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Posted on: September 8, 2020

MONROE COUNTY REMINDS PROPERTY OWNERS THAT STORMS ARE NOT AN EXCUSE TO CLEAR VEGETATION

Monroe County cuts down damaged trees at Big Pine Key Community Park after Hurricane Irma

A storm or hurricane is not an excuse to clear vegetation, especially native vegetation, like mangroves or gumbo limbo, from your property. Sometimes it is necessary to remove vegetative debris but there are limits as to what can be cleared. Hurricane Irma proved that some property owners will take advantage of a storm for personal gain. This is illegal and code compliance follows up on illegal clearing complaints.

Some reminders:

  • Only clear damaged vegetation that has fallen and constitutes a hazard to life or property. Take pictures to prove there was a hazard in case a complaint is filed.
  • Native vegetation can only be removed if permits are obtained.
  • Property owners may remove up to 10 trees of non-native vegetation without a permit, but the removal of more than 10 non-native trees will require a permit from Monroe County.
  • Municipalities within Monroe County may have different rules, please check with them.

A list of native trees, as well as more information on the permitting requirements for the pruning and removal of native vegetation, can be found in Sections 114-103 and Chapter 118-9 of the Monroe County Land Development Code at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/codes or directly linked at https://library.municode.com/fl/monroe_county/codes/land_development_code?nodeId=CH114DEST_ARTIVLA_S114-103REMAPRRELABU and https://library.municode.com/fl/monroe_county/codes/land_development_code?nodeId=CH118ENPR_ARTIINGE_S118-9CLAL.

To report illegal clearing or vegetation, visit www.monroecounty-fl.gov/codecomplaint.

Preparing your yard during hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, is important. Clearing coconuts from palms and trimming foliage can help prevent loss of native and nonnative trees in the event of a storm and protect your property and your neighbor’s property from additional flying hazards. More information on hurricane preparedness can be found at www.monroecountyem.com.

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