Water-Related News

Landscape ordinance raises concerns among commissioners

TAVARES – Two Lake County commissioners are expressing concerns about a proposed landscape ordinance requiring Florida-friendly landscaping and limiting irrigation for landscaping in new developments.

The South Lake Regional Water Initiative — a coalition that includes the cities of Clermont, Groveland, Minneola, Mascotte, Montverde, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, private utility companies and the county — helped draft the ordinance in an effort to unify the cities and the county on landscaping codes.

County commissioners approved advertising the ordinance so it can come back before the board in a public hearing. Within residential subdivision lots that are one acre or less, the ordinance limits irrigation to only 60 percent of the landscape. It also requires new developments to embrace Florida Water Star, a landscape design program that calls for site-appropriate, drought-tolerant plants and turf grasses to reduce the need for irrigation. It further recommends where plants such as succulents can be installed: away from roof overhangs, so they can get natural rainfall.

Even so, Commissioners Leslie Campione and Welton Cadwell expressed some reservations about the ordinance.