The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) recently approved a rule change that establishes a 45-day time frame for transferring water use permits when the ownership of a property changes. Under the new rules, the burden of executing the transfer has been shifted from the seller to the buyer. While SWFWMD views this as a positive change that should resolve problems in getting transfers accomplished in a timely fashion, if the buyer fails to submit the "Notification and Request for Transfer" within the 45-day time frame, the permit will be dissolved.
The rule becomes effective February 1, 2005. Some growers have expressed concern that this rule provision was approved by the Governing Board without being discussed at meetings of the District's Advisory Committees, which are designed to provide a forum for public comment on proposed rules and other issues. According to Butch Calhoun, FFVA Director of Government Affairs, "Growers who purchase land with water use permits need to be aware of the importance of submitting the proper forms within 45 days of purchasing the property.
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