Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 10:00am

Original article by Hardy Thomas T. by Vero Communique

The St. John's River Management District's (SJRMD) notified the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DAH) that Indian River Farms Water Control District brought forward a petition regarding SJRMD's decision to grant a permission application by All Aboard Florida on Oct. 20, 2016.

The IFWCD is a district providing three primary flood protection canals in an area of the Indian River County, as well as being charged with keeping these three water control structures maintained.

The permit in question is #123514-2, a resource permit applied by All Aboard Florida, which would allow them to construct or enlarge three Indian River Farms over these said canals.
Bridge construction plans were submitted to IRFWMD and were DISAPPROVED by chief engineer, George A Simons.

The IRFWCD argued in it's petition that "the permit should not be issued unless and until the Application (bridge construction plans) has met the statuary mandate of approval bridge construction or enlargement by IRFWCD's engineer, who indicated the Applicant's (AAF) plans did not meet."

The canals had also been constructed decades ago and that bridges have the potential of falling and collapsing into canal waters. The Chief Engineer disapproved of the permit, deeming it "unnecessarily threatening, impeding or blocking IRFWCD's protection of upstream lands, lives and infrastructure."

This petition was dismissed, only to be second amended on November 3, 2016. When All Aboard Florida moved to dismiss, Judge Bram D.E. Canter ordered that AAF's motion was DENIED!

Judge Canter wrote that the "Petitioner's (IRFWCD) evidence and argument are to be limited to the claims that 1) the lowest horizontal beams of the proposed bridges would be constructed below flood elevations, which would cause flooding and 2) the proposed bridges would cause sand bars to form in the canals, which would interfere with canal functions."

We now await an order from admin. Judge Canter for Case 16-006165.