Water-Related News

Lake County passes watering, landscaping restrictions for new developments

TAVARES — Lake County commissioners on Tuesday approved an ordinance requiring Florida-friendly landscaping and limiting irrigation in new developments.

Subdivisions that have lots of an acre or less will be able to irrigate a maximum of 60 percent of the landscape. The ordinance also requires new developments to embrace Florida Water Star, a landscape design program that calls for 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.

Commissioner Leslie Campione, the lone board member who voted against the ordinance, referred to it as “dictatorial.”

“Maybe there is a better way to go about this,” Campione said. “You incentivize doing those things or put out there best management practices. You don’t impose something that is so specific. I feel it is way too restrictive. It is a good idea to put it out there and give people the choice.”

But Commissioners Tim Sullivan, Welton Cadwell and Sean Parks disagreed. “It is pretty in the middle of the road type of requirement,” Cadwell said, noting that water is the top issue in the state of Florida.

Sullivan said the ordinance will help promote water conservation efforts.