Why does the Authority acquire land?
The quality and quantity of surface water and groundwater is critical to the quality of life for the citizens of Lake County. By acquiring and conserving wetlands, shorelines and adjacent upland buffers, the Authority can help insure that our water resources are protected.
How does the Authority decide on how much to pay for property that they purchase?
The contract offers are based on an appraisal by a certified, independent appraiser. Typically, an offer is from 50% to 100% of the appraised value.
Where does the money come from for acquisition?
The Authority levies an ad valorem tax on properties within Lake County.
How does the Authority's acquisition program differ from the County Parks and Recreation Division?
The Authority acquires mostly natural uplands, shorelines and wetlands for resource protection and conservation. The County, under the Board of County Commissioners, acquires land in order to build boat ramps, neighborhood parks and active recreation parks (ballfields, basketball courts, etc.).
Does the Authority pay property taxes on land that they own?
No, the Authority does not pay property taxes on our conservation land.
What is the impact of removing Authority-owned lands from the tax roll?
Based on the 1999 figures, the adjusted taxable value for the whole of Lake County was slightly more than $7 billion dollars. By comparison, the assessed value of the land that the Authority owns and is therefore exempt is approximately $6 million, which calculates out to 0.084%. The land acquisition program has taken less than one tenth of one percent of the taxes off the tax roll. Additionally, there are many other benefits to keeping land in its natural condition.
Can I visit some of the Authority's other properties?
For a variety of reasons, some of the properties are not open to the public, but special arrangements can be made to allow visitation to some. Please call the Authority office for more information.
How much does it cost to rent the canoes and kayaks on the Preserves?
Is camping allowed on Authority-owned land?
Currently, camping is available at Flat Island Preserve, Sawgrass Island Preserve and Lake Norris Conservation Area. For security and safety purposes, an application must be submitted to the Authority offices for approval prior to camping. There is no charge.
Can I ride my ATV on the Preserves?
No, for the safety of other visitors and the protection of the resources, motorized vehicles are not allowed beyond the parking areas.
Can I hunt on the Preserves?
No, for safety reasons, hunting is prohibited.
Can I take my dog to the Preserves?
No, for the protection of native wildlife, no pets are allowed.
Can I collect plants or wildlife from the Preserves?
No, all plants and animals are protected.
Is horseback riding allowed on the Preserves?
Horseback riding is allowed at Sawgrass Island Preserve and Lake Norris Conservation Area only.
Is alcohol allowed on the Preserves?
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the Preserves.