Sebring, Aorida (571) Jesse Markle, P.E., Section Leader Gary Priest, P.E., Section Leader carolyn McCreedy, Engineering Specialist 4 Eve Raymond, Environmental Analyst 3 Regional Ag Jearn - Permitting 3800 N.W. ~Boulevard, Suite A Okeechobee, FL Re: Swamp Hammock Project Ladies and Gentlemen, It was a pleasure to be able to visit with you on Thursday, March 20tn to learn more about the Swamp Hammock project. I am taking this opportunity to follow up the discussion with some concerns of mine. Having only recently returned to Sebring after a 50-year absence due to military service and business related activities, I was disturbed to learn of the proposed project. Uke the Skippers, l also was raised on a ranch in Highlands County. Donald's two older brothers were my life-long best friends so I have many fond memories of countless days and nights spent at the Skipper ranch and am very familiar with the location of the proposed mud bogging activities. I recall hunting cows at Crews Hammock and Two Mile Pond and having to drive them around the wet lands (ponds to us). Indeed, I can remember when, at various times, all of that area was under water. We frequently spotted rare birds, eagles, occasional panthers, bears, gophers, and a plethora of other Florida wild life. Crews Hammock was, and hopefully still is, host to several rare types of orchids. On a grander scale, we all have seen what happened to the state's hydrology system when the Corps of Engineers created the Kissimmee Canal. Although this is not a like situation, I believe there are some parallels. l am concerned that the mud bogging activities would not only endanger the delicate ecology balance but could actually destroy it in that part of the county. I believe it is fair to say that jf the project, in its entirety, is not

57 properly designed and maintained, ponution of the wetlands will undoubtedly occur, surely to be followed by contamination of the headwaters area of Fish Eating Creek. These are some of the concerns J have about the project and I know that by the nature and charter of your chosen professions you have similar concerns. Hopefully, the Water Management District rules and regulations will provide the amount of flexibility needed to assure that the habitats for our flora and fauna are well protected from the possibility of a poorly designed and ill maintained project. I enjoyed meeting you all and thank you for your service to the dtizenry of Florida. Best regards, BG (Ret.) Robert A. Lee

58 SAVE OUR CREEKS Henley Street Bokeelia, FL April I, 2014 Via South Florida Water Management District Re: Opposition to Braha Sebring, LLC, Permit Application # Swamp Hammock Recreational Club DearSFWMD, Save Our Creeks, Inc., is a 50l(c)(3) nonprofit that has been protecting the natural environment in Highlands and surrounding counties since A major focus for SOC is protection of Fisheating Creek, one of the most pristine waterways that remains in Florida. Actions by SOC have kept Fisheating Creek open to the public when private landowners wanted to close it off. This resulted in the preservation of 18,000 acres surrounding a beautiful cypress-lined creek winding 52 miles from its headwaters in Highlands County through Glades County into Lake Okeechobee. In , SOC prevailed in law suit to prevent destruction of a portion of the Fisheating Creek navigational channel in Glades County. SOC has mounted other activities to protect Fisheating Creek, including the defeat of Eagle National Training Center, a private military center that would have placed industrial uses on 8,000 acres in Venus. Florida, and a law suit to stop major urban development in Western Highlands County at the Blue Head Ranch site. To this day, Fish~ng Creek is the only part of the Everglades watershed that has not been altered or destrqned by humans. The Creek provides 13% of the waterflow into Lake Okeechobee aad:qucial habitat to thtilotida Panther, Florida Sandhill Crane, Crested Caracara, Eastern Indigo~:'Get>her TortOist:sWallow-tailed Kite, white-pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, and other ~ aru1ifrfp!aceab~dlife. -While billions of dollars are spent on the undoing of harmful devel~~~s Restoration and the restoration of the Kissimmee River, the still~omng egblfsieftid'ftmeating Creek remains under threat from new developmenl -~.. ""O';j~~t~ -':~J::c One new threaterting devel. --"' --_~ -is a plan by Braha Sebring, LLC, to put a commercial mud bog sports a~.. :, < ~-~~ting Creek in a remote area of Highlands CountY. SOC~s thlbfijici6mmeniai ~lopment, which would bring thousands of spectators and participants tq.:tbe~ sensitive wetlands in Highlands County. _.,. ~ Save Oar: ~~ses tije ~eloplllelff of5waaap Hammock for the following, among other, r~s; "-., '

59 SAVE OUR CREEKS Fisbeating Creek Headwaters. Swamp Hammock activities will create water pollution from oil, gasoline and particulates that increase the turbidity of surrounding waters, including the receiving water body, Fisheating Creek. Turbidity is the amount of suspended particles in the water. The following are the possible results from increased turbidity in Fisheating Creek: Suspended particles can block sunlight from reaching algae in the water, decreasing photosynthesis. Suspended particles can also absorb heat, raising the temperature of the water. Suspended sediments can clog the gills of fish, making it difficult for them to breathe. When suspended sediments settle to the bottom, it can smother fish eggs and insects that live in the bottom of the creek. Suspended sediments can also carry pathogens, pollutants, and nutrients. No amount of conditions will protect this area from petroleum products release into the environment. The character of the mud bogging, which is to challenge the power of oil and diesel engines against the forces of mud and water, guarantee disbursement of petroleum products into the environment. In addition to unintentional discharge, there will be do-ityourself engine maintenance and repair. Do-it-yourself oil change activities result in millions of gallons of used oil discharged into the environment each year. One state estimated improper oil disposal amounted to 9.5 million gallons per year, more than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. One quart of oil improperly disposed results in an oil slick covering 2 acres and one gallon can foul a million gallons of freshwater, a one year supply for fifty people. OjlRecyclipg C91Dmunitv Guide. Aooendices- Portal.state.pa.us, No amount of conditions, benning or recycling can avoid this certain result, because of the nature of the activities proposed. Commercial mud bog events are intended to draw tens of thousands of people. A similar mud bog arena in C~otte County, Red:Neek.YachtClub, has drawn as many as 20,000 people to one ev~nt. T~l!tl8~pf~ veh~~~~~d~e n~mbers of people are not contemplated for env1ro~qiy~ye areas-wit~~~ wtld hfe.. ---=- ~~-: ~ _.,,..~- - ' ~- Why allow ~-~~-""i " ;~~, ~etbe dskto our water supply, natural resources and wildlife is So~. Jim~-,,c~ _.. :~elbjkrlent are needed, they can be located in lands that have already1n... c :, ~-..., ~ " ~. 78ituated to dotlaelea!itbann. It is impossible to imagine a l~io;tt~b1~~wlifte ~J.iskto our natural environment could be any higher..... o>... Bigtmlnds llammoek s..-~. SwampiUminock IS located between Highlands Hammock State Park and the WetJands~~e, whidl are conservation easements along Fisheating Creek that extend ~RLJO.. This I8ndis rtotsui12il~orti_gbintensity activities disruptive to the watershed. and ~e.. It is_~wrt~-~ m~ syita~j~e ror,agriculture or ~vironmental and natural ~Jm)tecti~ as~neclby. Highlands-County ComprehenSive Land Plan, than atswamp ~ "::-~'~~

60 SAVE OUR CREEKS Policy 1.1.D It is also in the preferred habitat corridor for Highlands County, as found by Florida Fish & Wildlife's Cooperative Conservation Blueprint for SWFL. Water depletion. Mud bogging requires constant watering to maintain the almost lake-like conditions for the activity. In the dry months, watering needs increase. The dry months are also the cold months, when the ground water is most needed to for agriculture and the protection of fruit from freezing. Use of water for such an unnecessary and non-beneficial activity as mud bogging should not come before the needs of agriculture, surface water bodies and integrity of the Floridan Aquifer. Strict Requirements of NRDA. A Natural Resources Damages Assessment is triggered whenever water pollution, including from particulates, results from human activity. The damage must be remediated and fixed. Although the law states that the property owner is responsible for the clean up costs, if the owner fails to do so, this responsibility and cost falls to the public. The owner in this case has shown no financial ability to measure up to the potential disaster that could result from this risky and destructive activity. SFWMD Criteria. The proposed activities in application # do not meet the criteria for issuance of an environmental resources permit under Florida law, and FAC. Along with certain damage to the environment, the mud bog events will adversely affect the public health, safety and welfare of people in the area, and their property. The residents living in the Swamp Hammock area have chosen a remote and peaceful area of Florida. The character of their community will be entirely undermined and transformed, with the frequency and intensity of the mud bogging events planned by the applicant. For these are other reasons, Save Our Creeks requests that the application for an individual environmental resources permit be denied. Sincerely, by:raymond Freeman, President '. Liz Donley, Secretary Save Our Creeks, Inc. cc: (Flori~ Department of Economic Opportunity) (Florida Department of State) (Florida Fish and Wildlif~~ CoiiUJiission) (Central FfOridtlltejonalPlanning Council) (US Army COrps of Engineers)

61 From: To: Subject: Date: Raymond Eve Markle Jesse Skjnner Marv FW: Highlands Audubon on Applicaton Monday, March 31, :19:11 AM Please post to Application Thank you. From: Sent: Friday, March 28, :32 PM To: Raymond, Eve Subject: Highlands Audubon on Applicaton From: Highlands County Audubon Society, c/o Dale Gillis [mailto: com] To: Raymond, Eve, Environmental Analyst Ill Subject: Swamp Hammock Application Highlands Audubon on Wetlands, Wildlife and Water Quality Highlands Audubon believes that J. Kennedy's Permit Application for the Swamp Hammock Mud Bog Park does not do justice to the area, the environment, or the wildlife. We would remind you that mud bogging activities use large amounts of water in a brief period. This is certainly a problem in times of drought. Mud bogging activities will inevitably mean accidents with ruptured gas tanks, with fuel, oil and antifreeze leaking out and potentially working their way to the aquifer. J. Kennedy's application pans area wildlife, saying it has already been impacted by ranching. According to them it is mostly pasture. In fact, the area provides Florida panther corridor and black bear corridor. It is about a mile from Blue Head Ranch, where government has spent millions on conservation easements. We believe that Florida Sandhill Cranes are nesting in this area, one reason to be concerned about wetlands. The Florida Sandhill Crane has the status of Threatened under Florida law, and does not migrate, but nests in Florida. Audubon members have seen White Pelicans on the Skipper Ranch, next door to the Swamp Hammock property. It is not common to see White Pelicans in Highlands

62 County. People live here for many years without seeing one, let alone a flock. This is one sign that wild birds, and migratory birds, are attracted to the area and make it a stopping place. Is pasture worthless to birds? Audubon members have seen Burrowing Owls with holes in cow pastures. They not only visit but nest there, living with domestic cattle. The Application says that the wetlands on the property provide no "downstream" benefits. (Mitigation & Monitoring Plan, p. 4, under Location & Landscape Support.) They are saying that since these wetlands don't flow into a creek, they are almost useless. On the contrary, the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, tells us that "wetlands without an obvious surface water connection store water" and recharge the aquifer. The EPA site goes on to give the example of 46 billion gallons of water in South Carolina, stored in "wetlands without a surface connection." Also: "Wetlands, including those that aren't connected to the river network, are among the most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems in the world." The value for hunters: "About 2.3 million people per year hunt migratory birds, which depend on healthy wetlands, spending more than $1.3 billion dollars per year in the process." Source: bttp-1/water e.pa goyltype/wetlaudslbasjc cfm Threatened species: "More than one-third of the United States' threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands, and nearly half use wetlands at some point in their lives." Source: http /twater epa goyttype/wetlands/fish cfm On birds: "Up to one-half of North American bird species nest or feed in wetlands." On plants: "Although wetlands keep only about 5 percent of the land surface in the conterminous United States, they are home to 31 percent of our plant species." Source: bttp-1/water epa goyltype/wetlaods/outreacb/uploadlfun yal_nr pdf These points about wetlands and gasoline pollution are especially important since this part of Highlands County is an "area of high recharge" for the Floridan Aquifer.

63 Source: Florida Geological Surveys: http-1/ufdc utl edu/ijf /0000j. Are small wetlands that do not feed into a creek of value to Florida Sandhill Cranes? "Sandhill Cranes usually nest in small, isolated wetlands-such as marshes, bogs, and swales-or within about 300 yards of the edges of larger ones." The wetland also provides their nest material. "Sandhill Cranes build their nests from the dominant vegetation-such as cattails, sedges, burr reeds, bulrushes, or grasses-using dried plant materials early in the season and adding green materials later on." Source: http /lwww a11aboutbjrds orglguide/sandbjll Crane!ljfehistory The evidence is overwhelming that impairing the impounded wetlands on the property with the mud bog activity will have a significant affect on the area wildlife. Florida Sandhill Cranes, owls, Florida panthers, black bears, and other wildlife will be driven away by the immense amount of noise generated by a mud bogging event. Domestic cattle and horses will also be affected. The Highlands County Audubon Society urges that the South Florida Water Management District protect the people of Florida and its environment by denying this permit. Thank you. --Board of Directors Highlands County Audubon Society Robert Hummel, President

64 From: To: Subject: Dille: Raymond Eye Markle Jesse Skjnner Mary PtN: Environmental care of the senstive lands of our community and Lands Wednesday, March 26, :08:06 AM Please post to Thanks From: Bonnie Lesky Sent: Tuesday, March 25, :08 PM To: Raymond, Eve; Subject: Environmental care of the senstive lands of our community and Lands Application:# Permit# P Braha Sebring,LLC applicant The area of the Swamp Hammock is requesting a permit to use this as a Truck Mudding, 4- wheel ATV [all terrain vehicle ]playground. 1. This permit is will adversely affect the conservation located in on the sensitive perservation of fish wildlife, on or over wetlands or other water surface. 2. The subject of the Swamp Hammock location is in an agriculture area ;and homes in the immediate residential area. The permit does not take into affect that the mouth of peace river flows through all the land and out to the everglades land, which is a National Park and preserve. 3. Starting as a temporary or permit will not benefit this community. It will not benefit the Ranchers in the areas that this so called good for the community. Nor will it benefit for the families and homes in this community. DO NOT ALLOW TillS ISSUE OF SWAMP HAMMOCK TO GO FORWARD. THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR THREE OR SO YEARS. The Commission has already [ J. Richie]spoke- I cannot understand this issue going any further.

65 from: To: Cc: Subject: Date: Attachments: Raymond Eye Markle Jesse Skjnner Marv FW: swamp hammock Monday, March 24, :13:05 AM :;wamp Hammock dgcx Please post to From: Katherine Main Sent: Thursday, March 20, :32PM To: Raymond, Eve Subject: swamp hammock Ms. Rayman, I have learned that SFVVMD is going to make a determination regarding the use of Highlands' County land for mud bogging and other such activities. Please refer to the attached letter that I wrote to the Highlands County Commissioners on the subject. I continue to strongly object to the use of this land for such activities. I am sure that SFVVMD is well aware that the land in question is at the head waters of Fish Eating Creek, which is an environmental treasure for Florida. surely no one will approve of land in such a location to be used in a way that will create excessive exhaust fumes, destruction of the natural environment, trash littering and other activities that are questionable even in an area that is not so environmentally sensitive. Thank you, Kathy Main

66 March 10, 2013 Katherine Main 9224 Vinewood Court Sebring, FL Dear Editor: This letter is directed towards the County Commissioners who are considering approving the use of Highland's County land for the Swamp Hammock Recreational Club. I want to ask if you have lost your senses, but that comment would be impolite. Why would you approve of the use of this land to be used in such a manner? I know that the thinking is that this will bring much needed business into the county. What it will bring is oversized vehicles in from other areas to tear up not only the land out there, but the roads that are used to get to the place, and I refuse to call it a hammock as it will not be a hammock after these vehicles use it for their mud bogging and the tearing of their four wheelers through the sand and trees. The people that use this place will, for the most part, be individuals who will bring in their own food and cook it there; there will be little if any money spent here for food or other items. I understand that one person from Okeechobee said that a similar place there helped their economy in that it was the first time Publix had sold out of beer. I do not see a place where people drink and drive large, dangerous vehicles as being family friendly. The reality is the following: This will be a place that is not only dangerous for children, but a place that will attract our teens who will find places there to drink and to use drugs. The land will be wrecked and useless for any other purpose after it is used for these activities. Any animals living on the land will be killed or driven off of it. Our roads will be tom up with the type of vehicles and the increase in traffic. It will be a place of excess use of alcohol with intoxicated individuals driving in our community. Even if there is a small increase in revenue it will not compensate for the damage that will occur by this "Recreational Club." I would point out that I am not a neighbor to this place, just a concerned citizen who is highly opposed to allowing this to happen in our community. Thank you for allowing me to express my concerns. Sincerely yours, Katherine Main

67 From: To: Subject: Date: Raymond Eye Markle Jesse Skjnner Mary FW: Reapplication No Braha Sebring Monday, March 24, :19:02 PM Please post to the Swamp Hammock application From: Peggy Douberley Sent: Monday, March 24, :00 PM To: Raymond, Eve Subject: FW: Reapplication No Braha Sebring Subject: Re application No Braha Sebring Date: Man, 24 Mar :49: With regard to the use of land owned by Braha Sebring for the purpose of mud bogging and other activities, I am opposed to the issuance of a permit for such a purpose. There are many factors to consider before issuing this permit, and I assume you are aware of all of them as they have been stated at the hearings for this land use permit. However, to restate some of them, which have not changed, mud-bogging in that area would not be adequately supported by the narrow, winding road to the property, would be disruptive to the neighbors who depend on their rural way of life to support themselves financially, and would be detrimental to the environment. I well remember an Okeechobee Commissioner bragging that Publix sold out of all its beer during a mud-bogging weekend, and I thought at the time, is that really what we want here in Highlands County? Do we want to bring more rowdy behavior fueled by alcohol into the county? Do we want to clog up the only access road with traffic making it impossible for emergency vehicles to get through? Do we not care how such a venture would affect the ranchers already living there? What will be done with the trash and the human waste? What will be done to alleviate the effects on the wildlife in that area? What will be done to make sure it does not adversely affect the aquifer? I have seen pictures in a magazine of the Redneck Yacht Club and the terrain looks like a natural disaster hit it. I cannot imagine that anyone who is environmentally responsible would entertain for a minute the idea of allowing that to happen any where else. Please vote to deny this application for mud-bogging in that area.

68 Peggy Douberley 3211 Snyder Road, Sebring, FL

69 From: To: Cc: 5uJitect: o.ta: Altllcbntent.: Raymond Eye Skioocr Mary Marlde Jesse FW: Swamp Hanvnock permit # Thursday, March 20, :04:00 PM H20 management March 2Q do!;x From: beth skipper Sent: Thursday, March 20, :24 PM To: Raymond, Eve Subject: Swamp Hammock permit# Dear Ms. Raymond, Attached is my letter discussing the permit for Swamp Hammock. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Beth Skipper (I live adjacent to the property.) b In God we Trust.

70 March 20, 2014 Dear Water Management OfficiaJs, I live on the adjacent property to the proposed Swamp Hammock project in Highlands County, to which I have very strong objections. Swamp Hammock was first introduced as an area for bird watchers, boy and girl scout troupes, and church groups, BUT the project would need a 'mud bog' to support the other activities. The images of current mud bogs are as far from quiet nature enjoyment as one can imagine. Oily filth, noise, and trash are not conducive to the pristine nature in our area. rm assuming the bodies of water dug on Mr. Braha's land were dug with the intention to use fill dirt for road construction when he was developing the property for houses. The pits that are left are beautifully enticing but the steep sides are a safety issue for swimmers and all terrain vehicles. The hours of operation are a huge concern. The Swamp Hammock experts have decided that a traffic officer at the corner of Payne Road and West Josephine for 4 hours Saturday morning and 4 hours Sunday afternoon on weekends with formal mud bogging events will alleviate any traffic problems in our neighborhood. Redneck Yatch Club has (the paramedics estimated in a news article from the Lee County Chamel 4 News) 20 thousand people coming and going night and day. To say that our narrow twisting road, with culverts and mailboxes on both sides and multiple 90 degree tums, can handle hundreds of vehicles pulling trailers, with ATVs and monster trucks, during that short window is ludicrous. There is the issue of 'sanctioned' events. If Swamp Hammock is open for ATVs and campers, what keeps one 'fun' loving person with a text message from creating an instant party night or day. We have such areas around Highlands County now. There is a thought that if Swamp Hammock were available, it would alleviate the illegal trashing of private property from the ATV and trucks 'mud bogging' in these unauthorized areas. rd like to see any data that shows opening 1 big mud bog where people have to pay entrance fees would slow down the nightly and weekend aggravation to neighborhoods where people congregate for such entertainment. In our neighborhood, we count it a huge blessing to observe the night sky with few light interruptions. From our front porch we have counted 732 Sandhill Cranes sailing into the

71 pond in front of our home at dusk. You, as water management people, know how I could go on about the wildlife out here. You know, more than I, about the scar that the scum of a mud bog will leave behind. http./! com/watch?feature==plaver detailpage&v==ww6avit zgg is a link to Lee County Commissioner, Bob Starr, being interviewed on the 'fox 4now' news recently. The report is entailing a knife fight between two women that airlifted a girl to the hospital. Commissioner Starr is saying, I believe Redneck Yatch Club is out of control. He said more emergency calls come from 'out there' than anywhere else in the county. The interview went on to say that nothing has been done to control it. The interviewer alludes to the fact that because it is on private property, they, as commissioners, can't do anything about it. My hope is that you, as a decision makers for our resources and way of life, can do for our community what the majority of our HighiCI"'dS County Commissioners aren't willing or caring enough to do, which is stop Swamp Hammock. Beth Skipper (61 Ranch) 651 Skipper Ranch Rd. Lake Placid, FL 33852

72 F.._: To: Sabject: DIIIIB: ~ ~ Fw: Re : pemits Swamp Harrrnock Application Wednesday, March 19, :14:08 PM Some reason this was returned to me! Hope you can forward this to the proper department. Thanks! -Original Message-- From: Beth Laj! Date: 3/19/201411:41:19 AM To: gov Subject Re : permits Swamp Hammock Application Application # Penn it# P We are owners of 80 acresthat is on the road where this proposal is. We object to this behavior being introduced to our home and properties. We see all kinds of wildlife including panthers, which was spotted recently with a cub, black bear have been seen here, white pelicans and many species of protected hawks and other wildlife. We know the Okeechobee mudfest got canceled not long ago. There are several other locations closed right now because of illicit behavior. There are just too many damages to properties. \Nhat about all the oils and fuels that penetrate into our waters. This is a great concern to all of us neighbors. We do drink from our wells! Will they be required to have a wash down area? What about liners in the pits? We also worry about the long curvy road we live on with all the wrecks that will occur. We are always getting ran off of the road just from the commercial trucks, let alone people unfamiliar to the area, besides all the drinking and behaviors that come along with these events. I know that our input probably don't matter to you but this is our life savings invested in our property and home! We don't have a Jot of money for lawyers but as neighbors we are all up to challenging in an administrative appeal under 120 F.S.

73 Thank you for your consideration! David & Beth Lail W. Josephine Rd. Sebring, Fl FREE Animotions for your - by IncrediMaill

74 From: Qalo B Wiflard To: ~ Subject: Swamp Hammock I permit #13U19-118raha Sebring LLC Dille: Wednesday, March 19, :23:33 PM To the decision making Authority, I wish to voice my objections to the permitting of Swamp Hammock # for anything other than agriculture use. Reasons for my objections are below: Please understand that I'm 63 years old, my wife is 59 and we have raised 7 children. My wife and I work every day, Real Estate Broker/Appraiser and Educator, nowhere near retirement due to debt and desire. We live approx. 1.6 miles North, as the crow flies, from the proposed site. Traffic.... When you add 10,000 plus vehicles to over 6 miles of a small secondary 2 lane road that has many dangerous curves and turns and have them coming and going over a 3 or 4 day event, you are fighting the odds for a catastrophic accident. This traffic will greatly impede my ability to function/work as I work weekends going on inspections. We have several residents with life threatening ailments. What happens if one of them has an occurrence that requires emergency medical treatment and they can't get in? What will the traffic also do to the other 100 or so residents of this small rural area. I have heard reports that some of this events draw crowds up to 50,000. That just magnifies the problem even more. Noise... will be obnoxious, early in the morning until late into the night. This noise will not only disrupt local households, but will disrupt the natural environment for the wildlife living in the area. This entire West Josephine, Marguerite Road and 10 Mile grade are a known wildlife corridor. Bird nesting grounds, sanctuaries, Florida Panthers, deer, bear, hogs, gopher tortoise, to name a few, all live and travel these paths which be directly impacted by this Swamp Hammock Mud Bog. vou can bank on the diminished water quality within and around your wetlands. Common sense tells you that there is going to be an impact from all of the petroleum products escaping

75 vehicles during the events being held along with the impact of human waste and garbage. If you take a look at surrounding lands you will find cattle pastures and groves. All of these folks are held to a high standard for water quality protection. The Swamp Hammock is being held to no account for their impact on water runoff or wetland impact. If you can take a minute and think back in history, for example, to the water right battles of ranchers out west. Final result's were "use your share but you could not stop the flow of water to another." In other words, "do what you want with your land, but when you do something with your land that effects other land owners then you either stop or seek their permission", simple as that! You are taking the rights of surrounding land owners away from them by approving this permit. You are giving Swamp Hammock the right to not only affect their land, but the land of all residents surrounding them (Human and animal). The results are going to be irreparable. This parcel has been subdivided into small acreage tracts and has a useable plan in place already. Leave it as such and let nature prevail. May God bless your decision. Honestly, Dale R Willard and Patricia A Willard

76 From: Nancy Proverb Sent: Thursday, March 13, :34PM To: Raymond, Eve Subject: Swamp Hammock Recreational Park, Sebring, Aorida ' :I,' P i '' '! ', 'i I 'I!' - ~ \ : ' '! I :: I I ::,I 1, :I! i: i r >j,'., 'i ~ncy Proverb "Life is not measured by how many breaths we take. But by how many moments take our breath away."

77 From: Sent: To: Subject: com Thursday, March 13, :32 PM penn its permit # Braha sebring LLC Dear Sirs. I am writing to you in regards to The application ( ) Braha Sebring LLC "Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreational Club". I belteve the activities of this Swamp Hammock Outdoor Recreation Club will adversely affect the Surrounding commtjility and the adjoining property owners, and the conservation of fish and wildlife in the area, including endangered or threatened species. The Florida Panther is Federally listed as an endangered species. Alexis Meyer. of the Florida Sierra Club Stated in her article below "Swamp Hammock in Highlands County is an example of a poorly placed development within a critical wildlife corridor - something that we all have a say in." Alexis Meyer, Associate Organizing Representative, Florida Panther Critical Habitat Campaign. Here is the link to the article: In Ms. Meyers article of she explained that this area acts as a natural wildlife corridor connecting "Fish Eat.ng Creek", a proposed National Wildlife Refuge and "Highlands Hammock State Park". Two years ago,my husband and I personally came in contact with a female panther and 2 cubs on West Josephine Road, which is to the north of Mr. Brahas property. It was around 10:30 p m.with a light rain. We saw the glowing eyes on the road before us and slowed. As we got closer we realized what was on the road. They were crossing West Josephine headed south, which is in the direction the property in question. They stopped and looked at us for maybe 15 or 20 seconds before continuing on their way. It was an amazing sight! Another neighbor has told a story of being trapped in his deer tree stand because a Florida Panther was at the bottom walking around. Mud bogs have crowds in the thousands attend their events, with many vehicles with loud engines. Panthers will lose an important corridor that they travel north and south through the state. There are also many water birds in this area. Hundreds of Sand Hill Cranes winter in this area some stay and nest and raise young here as well. I have seen the pink Spoonbills here on my property as well as on many of the neighboring properties. Storks and White Pelicans too. There are Bald Eagles, Barred Owls. Woodpeckers and many Hawks. The owner of the property, Mr. Braha must have understood the sensitive nature of this property. Why else would he have 30 conservation easements on the property?

78 The adjoining properties are cattle ranches. There are areas of the adjoining properties that have shared ponds with this proposed park. The activities that this park will be having will produce vehicle roflovers and accidents and vehicle malfunctions where petroleum products spill onto the ground Any petroleum products that seep into the water will be carried onto the adjoining properties. How can these adjoining property owners protect their livestock and property? The waters will be poljuted for the wildlife and fish also. Some summers bring enough rain to flood a lot of that area. I have personally been on the property in question some years back when there was a lot of rain in this area, and most of that property was under water especially in the back and the south side of the property. There will be NO WAY to control chemicals and petroleum products that have been spilled on that property from seeping, or floating, onto adjoining properties. The surface waters will be polluted. Please do not permit this activity which will have such an adverse affect on the habitat. the wildlife and and ranches in this area. Sincerely Yours, Cheryl Parsons 2

79 From: Sent: To: Subject: Jean Nichols Wednesday, March 12, :20 PM permits Swamp Hammock Application As a property owner in Highlands County, I would like to register my objections to this application. There are many reasons for objections including loss of "peace and tranquility" to say nothing of habitat disruptions, traffic congestions. ground pollution from the large trucks and other vehicles on the property, overflow parking, and overnight camping without adequate "facilities" leading to further ground pollution. The vehicles used at these events are not maintained as our road vehicles. Transmission fluids, leaking oils, hydraulic leaks are just a few of the possible catalysts for damage to the ecology in west Highlands County. Ensuring that the lands are not damaged with petroleum products will be next to impossible. This is an agricultural area that should remain as such. There are no provisions to allow for a commercial enterprise for "mud bogging" and the many other activities Swamp Hammock has planned. Policing will be costly and resources to enforce the laws on the books as they stand now are stretched thinly. Can you, SFWMD, assure the residents of Highlands County and Hardee County that the "spills" from Swamp Hammock will not affect the health and safety of the residents, plants and animals? If you can not guarantee that there will be no damage to the wetlands and surrounding areas and water bodies and sources, please deny this application. What about the "wash down" area? What provisions must be in place to assure no pollution is allowed to spread? Who will watch to make sure that everyone follows "procedures"? You can make rules but they must be enforced and penalties applied to infractions. Our area floods frequently and any ground pollution will follow the flow of the water... toward the coast and population areas. Why take a chance? Please deny this application. Jean Nichols 100 Nichols Way Sebring, Fl 33875

80 .. fj TT!fCif fo1c,::.j,4/ r F.. --'Citrus Animal Clinic 270 u.s. 27 south Lake Placid, FL John H. Causey, DVM Leah C. Altvater, DVM James P. Waller, DVM (863) FAX (863) Highlands County Planning and Zoning Board Dear Members: January 7, 2013 I am submitting this information on behalf of the Skipper family's "61 Ranch," located on West Josephine Road. The proposed swamp hammock recreational area will adversely impact the cattle operation on several levels. The increased activity of traffic, noise, and human contact will cause both cattle and wildlife populations to avoid use of the area adjacent to the source. This will result in overgrazing and deterioration of the forage sources in the comfort zone. Conversely, underutilization of pasture close to this activity will result in reduction of available feed. Fear will reduce the acreage for use. The stress generated from this increased recreational activity has several physiological effects on a cattle operation. It's well documented that noise pollution results in altered levels of hormones causing premature births, neonatal calf mortality, lowered milk production, reduced weaning weights, and reduced reproductive efficiency. All of which affect the profitability of the ranch. This reasoning prevailed at the Brrghton Seminole Reservation during the construction of a water treatment facility resulting in a substantial monetary claim and payment. The increased traffic into the heart of Florida's cattle country presents another unintended consequence. It ts suggested that the participants of the recreational area will come mainly from coastal communities in South Florida. Foreig'l animal diseases continue to threaten the entire livestock industry. The USDA feels the entry point of this danger will be at the Port of Miami or MIA. The litte.r originating from those points left at these events can be the source of

81 introduction of a foreign virus spread by scavenging feral hogs to endemic livestock and wildlife. The result will be a catastrophic local and statewide quarantine. Hopefully, you are now aware of the economic effects and potential dangers to the continued operation of the Skipper family ranch. They have been good stewards of the land for over one hundred years. I ask that you please follow their example. Respectfully, John H. Causey DVM

82 Human-Cow Interactions: Production Effects Page 1 of 4.. Human-Cow Interactions: Production Effects Temple Grandin, PhD Department of Animal Science Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO W.O. Hoard, founder of Hoard's Dairyman, wrote over a 100 years ago that people working with dairy cows should have patience and kindness, and that rough treatment decreases the flow of milk. People who enjoy working with animals will have more productive animals. 7 Jack Albright, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, stated years ago that tame dairy cows that will approach people will give more milk. People have known for a long time that rough handling and stress is detrimental to dairy cattle, but some people have forgotten W.O. Hoard's wisdom. In fact the highest producing dairy in Colorado milks only twice a day, uses no growth hormone and has tame cows that will approach people. Researchers have used statistical methods to determine the powerful negative effects of rough handling. 14 Shocking or hitting a cow can reduce milk yield by 1 0%. Paul Hemsworth in Australia has found that cows that are fearful of people are less productive. Fear of people was measured on 14 dairy farms by measuring how close the cows would approach people. On dairies where cows had a large flight zone, there was significantly less milk production. 6 Cows that avoided people and became restless when a person was nearby had lower milk production. Observation at a large dairy indicated that tame cows in a special research unit gave more milk. Breuer et al. (1997) found that dairy heifers that were slapped repeatedly before and after milking had reduced milk yield. Seabrook also demonstrated the beneficial ettects of gentle treatment. 16 Dairy cows that were slapped gave 13% less milk than cows that were gently stroked. People need to talk quietly to cattle. Yelling and whistling increased a cow's heartrate more than the sound of a gate slamming. 17 Hems worth and Coleman ( 1998) have authored an excellent book which outlines all the studies showing the beneficial effects of good stockmanship on farm animal productivity. Fear Memory Formation Fearful animals will be less productive. Animals have good memories for both good and bad experiences. Research at New York University has shown that animals can make fear memories that cannot be erased. 10 These fear memories are located in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is the lower more primitive part of the brain under the cortex. Fear memories are permanent. In the times when cows were wild animals, they would be more likely to be eaten by predators if they forgot where they had encountered a lion. Animals can learn to override a fear memory and become less fearful of the place where a scary experience occurred, but they can only override the fear memory as it cannot be erased. The emphasis has to be on preventing fear memories. Good stockmanship improves productivity by reducing fear. Fear is Place Specific mhtml:file://c:\documents%20and%20settings\administrator\locai%20settings\te... 2/4/2013

83 Human-Cow Interactions: Production Effects Page 2 of 4.. Cattle and other animals tend to develop fear memories which are linked to certain places, 13 prominent objects or people. Rushen et al. reported that the heart rate of a cow increases when she sees a person who had previously mistreated her. Animals are most likely to become fearful of a specific place or of a person wearing a certain type of clothing that can be associated with a painful or scary experience. 12 It would be very detrimental for milk production if a cow became afraid of the milking parlor. It is essential that a heifer's first experience in the milking parlor is a good experience. First experiences make a big impression on animals. 5 If a heifer falls down or is shocked with an electric prod the first time she enters the parlor, she may develop a fear memory that is associated with the parlor. Research done with rats shows the powerful effects of forming a fear memory. Rats were placed in a maze and allowed to explore all the alleys. If a rat was given a shock the first time it entered a new alley it would never enter that alley again. 11 However, if the rat entered the alley several times and found food and received a shock the fifth time it entered, it would be likely to continue to enter the alley.. If an animal has a painful or scary experience the first time it enters a new place, then the fear memory is associated with the new place. However, if a painful or scary event happens in a familiar place which has previously been safe, the cow will most likely associate it with something else, such as a person wearing a yellow raincoat. The fear memory will be associated with the raincoat instead of the place. The fear memory can resurface in any place the cow sees a yellow raincoat. Introducing Heifers to the Parlor Care must be taken to insure that nothing bad happens to a new heifer when she first walks through the parlor. Animals are naturally wary of new places, and if a new experience is suddenly shoved in the animal's face, it is more likely to be fearful. One of the best low stress ways to introduce a new place to animals is to allow them to voluntarily explore it. On smaller dairies heifers could be allowed to explore and walk around in the parlor before they freshen. On a large dairy this would probably not be practical. French researchers have found that young calves which are handled frequently by people and have positive experiences with people wilj grow up into calmer cows with a smaller flight distance. 2 3 Rushen 14 emphasizes the importance of gentle handling of calves. Alright 1 and Hemsworth (1998b) also support the benefits of positive, contact when a heifer first calves. On a large dairy a person could be hired to pet and handle calves. When the heifers get older they can be further tamed and quieted down by a person walking in their pens every day. During this time they will learn the sound of the familiar person's voice and footsteps. He or she should also wear the same clothing that the milkers wear, such as a yellow apron. This will help the heifers to associate milker clothing with a good experience. When the heifers first go in the parlor, they can be calmed by the sound and sight of a familiar, nice, safe person. Painful Experience Sometimes cows require veterinary treatments which may cause some pain or discomfort. It is important that these experiences are not associated with milking. To prevent associations with milking, never give an injection when a cow is in a milking stall. The cow should be taken to a veterinary area for treatment. She then learns that the rest of the dairy is "safe." If possible, milkers should not give injections. If this is not possible then the milker should dress differently, such as removing his yellow apron and putting on a big blue hat. Cows can easily distinguish between different clothing colors which are.associated with good or bad treatment. 15 Cows then learn that they can relax when they see the yellow apron, and the only time they will be anxious is when they see the blue hat. The hat should be a really wild one that no other employee would ever wear. It should be put away in a box after the veterinary treatments so that the cows mhtml :file://c :\Documents%20and%20Settings\Administrator\Locai%20Settinas\ T e _ 2/4/?0 1 ~

84 Human-Cow Interactions: Production Effects '. Page 3 of4 cannot see it. This will work unless a cow has had a bad experience with yellow aprons when she was a calf. Cows do not recognize human faces, but are able to recognize places, smells, a familiar person's voice, distinctive clothing and certain objects. Memories Are Like Pictures Since animals do not have language, tl).ey store their memories like pictures in a photo album, or as short bits of audio tape. For example, if a cow became afraid of yellow raincoats when she was a heifer, anything that sort of looked like a yellow raincoat may also scare her. A fear of yellow raincoats might generalize to yellow aprons. Basically, the cow matches what she is seeing and hearing to the fear memories in her brain. Locking Stanchions Some dairy managers have found that locking stanchions increased stress. This may be due to the methods used to introduce cattle to the stanchions. Before a stanchion is ever locked, the animals should associate it with eating. If the locking stanchion is associated with needles, the cow is more likely to be fearful. To avoid this association, the animal's first experience in the stanchion should be eating. If calves are gently trained to eat in stanchions they likely will not associate them with needles, even if they have received injections in them. It is more likely that the cows will associate the needles with an object, such as a Red "Sharps Container". They will be relaxed when they cannot see the container. W.D. Hoard's wisdom has now been Rroven with science. Scientists have mapped the fear circuits in the brain and they know how they work. Dairy managers can use the information to train employees on the importance of treating dairy cows with kindness. References l.albright, JL: Dairy cattle behaviour facilities, husbandry and handling. In: Grandin, T. Livestock Handling and Transport, 2nd Edition, CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon, United Kingdom Boivin X, LeNeindre P, Chupin JP, Establishment of cattle-human relationships. Appl Anim Behav Sci 32, a. 3.Boivin X, LeNeindre P, Chupin JM, Garel JP, Trillat G: Influence of breed and early management on ease of handling and open-field behavior of cattle. Appl Anim Behav Sci, 32, , 1992b. 4.DePassille AMB, Rushen J Ladewig J Petherick C: Dairy calves' discrimination of people based on previous handling. J Anim Sci 74, 9~9-974, Grandin T: Assessment of stress during handling and transport. J. Anim Sci. 75: , Hemsworth PH, Breuer K, Barnett, JL Coleman, GJ Matthews, LR: Behavioural response humans and the productivity of commercial dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the 29th International Congress of the International Society of Appied Ethology, pp , 1995b. 7.Hemsworth PH, Coleman GJ, Barnett JL: Improving the attitude and behavior ofstockperson towards pigs and the consequences on the behavior and reproductive performance of commercial pigs. Appl Anim Behav Sci 39: , 1994a. mhtml:file://c:\documents%20and%20settings\administrator\locai%20settings\te... 2/4/2013

85 Human-Cow Interactions: Production Effects Page 4 of4. f 8.Hemsworth PH, Hensen C, Barnett JL: The effects of human presence at the time of calving on primiparous cows on their subsequent behavioural response to milking. Appl Anim Behav Sci , Hemsworth PH, Barnett JL, Tilbrook AJ, Hansen C: The effects of handling by humans at calving during milking on the behaviour and milk cortisol concentrations of primiparous dairy cows. Appl Anim Behav Sci 22: , 1989c. 10.LeDoux J: The Emotional Brain, Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, l.Miller NE: Learning resistance to pain and fear effects of overlearning, exposure and rewarded exposure in context. J Exp Psychol60: Munksgaard L, depassille AMB, Rushen J, Thodberg K, Jensen MG: Discrimination of people by dairy cows based on handling. J Dairy Sci 80: , Rushen J, Munksgasard L, depassille AMB, Jensen MB, Thodberg K: Location of handling and dairy cows' responses to people. Appl Anim Behav Sci 55: , Rushen J, Taylor AA, depassille AM: Domestic animal's fear of humans and its effect on their welfare. Appl Anim Behav Sci 65: , Rushen J, depassille AMB, Munksgaard L: Fear of people by cows and effects on milk yield, behavior and heart rate at milking. J Dairy Sci 82: , 1999a. 16.Seabrook MF: The psychological interaction between the stockman and his animals and its influence on performance of pigs and dairy cows. Vet Rec 115: 84-87, Waynert DE, Stookey JM, Schwartzkopf, Gerwein JM, Watts CS, Waltz CS: Response of beef cattle to noise during handling. Appl Anim Behav Sci 62:27-42, < American Association ofb~vi~~.practitioners Rome, Georgia USA mhtml:file://c:\documents%20and%20settings\administrator\locai%20settings\te... 2/4/2013

86 . ". Area Mud Bog and Extreme Sports Events Event Red Neck Yacht Club Mudding Event 11/ Location Rt. 31 and 7 4 Charfotte County Significant traffic impacts Number attending 20, Emergency Transp. Okeechobee Mudfest Mudding Event 2/8-10/13 Rt. 70, Okeechobee 6-8,000 8 DUI arrests 50 treated at 1st aide trailer 27 injured 15 to hospital 3 airlifted Tough Mudder Extreme Challenge Footrace 12/1-2/12 18,500 Rt. 72, Sarasota (5 miles from Rt. 75) Traffic impacts backed up 10 miles, with 5 mile back up on Rt. 75, 4 hour wait to get into park Dirty Foot Adventures Rt. 98 or Rt. 27 to Avon Park Cut Off Ft. Meade 5-8,000 (limited to 2,500 cars and 500 recreational vehicles, no big tire trucks allowed)

87 Palm Bay man killed in off-road Polk County crash J.D. QdDp, I"LLOUDA TOMY p.m. EST Febtwly u,.,., I:IU p.m. ~: Hfta( tth.. ~.J H ~:For,.. _,., County sherilt"s inwtstigatol's ~ A 22-yar-old Palm Bay man - Idled &.!day aiibr faling alf a pidcup lruc:k along a rrutdy tmil and... Ill to pulh a friend out of the -y. Polk The acxidart happened abed 1 :..0 p.m. Sdlday at the Triple c.nopy Ranch. a SIJO.ecnl olkoad lila at 188!50 CR 83QA, in FIOStpfoof. Aulhorilies said the man, idenlliad ulfttary Pole(' VeiDc:e, - one of sewrat people ejedld from Chwnllet pickup.. it ~through lftlddy bog. The pickup true*- clrtven ~ 19-y.ar-old Jilmie Yunck Jr., of Loxahatl:hH. ~IWPO'l \1\i)od said Yaloc:a._. abllt to pr1iikt a 21-y.r-old woman, al8o a s--nger in the pidcup bed, flom being CNihed by the pickup's wheels. ewn u he-fdng. Both fwd been siting on top of a tool box in the truck bed wlhout any hem IIIII, inyestiglltois IWPO'l -n.y _,. riding through a nul hole in an olkoed.,.,- id Donna \1\i)od, a spokeawanlln for tha Polk County Sherlrs Ol'l'lce. -rhey both r.ll out on the drnl's side. Somehow he._. able td pulh her out ol the vey. \laloce, who- n8'l over by tha,... th, tllkan td an araa hoepltal we.. heprorlouficied deed. The woman sulfared bruims and cuts but - hosplal...teaeed from the Triple CMcJpv Ranch Is bus~~-..._. vislors pay an ~price td gat onto.. land tor olf...-d di'mng, concerts and lruc:k., Famly IMiiDKs... laising funds td cover the bmnll coils br Veloce, a~ Bayside High Sc:Mot student. He- not lnsuied, said his rnaller. ~ Valoce. An invatiglrlion ongoing MORE STORIES

88 Wild & Crazy Weekend Event Turns Deadly At Triple Canopy Ranch Lake Wales. Flonda - An unpublished numoer of people attendee what was b1lled as The New Triple Canopy Ranch out on Hwy 60 West of Lake Wales. The event featured.. ~~-~:;,_artist Colt Ford as It's top mus1cal act People came from all over Florida & a few from out of state to the event The mus1c however was not why ;:;ecp1e attended the event Th1s was a mud bog event Per event presenters, Lucky D1ck t= ro!;,:;~:;:;:o ~, Triple Canopy Ranch featured two race tracks, two trucks at once huge (:2-::r,JnQ turns, taole top JUmps, deep nasty mud. and plenty of room for spectators From attendee's comments 1t truly delivered & more Many people satd it was a great time and couldn't wait to do it again. For others attendee's it wasn't the time they expected It l rue~, Crashes & Catches On Fire At Triple Canopy Rancr: (f21:eboo,; photo) +eaturea way too many people" and the large crowds were uncontrollable. 'A lack of organization & poor camptng space :;as also a common comment by attendees. So to say that it was a failure or a success based on the expenence of the '=::Cenaees is difficult Unfortunately what IS not difficult is the dangerous conditions it provided. One of which was deadly on Sunday Antnony Veloce (Potter) a young man 1n nis early 20's from Palm Bay, Florida >Jk-' ~tji:js_. :.::c; ''"-.::. :. Veloce's accident wasn't the only accident or incident at the event Accora1ng to the Polk Ccc.~~. =,re C.eoartrn<:n: a total of 17 calls were ran for specifically that location from Friday to Sunday. Friday had 3 calls. 1 Dislocated shoulaer. 2 traumatic injuries ( 1 was a trauma alert and was flown out by Aeromed) Saturaay ITad a total of 11 calls.there were 6 medical emergencies, 2 traumatic lnjunes,2 Get Your Polk County News As It happens Follow Us On ncebook _ Click Here fires (brush and brush wlvehicje)& 1 v h. I e 1c e acctdent s d were 2 medtcal emergencies & 1 h I.. un ay had 3 calls There ve tc e acctdent with fatality (Anthony Veloce I The Triple Ca R.. a vanety of reasons" nopy anch previously clos d It wdl be tnterest~ng to see If an t.,~... e back In 2012 over what they called even cv:c-,ji.:it::c In May will open

89 THIS INDEMNITY AGREEMENT is made effective this day of 2014, by and between SWAMP HAMMOCK RECREATION CLUB, INC. (hereinafter referred to as "SWAMP") and BRAHA SEBRING, LLC (hereinafter referred to as "BRAHA") of Sebring, Florida, lndemnitors, and SKIPPER CATILE CORP., (hereinafter referred to as "SKIPPER"), of Sebring, Florida, and 61 RANCH, LLC (hereinafter referred to as "61 RANCH"), of Sebring, Florida, and BAR ROCKING C RANCH, LLC, hereinafter referred to as "ROCKING'), and WALTER L. JOHNSON, hereinafter referred to as "JOHNSON"), lndemnitees, and are sometimes individually referred to as "Parties," and collectively referred to as "The Parties". WHEREAS, SWAMP and BRAHA desire to indemnify SKIPPER, 61 RANCH, ROCKING and JOHNSON from any claims and/or litigation arising out of SWAMP's actions in connection with outdoor recreation activities on the property of BRAHA, located adjacent to SKIPPER, 61 RANCH, ROCKING and JOHNSON properties. NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and conditions contained herein, SWAMP and BRAHA along with SKIPPER, 61 RANCH, ROCKING and JOHNSON hereby agree as follows: TERMS 1. Indemnification. SWAMP and BRAHA now fully defends, indemnifies and holds harmless SKIPPER, 61 RANCH, ROCKING and JOHNSON from any all claims, lawsuits, demands, causes of action, liability, loss, damage, and/or injury of any kind whatsoever (including without limitation, all claims for mopetary loss, property damage, equitable relief, personal injury and/or wrongful death), whether brought by an individual or other entity, or imposed by a Court of law, or by administrative action of any Federal, State, or local governmental body or agency, arising out of, in anyway whatsoever, any act, omissions, negligence, or willful misconduct on behalf of Swamp Hammock, its officer(s), owner(s), personnel, employees, agents, contractors, invitees, or volunteers. This indemnification applies to and includes, without limitation, payment of all penalties, fines, judgments, awards, decrees, attorneys' fees, and related costs or expenses, and any reimbursements to SKIPPER, 61 RANCH, ROCKING and JOHNSON for all legal fees, expenses, and costs incurred by them. 2. Authority to Enter into Agreement. Each party warrants that the individual that signed this Agreement has the actual legal power, right, and authority to make this Agreement and bind each of the respective parties. 3. Amendments/Modification. No supplements, modifications, or amendments of this Agreement shall be binding unless executed in writing and signed by all parties. 1

90 4. Waiver. No waiver of any default shall constitute a waiver of any other default or breach, whether of the same or other covenants and conditions. No waiver, benefit, privilege, or service voluntarily given or permitted by a Party shall give the other Party any contractual right by custom, estoppel, or otherwise. 5. Attorneys' Fees and Costs. If any legal action or other legal proceeding is brought in connection with this Agreem~nt, the successful or prevailing party, if any, shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees and other related costs, in addition to any other relief to which that Party is entitled. In the event that is the subject of dispute, the court or trier of fact who presides over such legal action or proceeding is empowered to determine which party, if any, is the prevailing party in accordance with this provision. 6. Entire Agreement. This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the Parties related to the matters specified herein, and supersedes any prior oral or written statements or agreements between the parties relating to such matters. 7. Enforceability, Severability, and Reformation. If any provision of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deem~ to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited. The intent of the Parties is to provide as broad an indemnification as possible under Florida law. In the event that any aspect of this Agreement is deemed unenforceable, the Court is empowered to modify this Agreement to give the broadest possible interpretation permitted under Florida law. 8. Applicable Law. This Agreement shall be governed exclusively under the laws of the State of Florida, without regard to conflict of law provisions. 9. Exdusive Venue and Jurisdiction. Any lawsuit or legal proceedings arising out of or relating to this Agreement in any way whatsoever shall be exclusively brought and litigated in the state courts of Highlands County, Florida. Each party expressly consents and submits to this exclusive jurisdiction and exclusive venue. Each party expressly waives the right to challenge this jurisdiction and/or venue as improper or inconvenient. Each party consents to the dismissal of any lawsuits that they bring in. any other jurisdiction or venue. 2

91 This indemnity agreement is signed this day of------' 2014, SWAMP HAMMOCK RECREATION CLUB, INC. By: Ralph Braha, President BRAHA SEBRING, LLC By: Ralph Braha, Member.. SKIPPER CAffiE CORP. By: Its: RANCH, LLC By: Its: BAR ROCKING C RANCH, LLC By:. Its: WALTER L. JOHNSON 3

92 Cr 635 Bridle Path Morgan Path Brook Hollow Rd Panther Pl Phillips Rd Eden Ln Silver Ter Bethea Ln W Josephine Rd Spring Valley Ln Cracker Hmck Sr 66 O'berry Trl Brady Trl Jess Durrance Rd Wagon Trl Mustang Trl Payne Rd Pearl Rd Chicory Ave Lakeside Dr S Magnolia St Nursery Rd Mcroy Rd S Orange Blossom Blvd Burkett Ave Pleasant Dr Richwood Dr Bending Oak Dr Devitt Rd Whippoorwill Rd Private Rd Thiseldo Ln Mccoy Rd Marguerite Rd Amber Bell Trl Baneberry Cir Williams Rd Henscratch Rd Marabella Rd Deer Run Clark Rd Arbutus Rd Jacks Rd Otter Trl Gosling St Sable Palm Dr Miller Ave LOCATION MAP BOA #1770

93 Cr 635 Bridle Path Morgan Path Brook Hollow Rd Panther Pl Phillips Rd Eden Ln Silver Ter Bethea Ln W Josephine Rd Spring Valley Ln Cracker Hmck Sr 66 O'berry Trl Brady Trl Jess Durrance Rd Wagon Trl Mustang Trl Payne Rd Pearl Rd Chicory Ave Lakeside Dr S Magnolia St Nursery Rd Mcroy Rd S Orange Blossom Blvd Burkett Ave Pleasant Dr Richwood Dr Bending Oak Dr Devitt Rd Whippoorwill Rd Private Rd Thiseldo Ln Mccoy Rd Marguerite Rd Amber Bell Trl Baneberry Cir Williams Rd Henscratch Rd Marabella Rd Deer Run Clark Rd Arbutus Rd Jacks Rd Otter Trl Gosling St Sable Palm Dr Miller Ave LOCATION MAP BOA #1770