Permitting Near Wetlands
- Many people think a wetland is where they can see water. However, visible water does not define a wetland.
- In order to know where a wetland is, a qualified scientist has to delineate the wetland, in the field, applying scientific standards to examine soils, vegetation and characteristic physical markers (hydrologic indicators.)
- This is called “setting a jurisdictional wetland line.”
Development Near Wetlands
If you have a wetland on or next to to your property, and would like to build or develop on that property, you will probably need to have a wetland line on your plans, unless your proposed development will be a considerable distance from the wetland.
Further information is provided in this Wetland Regulations Presentation.
- Pasco County Comprehensive Plan Chapter 3 – Conservation Element and the Land Development Code Section 803: Listed Species require that all applications for Developments of Regional Impact, zoning amendments, and site development where listed or protected species are documented, or have the potential to occur, shall include a preliminary habitat assessment, which at a minimum, shall include: identification of on-site habitats, soils maps, survey methods and/or transects, and direct observations of any listed and protected species.
- Further information is provided in this Listed Species Presentation.
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) https://myfwc.com/
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) southeast region https://www.fws.gov/southeast/
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services https://www.fdacs.gov/
Types of Projects That Might Require a Wetland Line
If you want to build a house, pool, well, shed, deck, patio, garage, carport, or just about anything else in the vicinity of a wetland, you will probably need to have a wetland line on your plans.
Conceptual Wetland vs. Field-Delineated Wetlands
- Although PascoView and PascoMapper show where wetlands could be, these locations are only conceptual. A true wetland line can only be determined in person, in the field.
How Much of My Land Will Be Buildable?
- Buildable acres of land are based on the wetland line and Pasco County wetland categories I, II or III.
- Pasco County protects Category I wetlands more strongly than the state of Florida does. We do not allow impacts to Category I wetlands or impacts to the 25’ upland buffer around Category I wetlands, except for public roads.
- The Comprehensive Plan defines Category I wetlands as
“those wetlands which meet at least one (1) of the following criteria:
- Any wetland of any size that has a hydrological connection (not man-made) to natural surface water bodies, such as natural lakes, rivers and springs.
- Any wetland of any size that has a direct connection to the Floridan aquifer by way of an open sinkhole or spring.
- Any wetland of any size that is within a lake littoral zone.
- Any isolated, uninterrupted wetland 100 acres or larger.
- Any wetland of any size that provides critical habitat for Federal and/or State-listed threatened or endangered species.
- Most Category I wetlands we see in Pasco County are either part of, or are connected to, a lake, pond, river, creek or the Gulf of Mexico, or are a swamp or marsh that is 100 acres or larger.
- For Category I wetlands, the buildable area will be the parcel area, minus the wetland -- defined by the wetland line -- minus the 25’ upland buffer, minus the zoning setbacks. To know your zoning setbacks, please call Zoning at 727.847.8140.
- The Comprehensive Plan defines Category II and III wetlands as, "Category II wetlands shall mean those wetlands which meet any of the following criteria:
- Consists of isolated wetlands or formerly isolated wetland which by way of man's activities have been directly connected to other surface water drainage and are greater than five (5) acres.
- Are less than 100 acres and do not otherwise qualify as Category I Conservation Area."
Isolated wetlands of less than five (5) acres.
Do not otherwise qualify as Category I or Category II wetlands.”
Pasco County defers jurisdiction over Category II and III wetlands to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. We need FDEP’s decision regarding development on or near these wetlands.
To access elements of the Comprehensive Plan, including Chapter 3, the Conservation Element, please visit http://www.pascocountyfl.net/1807/Comprehensive-Plan
How to Have a Wetland DelineatedPasco County personnel do not delineate wetlands. To hire a qualified scientist to delineate a wetland, please search on-line using the keywords “delineate” “wetlands” “Pasco County.”
Floodplain CompensationDevelopment near wetlands often requires floodplain - compensation
creating space to store stormwater that would fall onto or flow into a floodplain and that would be displaced by your house, pool, well, shed, deck, patio, garage, carport, etc. For more information about floodplain compensation, please call x 8336 and ask for the floodplain development review technician.
Wetland Information Phone LinePasco County provides this wetland information on a recorded phone message which can be reached at 813.929.AQUA or 813.929.2782.