Lee County Landscape & Fertilizer Best Mangement Practices Ordinance
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Purpose of the Ordinance - Lee County has experienced increased water pollution in recent years. We have experienced harmful algal blooms, fish kills, adverse human health impacts and negative effects to our economy as a result of nutrient pollution in our waters. Nutrient pollution comes from various sources including fertilizer, septic tank & package plant failure, atmospheric and road runoff deposition from cars, and improper disposal of yard & other wastes to name a few.
Summary of Ordinance Basics
- All landscape companies must be registered with the Lee County Tax Collector.
- There must be at least one professional on site at all times who is Florida Green Industries Institute trained and certified while fertilizer is being applied.
- Fertilizers containing Nitrogen (N) & Phosphorus (P) shall not be applied June 1-September 30.
- Phosphorus content; 0.25 lbs. P2O5/1000 ft2 per application nor exceed 0.50 lbs. P2O5/1000 ft2 per year.
- Nitrogen content; no less than 50% slow release nitrogen is required. No more than 4 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 ft2 in any calendar year.
- Fertilizer shall not be applied to any water body or impervious surface.
- A spreader deflector is required to be used near all waterbodies/wetlands and impervious surfaces.
- Mandatory 10 foot no fertilizer buffer zone near all waterbodies and wetlands measured from top of bank.
- Homeowners are encouraged to follow the practices outlined and referenced in the ordinance and to seek education with the Lee County Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Landscape Program, however education is not currently mandatory.
Vegetable gardens that are 15' or more away from a waterbody.
New plantings for the first 60 days.
Mulch, yard waste compost or similar soil amendments that are primarily organic in nature.
Fertilizers that are defined by FDACS as "naturally organic" by Florida Statute may be considered for exemption by request of the manufacturer. Please see Lee County's review criteria for further information on applying for this exemption. There are two products that are currently approved as exempt under Ordinance 08-08. Click here to find out what products are exempt.
Reclaimed water - it is recommended that reclaimed/reuse water is not allowed to flow or spray into surface water bodies as it has a high nitrogen and phosphorus content.
Golf courses provided that they are following the Florida Golf Course Best Management Practices and agriculture covered under the FL Right to Farm Act or livestock operations not covered under FRFA both utilizing FDACS BMPs.
Where is the ordinance in effect?
The ordinance is enforced in unincorporated Lee County.
Click here for printable step-by-step instructions for certification & registration!
Landscape professionals are required to be certified through Lee County Extension Services in the Florida Green Industries Institute Best Management Practices. To get scheduled for the course please contact the Lee County IFAS Extension Office at 239-533-7503 Or view the Class Schedule on-line, if you are a professional landscape provider and not yet certified.
Registration for Decals is done at any location of the Lee County Tax Collector's office. Decal renewals will be handled on the same schedule as the business tax receipt. In order to receive decal renewals you must apply with the Tax Collector's office to change your business tax category to "professional" if you are not already in that category. This is a one-time task. The annual $45 fee for decals will be added to your normal business tax receipt from the Lee County Tax Collector after you have registered. All company trucks or trailers must display decals in plain sight. The registration fee includes the first two decals and each additional decal is $5.00 each. Contact the Lee County Tax Collector for more information on obtaining decals at 239-533-6000 or http://www.leetc.com/home.asp.
The Lee County Extension Services Office offers public education for homeowners through our Florida Yards & Neighborhoods program. Homeowners wishing to obtain landscape and fertilization education can contact Tom Becker at Lee County Extension Services at 239-533-7515 or email@example.com. Florida Yards & Neighborhoods has class offerings, publications and website resources for homeowner fertilizer and landscape best management practices. Do you know how to read the bag? Find out tips on reading the fertilizer labels in your home and if the fertilizer you use is in compliance with the ordinance!
To see a list of Lee County Registered Businesses for this ordinance click here.
To see who our Florida Green Industries BMP Certified Professionals are click here.
For questions about enforcement of the ordinance and registration please contact Karen Bickford, Lee County Division of Natural Resources at 239-533-8706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.