Palm Beach Gardens/Boca Raton, Fla. – Nason Yeager Shareholders John J. Fumero and Thomas Mullin, members of the firm’s Environmental and Land Use Practice group, successfully defended D.R. Horton’s proposed state permit for the construction and operation of the Twin Oaks Mitigation Bank project. D.R. Horton, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, in a public-private partnership with Osceola County, is developing this innovative environmental project. A mitigation bank is a project where wetland and environmental resources are restored and enhanced to provide mitigation credits to offset wetland impacts authorized by federal and state permits. In this case, the legal challenge to the state permit was filed by Southport Ranch, LLC. Following a three-day trial before Administrative Law Judge Francine M. Ffolkes which included the introduction of numerous exhibits and expert testimony, entered a 27 page Order. F. The project, consisting of 748 acres located in Osceola County and shall serve the Central Florida region.
“This was an important hurdle to clear in this multi-year process to construct and operate wetland mitigation bank, which includes securing state and federal permits,” said Fumero, former general counsel for the SFWMD and head of the firm’s growing Environmental and Land Use Practice Group. “We were able to prove that our client’s mitigation plan IS sound and met all necessary environmental objectives and state permit regulations.”
Once federal permits from the Army Corps of Engineers are issued, D.R. Horton plans to construct the project through a combination of wetland restoration, wetland and upland enhancement, conservation easements and implementation of hydrologic improvements. Once constructed and operational objectives are met, D.R. Horton will ultimately deed the property to Osceola County.
Nason Yeager currently represents several wetland mitigation banks throughout the state of Florida before local, state and federal governmental authorities. The firm’s Environmental and Land Use Practice Group provides strategic counsel and representation to landowners, developers, agriculture, utilities, and local governments, throughout Florida on all aspects of environmental and land use law.
The firm has substantial experience on environmental and land use issues resulting from a long history of practice before cities, counties, special districts, and state and federal regulatory agencies on a myriad of permitting, planning, and project matters. Firm attorneys also have substantial experience in dealing with environmentally impacted properties, from commercial/residential development to contamination cleanup projects throughout the state of Florida.