The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has long recognized the problems
invasive exotic plants have had on the ecosystems in Lee County. Starting in
1982, the Commissioners passed ordinances to deal with this growing
problem. Included in Ordinance No. 82-42 (which established the Lee County
Development Standards Regulations) was the prohibition of the use of melaleuca
(Melaleuca quinquenervia), Australian pine (Casuarina species), and Brazilian
Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) for landscaping requirements.
Ordinance No. 90-06 required the removal of these species from
provided open space areas for all developments that received final development
order approval after March 5, 1990. An invasive exotic vegetation removal and
maintenance plan was required for development order approval. The applicant had
to include a tree location map which identified invasive exotic plants or
invasive exotic plant masses as to the particular species, native plants and
plant masses, and a plan to remove invasive exotic vegetation so as to preserve
native trees and understory. The plan also required a commitment to maintain
these areas free from invasive exotics in perpetuity.
County Land Development Code Section 10-420 (h), the following highly
invasive exotic plants may not be planted (ie, are prohibited) and must be
removed from the development area. Methods to remove and control invasive exotic
plants must be included on the development order plans. A statement must also be
included on the development order that the development area will be maintained
free from invasive exotic plants in perpetuity.
For the purposes of this
subsection, invasive exotic plants include: