CLEARING STOPPED: Canal Brush Cutting Ceases In Boca Raton

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BOCA RATON, FL ( (Source: City of Boca Raton Media Release) — At a meeting of the Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD) Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 11, 2018, Mayor Singer presented the City’s request, on behalf of the affected residents, that LWDD hold off on ANY further clearing until staff from the City and LWDD can cooperatively explore more “global” solutions to the issues affecting City residents adjacent to the L-48, L-49 and L-50 canals.

LWDD agreed to suspend any further clearing on the L-48, L-49 and L-50 canals until the LWDD Board meeting on October 17, 2018. During the next several months, staff will analyze and evaluate possible options that may include a higher level of maintenance provided by the City and/or negotiated agreements with homeowners to allow certain types of approved landscaping that do not interfere with LWDD access. There may be additional options as discussions with District staff move forward, but the final policy decision on direction in this matter would be up to City Council and will likely require the concurrence of the LWDD Board.

LWDD will be removing the debris piles from the L-48 along Palmetto Park Road, and they will be working on a culvert at the east end of the L-50, but there will be no further clearing at this time. LWDD also acknowledged that they would contact the affected owners on the L-48 adjacent to Palmetto Park Road. With regard to Sabal Lake, the District indicated it will be contacting each of the 14 property owners on the north shore with an option to meet to discuss ownership issues and the proposed compromise; issues of ownership and the necessity of clearing remain open on the north shore of Sabal Lake.

The City Council will discuss these matters further at the workshop meeting of July 23, 2018.

To learn more about the reasons for canal rehabilitation and which neighborhoods will be affected, visit the Lake Worth Drainage District Website and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Website which offer  informative videos, project information and contact information.

History of Canal Maintenance Projects:

As part of its flood control mission, the South Florida Water Management District began a tree removal project to clear its right of way along both the north and south sides of the C-15 Canal between South Dixie Highway and Interstate 95. The project began in May of 2018, and affected about 75 homes.  Residents who were affected received information directly from the districts which caused concern for residents.

The Lake Worth Drainage District also has several canal maintenance projects affecting City residents. City staff and elected officials worked closely with the districts to mitigate full clearings by preserving native trees where possible. Staff and officials held several meetings to encourage compromises in clearing easements, and continued to advocate for residents through the process.

Both LWDD and SFWMD provide flood control but differ in size and responsibilities. SFWMD is one of our state’s five regional water management districts and oversees the water resources in the southern half of Florida, covering 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys. LWDD is a local, independent special taxing district encompassing approximately 200 square miles in southeastern Palm Beach County.

Flood control in South Florida is an integrated system consisting of primary canals operated by SFWMD, secondary canals operated and maintained by the LWDD, and tertiary neighborhood drainage systems owned, operated and maintained by residential associations. LWDD and SFWMD work closely together to provide flood control for our residents. When necessary, LWDD discharges excess stormwater into the regional flood control system or primary system operated by the SFWMD.

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