Public Workshops/Meetings/Notices

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on November 24, 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) received a complete application from Bay County requesting approval of a draft ordinance to establish a Slow Speed Minimum Wake boating-restricted area within Grand Lagoon pursuant to Section 327.46(1)(c), Florida Statutes (F.S.) and Rule 68D-21.004(3)(a) – (e), Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). 

The Slow Speed Minimum Wake boating-restricted area would extend from the eastern boundary of the existing Idle Speed No Wake boating-restricted area, beginning at the United States Coast Guard Federal Navigation Aid Junction Light A (LLNR 4340), to the Bay Point Marina entrance channel within Grand Lagoon for a distance of approximately 3,200 feet (.6 mile).  Bay County contends that the boating safety zone is needed for controlled and safer boating conditions within the existing narrow and traffic congested channel and that this is an area that accident reports and uniform boating citations demonstrate has a high risk of collision or threat to boating safety.  The Grand Lagoon channel serves as a single waterway access to the Gulf of Mexico.  Bay County is required to provide competent substantial evidence that the ordinance establishing the boating-restricted area is necessary to protect the safety of the public.

The ordinance shall not take effect until it has been approved by the Commission.  Bay County is required to establish a prima facie showing that the ordinance is necessary to protect public safety.  In addition, following a review of all testimony, evidence and exhibits presented at a public hearing, if one is requested, and public comments received, the Commission will determine whether or not substantial competent evidence has been provided to demonstrate that the ordinance is necessary to protect public safety.

As required by Rule 68D-21.001(3), F.A.C., Bay County will publish as provided by Sections 50.011-.031, F.S., once a week for two consecutive weeks, notice of the public hearing on their ordinance in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the ordinance.   Approval, if granted by the Commission, will be conditioned upon the draft ordinance being adopted by Bay County without amendment. 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: Pursuant to Rules 68D-21.002, and 68D-21.003, F.A.C., comments regarding this request will be accepted no more than 21 calendar days from the date of publication/distribution of this public notice.  Public may provide written comments, recommendations, requests, inquiries, or other correspondence to the Boating and Waterways Section at 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600; or by email at Waterway.Management@MyFWC.com. The Commission will conduct a public hearing within Bay County if a written request for such a hearing is received within 21 days following this notice.

DUE DATE: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (5:00 PM EST)

A COPY OF THE APPLICATION CAN BE OBTAINED BY EMAIL (IN PDF FORMAT) OR BY US MAIL.  Please submit your request directly to Waterway.Management@MyFWC.com or contact Boating and Waterways Section at (850) 488-5600.

 



FWC Facts:
Anyone operating a vessel and willfully disregarding the safety of people or property will be cited for reckless operation (a 1st-degree misdemeanor).

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