DEP’s Northwest District to Host Real Estate Focused Open House

Thinking about buying a piece of property? The Florida Department of Environmental Protection can help you make an informed decision. The department has a wealth of information about wetlands, waterfront property, docks and marinas, lift stations, asbestos, site contamination and more. The department’s Northwest District Office in Pensacola can answer questions about state permitting requirements, property restrictions and cost-saving measures. You also can find out about grant funding, incentives and tax breaks for brownfields redevelopment. Much of this information is readily available online.

The district’s Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) staff can answer questions about wetlands and stormwater as well as waterfront property topics such as seawalls, shoreline stabilization, residential docks and commercial marinas. Call a member of the ERP team to discuss permitting and potential property restrictions before you buy or sell. ERP staff can also help you navigate our vast online resources to determine if there might be wetlands on a property or if a permit was issued in the past. ERP staff will even assist you with completing a permit application.

The district’s state lands professionals have information on permitting and proprietary authorizations for use of sovereign submerged lands. This includes building a dock on waterfront property, leasing state land for docks and buying condo/townhome units that come with use of a boat slip. Recent legislative changes have reduced lease fees for private residential docking facilities. Staff are available to explain how these changes affect private, residential docks with sovereign submerged land leases.

The district’s waste cleanup staff can help you determine if a property has potential soil or groundwater contamination and can answer questions about buying contaminated properties. They’ll tell you about the Contamination Locator Map, which allows you to identify nearby sites with potential contamination and view department records for cleanup activities. The Escambia County Property Appraiser’s office recently added a Map Direct link to every address card, making it even easier to find environmental property information.

The Florida Brownfields Program works with other state agencies to provide financial incentives to revitalize communities and foster economic development and job creation. Through grants, local communities and property owners can assess, cleanup and redevelop properties. The program has been very successful in Northwest Florida.

Realtors, developers and potential homebuyers are invited to an Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Northwest District Office located at 160 West Government Street, Pensacola. The department’s experts will be available to answer questions, demonstrate online resources available to the public, and more. To RSVP for the Open House, or speak to an environmental professional, call the Northwest District Office at 850-595-8300 or visit the website at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/northwest/.

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