Farmton FAQs

 Q.                                 What is Farmton?

Farmton, also known as the Farmton Tract, consists of approximately 59,000 acres in southeast Volusia and northern Brevard Counties. The Farmton tract extends from the SR 442 interchange to south of the SR 5A interchange of Interstate 95. The City of Edgewater borders the property to the north; Interstate 95 is to the east; Buck Lake and the St John’s River are to the south; and Pell Road is to the west. Maytown Road traverses the center of Farmton providing an east west connection between US1 and State Road 415. The Farmton tract is currently managed as a silviculture operation, or tree farm, and is also leased for hunting and cattle grazing. In addition, Farmton operates a wetland mitigation bank.

 Q.  What activities currently occur at Farmton?

Over the last several decades, Farmton has been an active forestry operation -also known as a "tree farm" - producing timber for pulp and wood products. Farmton lands are also leased as range for cattle as well as hunting. Farmton also operates a wetlands mitigation bank under permit from St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and Army Corps of Engineers.

 Q.  What is Miami Corporation?

Miami Corporation is a privately owned family company. It was incorporated in 1917 by descendants of the same family that participated in the founding of International Harvester, a world renowned farm implement company in its day. Several of the family members owned winter homes in the Miami, Florida area during the early 1900’s, and because of the love of their winters spent in Miami, chose the name for our family company. Miami Corporation investments include land in Oregon and Louisiana as well as Florida.

Miami Corporation and our affiliates have owned the Farmton Tract since the 1920’s and have managed the land for more than 85 years. Miami Corporation is the largest private landowner in Volusia County and one of the largest in Brevard County.

Q. What is the Farmton Plan?

The Farmton Plan consists of two comprehensive plan amendments adopted in Brevard and Volusia Counties in 2011 and 2012 respectively.  The Farmton Plan is a model for long-term large-scale sustainable planning.  It is the first large scale private planning effort which puts protection of environmentally sensitive lands first. It is a master plan for the long-term future of Farmton Tree Farm, over a 50-year horizon. The Plan is designed as an innovative and flexible land use framework which preserves environmental resources and reserves areas for sustainable development over a 50 year time horizon.  It used a "greenprint" process to identify 46,000 acres (nearly 80% of the land) for long-term conservation. Land designated by the greenprint will ultimately be conserved in perpetuity.  To learn more, visit the Farmton Plan page.

Q. Is Farmton the new model for sustainable development in Florida?

During the 2011 Legislative Session, Florida's Growth Management Act was amended in many respects to incorporate many of the provisions of the Farmton Plan.  Many consider Farmton to be the new model for large-scale long-term sustainable development under the new legislation and has received several statewide awards recognizing it as such.

Q. What is "Greenprinting" or "GreenKey"?

In the Farmton Plan, “greenprinting” and “GreenKey” are used interchangeably. "Greenprinting" or “GreenKey” is a relatively new planning approach that uses early identification of "green infrastructure" so that important natural resources can be recognized at the onset before any development is planned and then conserved in perpetuity.

Greenprinting is based on sound science, and comprehensive on-the-ground analysis of the natural surroundings. This ‘green infrastructure’ is identified at the onset so that no development is planned there. Through conservation easements and other guarantees these natural lands -- including wildlife corridors, landscape linkages, conservation areas, restoration sites, and open space - can then be permanently protected.

Q. What are the environmental and wildlife benefits of the Farmton Plan and GreenKey? 

The Farmton Plan is the first large scale private planning effort which puts protection of environmentally sensitive lands first. In planning for Farmton, the owners and our team reached out to The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, Volusia Forever, and Brevard Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to identify the most significant natural resources worthy of protection.

Using an approach known as "green printing," the Farmton Plan identifies and protects over 46,000 acres up front. These lands include Volusia Environmental Core Overlay lands and lands which added to that will create regional wildlife corridors. These areas are identified as "GreenKey" lands and will be subject to a conservation easement and protected in perpetuity.

These natural lands provide important habitat for Black Bears, wading birds, eagles, swallow-tailed kites and many other species. They have fittingly been named GreenKey because they are the missing link in a potentially huge wildlife corridor which connects more than a million acres – from the St. Johns River to the Ocala National Forest.

Q. What guarentees will there be to ensure that lands designated for permanent preservation through Farmton-Greenkey will be protected forever? 

Lands designated as GreenKey are intended to be permanently protected by a conservation easement and a conservation management plan. Under Florida Law, a conservation easement is a deed of the development interests in land to a public agency or a conservation organization. The easement bars development activities on the property in perpetuity.

In Volusia County, lands that are protected by conservation covenants will be transferred to permanent conservation easement upon the approval of the master DRI provided in the Volusia Farmton Local Plan.

In addition, the conservation lands are subject to conservation management plans which will impose specific conservation requirements on future management activities of the property. In other words, the natural values of the property such as being habitat for wildlife will continue to be maintained over time.

Q. What are Sustainable Development Areas?

Sustainable Development Areas are areas reserved for future residential and mixed use development. These areas shall contain a mixture of uses that provide for a balance of commercial, residential, recreational, open space (active and passive), resource protection, educational and other supporting uses.

Q. Will tree farming operations continue now that the Farmton Plan is approved?

Yes. Tree farming operations will continue as long as there is a viable market for forestry products. Policies contained in the Plan ensure that agriculture and silviculture activities are allowable uses as long as they are consistent with Best Management Practices.

Q. Will hunting still be allowed on the Farmton Tract?

Yes. Hunting will continue to be a part of Farmton activities for the foreseeable future.

Q. What is the East Central Regional Rail Trail?

The East Central Regional Rail-Trail, the longest abandoned rail line ever purchased in Florida, traverses the Farmton Tree Farm property. The corridor was purchased by the State of Florida Office of Greenways and Trails and has been turned over to Volusia and Brevard counties for development and maintenance. The 50-plus mile corridor runs from Enterprise through south Deltona to Edgewater and Titusville. Proposed uses include cycling, hiking, running, skating, wildlife viewing, and equestrian in appropriate areas.

Q. What is the Deering Preserve at Deep Creek?

The Deering Preserve at Deep Creek is an approximately 1,400 acre environmental gem surrounding Deep Creek near where it meets the St. Johns River.  In March 2013, Miami Corporation deeded the Deering Preserve at Deep Creek to Volusia County so that this most scenic and fragile portion of Farmton’s conservation lands can become part of the public trust.  Florida Audubon received a conservation easement over the land from the county. In addition, a large portion of the Deering Preserve at Deep Creek is in the Farmton Mitigation Bank and remains subject to the strict provisions of the bank permit.

Q. What are the Conservation Management Plans?

As required under the Farmton Plan, Miami Corporation has placed almost 40,000 acres under conservation, both in and out of the mitigation bank.  The mitigation bank permit has specific requirements for the management of the bank acres, and Miami Corporation has managed and will continue to manage the land in conformity with the permit requirements. The conservation lands outside of the mitigation bank are now managed in accordance with Conservation Management Plans that were crafted by a group of stakeholders, including the counties, the landowner, Florida Audubon, the State of Florida, and a panel of experts in conservation management.   Annual reviews by Florida Audubon and the St. Johns River Water Management District will take place to assure compliance with the management plans.