Well Field Protection Workshop
June 14, 2012
The Zoning Board met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Jim Waite, Bill Dubois, Rob Williamson, Paul Carney, David Powell, Bill Seelman, Alan Isaacson, and Carol Boston. Also present were Beckie Cato (Planning and Zoning Director), Kelly Hobbs (Planner II), and Leslie Statler (Planner III). All those in attendance joined in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
Overview of wellfield area and recent work by the Northwest Florida Water Management District – Ron Bartel, Director, Resource Management Division:
Ron Bartell made a power point presentation to the Board. He said he commended the Board for their work on this project. He said if a well is contaminated it is difficult and expensive to clean up the contamination.
Carney asked if the wells within the proposed protection area draw at the same rate. Bartel said they draw at a slightly different rate. Waite asked if the wells in the East Milton area afford more protection than wells in other areas of the County. Bartel said the proposed wellfield protection area is the County’s major supply of water. Seelman asked if the clustering of the wells accelerates ground movement and percolation to the collection points. Bartel said yes. He said the study that has been completed shows the direction of the ground water flow and the cones of depression. He said travel time and distances need to be added to the study. Bartel said the proposed analysis will give a more detailed answer.
Roy Andrews said he represents a number of property owners in the proposed wellfield protection area. He said his concern, for his clients, is they have made large investments in their property with the understanding they have industrial zoned property. Andrews said the Northwest Florida Management District will be able to determine if there is a basis for the expansion of the wellfield protection area. He said he felt the board will be remiss to implement this expansion without having the best analysis possible. Andrews said he felt a scientific approach will be the best way to handle this issue.
Sandra Cantu said she felt Andrews’ client’s needs to find a way to use their land safely.
Barbra Albrecht said she is the Water Shed Coordinator for the University of West Florida. She said this is a state wide issue. Albrecht said ground water in the rest of the state is drying up. She said ground water is directly connected to surface water. Albrecht said there are contaminated wells in Jay due to pesticides.
Wallis Mahute said the analysis done by Allen Baker is a scientific study. She said it is a combination of many different scientific studies.
Holly Kimberl discussed scientific data from various state agencies. She said this ordinance is about the future of the County.
Ruth Esser said she is not speaking for or against this proposal. She said she felt the tax payers and property owners need to be taken care of. Esser asked the Board to be cautious when making their decision.
Kyle Holley discussed maps displayed on the screen. He said a blanket overlay area limited to Yellow River and Blackwater River is the most conservative approach from an economic development perspective, with regard to long term planning.
Henrietta Lawlor discussed suggestions she sent to the board regarding septic tanks.
Vernon Compton said protection of the aquifer is very important for Santa Rosa County. He said many communities realize this when it is too late. Compton said it cost communities millions of dollars to clean their water.
Cato made a power point presentation to the board regarding the proposed expansion of the wellfield protection area.
Waite said he felt it is beyond the authority of this board to request a state agency do a study within the County. He said he felt the Board of Commissioners or the County Attorney should address that issue. Dubois said he recommends the board support the district option and draft ordinance as written by staff. Waite said everyone on the board recognizes there is vulnerability in sand and gravel aquifers. He said he felt the original consultant’s recommendations were over compensated. Williamson said the board has taken into consideration all of the substantial information they have been provided. He said he also felt the GEO Spatial report was over compensated. Williamson said the board has had ample time to have their questions and concerns addressed. He said his recommendation is to move this item forward to the elected officials. Isaacson said he felt it is appropriate to recommend the ordinance to the Board of Commissioners at this time.
Dubois moved approval to recommend using the district definition as opposed to the area boundary definition using 6.05.25.B for district boundaries. Isaacson seconded, and the motion passed by majority vote with Dubois, Isaacson, Williamson, Carney, Seelman, and Boston in favor. Powell and Waite opposed.
Waite said his concern is regulating underground storage facilities. He said the state has stringent regulations for underground storage tanks. Waite discussed various changes he would like to see in the ordinance. There was continued discussion regarding details of the proposed ordinance.
Williamson moved approval to send the draft ordinance as presented to the Board of County Commissioners. Dubois second, and the motion passed with Williamson, Dubois, Carney, Seelman, Isaacson, and Boston in favor. Powell and Waite opposed.
There being no further business to come before the Board at this time, the meeting adjourned.