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					                            LEE COUNTY ORDINANCE NO. _______

                     Coalition recommendations for insertions are in Blue
                       Coalition recommendations for deletions are in Red

AN ORDINANCE REGULATING LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT
PRACTICES INCLUDING THE APPLICATION AND USE OF
FERTILIZERS CONTAINING NITROGEN AND/OR
PHOSPHORUS WITHIN UNINCORPORATED LEE COUNTY;
PROVIDING FINDINGS; PROVIDING FOR PURPOSE AND
INTENT; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR
APPLICATION; PROVIDING FOR REGISTRATION OF
PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPING BUSINESSES AND
INSTITUTIONAL LANDSCAPERS; PROVIDING FOR TRAINING
AND CERTIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPING
BUSINESSES AND INSTITUTIONAL LANDSCAPERS;
PROVIDING FOR BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES;
PROVIDING FOR EXEMPTIONS TO BEST MANAGEMENT
PRACTICES; PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS FOR AGRICULTURE,
GOLF COURSES AND SPECIALIZED TURF; PROVIDING FOR
ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTY; PROVIDING FOR
CODIFICATION; PROVIDING FOR CONFLICTS OF LAW;
PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR AN
EFFECTIVE DATE, INCLUDING 180 DAY ONE YEAR
IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD.


SECTION FIFTEEN: EFFECTIVE DATE

This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon receipt of notice from the Florida Department of
State of its filing with that office, however, that a one hundred and eighty (180) day one (1) year
implementation period from the effective date is hereby established. During this implementation
period, no citations, notices to appear or other enforcement actions will be taken by the County.

Recommendation Rationale

One hundred and eighty (180) days should be sufficient time in which to incorporate the ordinance
provisions into the daily work lives of the professional and institutional landscapers.
Unfortunately, the ordinance will not be enforced during the 2008 rainy season – however, that
does not mean we should not expect the other ordinance provisions to be implemented and
enforced by the end of this calendar year.

The Sarasota and Naples ordinances have 180 day implementation periods.




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SECTION SIX:          TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION OF PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPING
                      BUSINESSES AND INSTITUTIONAL LANDSCAPERS

A.
       In addition to any current or future certification or licensing requirements mandated by the
       State of Florida or Lee County, any person seeking to register a Professional Landscaping
       Business or as an Institutional Landscaper with the Division under Section Five above shall
       first successfully complete training and receive a Certificate of Completion in accordance
       with the “Florida Green Industries Best Management Practices for Protection of Water
       Resources in Florida, June 2002)”, as revised (Florida Green BMPs). The Florida Green
       BMPs training shall be obtained through a Lee County approved BMP training program or
       any future certification or licensing requirements mandated by the State of Florida. All
       Professional Landscaping Businesses and all Institutional Landscapers shall ensure
       that all persons involved in landscape fertilization employed under the registration
       receive the necessary instruction in order to be in accordance with and abide by all
       of the provisions of this ordinance.

Recommendation Rationale

The provisions of this ordinance are in every sense a set of “work rules”. Yes it is imperative that
supervisors know and understand these “work rules” but it is also important for the non-
supervisory personnel to be completely aware of the “work rules”; it is the employees whose
actions determine how fertilization is completed. It only makes sense to ensure that every person
involved in the application of fertilizers knows the provisions of this ordinance – therefore each
applicator should receive training.


SECTION SEVEN:        MANDATORY BMPs: TIMING OF APPLICATION; FERTILIZER
                      CONTENT AND APPLICATE RATE; TOTAL YEARLY
                      APPLICATIONS; IMPERVIOUS SURFACE; BUFFER ZONES;
                      MODE OF APPLICATION; LOW MAINTENANCE ZONES;
                      MANAGEMENT OF GRASS CLIPPINGS AND VEGETATION
                      MATERIAL

B.     FERTILIZER CONTENT AND APPLICATION RATE

2.     Slow Release Fertilizer

       Fertilizers applied to Turf and/or Landscape Plants within Lee County must contain
       no less than 50% Slow Release Nitrogen per guaranteed analysis label.
       Unless otherwise mandated by the State of Florida, all persons applying
       fertilizer are strongly encouraged to use Slow Release Fertilizer in
       accordance with BMPs in order to lessen nitrate leaching and runoff.

Recommendation Rationale

There is no reason to only recommend the use of slow-release – 50% slow release nitrogen is
required in the Sarasota County ordinances and the Naples City ordinance.



                                                  2
A recent research study, the 2007 Comparative Environmental Impact of Florikan N Fertilization
and Conventional Slow-Release N Fertilization, completed by J. B. Sartain of the Soil and Water
Science Department of the University of Florida, concludes that there is justification that polymer
coated fertilizers can now provide the landscape-lawn care maintenance industry similar long-term
staged and controlled release fertilization that not only reduces unused nutrient run-off but also
provides similar turf quality.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the USDA recognize the environmental benefits of using
slow release fertilizers to reduce potential leaching and runoff. The 2006 Florida Yards and
Neighborhoods Handbook promotes the use of fertilizers with a high percentage of slow release
nitrogen: “these products have less potential to leach or runoff into Florida’s waterways than
quick release sources.” Pollution potential is reduced because slow release fertilizers are applied
less often thereby reducing the consequent risk of deposition onto impervious surfaces.


3.     Application Rate

       Fertilizers should be applied to Turf and/or Landscape Plants at the lowest amount or rate
       necessary to correct or prevent nutrient deficiencies without exceeding the maximum per
       application rate specified on the label.

       Fertilizer shall not be applied at a rate greater than the application rate established by the
       DACS Rule (5E-1.003) one (1) pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per
       application. No more than four (4) pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet shall be
       applied to any turf or landscape area in any calendar year.

       Phosphorous Fertilizer shall not be applied at application rates which exceed 0.25
       pounds P2O5 per 1,000 square feet per application nor exceed 0.50 pounds P2O5 per
       1,000 square feet per year.

       Professional Landscaping Businesses and Institutional Landscapers shall be responsible
       for maintaining a record of the pounds of nitrogen and phosphorus expressed as pounds
       per 1,000 square feet of land applied to each site during the year.

Recommendation Rationale

Simple, explicit descriptions will allow for more immediate understanding of the provision.

The Sarasota County and Naples ordinances incorporate the above application rates. Lee County
is not only encompassed in the region lying between Sarasota and Naples but also shares a similar
level of water impairment.

C.     TOTAL YEARLY APPLICATIONS

       While single fertilizer applications in the fall and spring will often suffice, fertilizers shall not
       be applied more than four (4) times the Fertilization Guidelines for the Southern Region of
       Florida under the DACS Rule (5E-1.003) during any one (1) calendar year to a single area.

Recommendation Rationale


                                                     3
The 4 times per year maximum reflects the 1 pound per 1000 square feet per application and the
maximum four (4) pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year requirements. This addition is
consistent with the Naples and Sarasota ordinance provisions. Again, recent research (J.B.
Sartain, 2007) results with slow release fertilizer shows 4 pounds per year to be completely
adequate to maintain turf quality.


E.      BUFFER ZONES

        No fertilizer shall be applied in or within ten (10) feet from the edge of any water
        body, seawall, designated wetland or wetland as defined by the Florida
        Department of Environmental Protection (Chapter 62-340), unless a broadcaster
        spreader with a spreader deflector shield is used during application in
        accordance with Section 7(F) below. If a broadcaster or rotary spreader with a
        spreader deflector shield is used, no fertilizer shall be applied in or within three
        (3) feet of the edge of any water body, seawall, designated wetland or wetland as
        defined above. This buffer zone is based upon the current Florida Green BMPs.
        Should the Florida Green BMPs untreated buffer zone be modified, the more
        stringent (larger buffer zone) will apply.

Recommendation Rationale

A 25 foot buffer is established in the South Florida Water Management District rules for
environmental resource permit applications, the Sanibel ordinance and the Southwest Florida
Regional Planning Council’s resolution. The FDEP also recommends that homeowners “do not
apply fertilizers or pesticides within at least 25 feet of the water’s edge or the wetland”.

However, in an effort to find a middle ground regarding this subject, we believe the 10 foot buffer
with the requirement of a deflector shield found in the Sarasota County and Naples ordinances can
be an important step toward effective fertilizer management.


Add New Section:       SALE OF FERTILIZER

Retail businesses within the county selling fertilizer are requested:

     (a) to post a notice in a conspicuous location near the fertilizer notifying customers of the
         limitation on the use of fertilizer containing greater than 2% phosphorous and the
         50% minimum slow release nitrogen requirement in the county; and

   (b) to provide a county approved surface and groundwater protection brochure to all
       customers purchasing fertilizer products.
Such notice and brochure will be developed, produced at the county’s cost, and issued by the
county to such retail businesses.

Recommendation Rationale



                                                  4
Once again, in an effort to find a middle ground regarding this subject, we have modified our
position regarding the education issue. The above language comes directly from the Naples
ordinance. The notice and brochure system can be a cornerstone of the county’s efforts to reach
home applicators of fertilizer.




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