If you live on the water and/or have a dock behind your home, do you own the land your dock sits on? Maybe not.
Some Matlacha residents received a visit from a Florida Department of Environmental Protection employee advising them that the land behind their homes has been identified as state-owned submerged land and to keep their dock on state land would require not just a permit but a fee and back payment of owed money.
One resident was reportedly told to pay $495, plus sales tax, annual fee for a lease, plus $610 application fee and retroactive charges for the past 4 years, plus interest and a 25 percent surcharge for waterfront land that was family owned from the early days of Matlacha when no one knew the state could impose these fees.
The issue is Riparian Rights or state submerged lands. How are they identified and where are the lines drawn in Matlacha. Will Pine Island or other Lee County waterfront communities be affected? What prompted the state to start appropriating submerged land now when they are at the same time selling off state owned land such as Cayo Costa properties. Confused? Have questions?
The Matlacha Civic Association will host Jon Iglehart, director of the DEP South District at its Tuesday, Jan. 21, meeting at 6 p.m., in the Pine Island Art Association building in Matlacha Park. Slides will be shown of where the submerged land lines are drawn. Find out if your home is inside the line.
For further information, call Jennifer Starr at 252-241-7124 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All meetings are open to the public at no charge.