Invasive Exotic Plant Species to be Removed
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 have 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.
Per Lee 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:
|Brazilian pepper, Florida holly
|Cuban laurel fig
|downy rose myrtle
|Japanese climbing fern
|Melaleuca, paper tree
|murray red gum
|Old World climbing fern
|tropical soda apple