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Ordinance to Incorporate Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Principles

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To enhance our resiliency, Fort Lauderdale has integrated principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ into the Landscape and Tree Preservation Requirements section of the City's Unified Land Development Regulations (Section 47-21). 

ORDINANCE C-15-09 

The following ordinance has been adopted.

ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 47-21, LANDSCAPING AND TREE PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS, OF THE UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS OF THE CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, TO INCORPORATE FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPING PRINCIPLES

SUMMARY OF ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS TO INCORPORATE FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPINGTM PRINCIPLES

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ ordinance includes revisions and criteria which encourages nationally-recognized Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) and sustainable principles as language to be incorporated into the City of Fort Lauderdale Code of Ordinances, Chapter 47 Unified Land Development Regulations (ULDR), ARTICLE III. - DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS Section 47-21. LANDSCAPE AND TREE PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS.

By increasing the amount of trees and plants which are adapted to the local climate, the resilience of landscaping citywide will be improved and the amount of irrigation water required to maintain healthy landscapes will be reduced.

Included within this language are revisions that reflect the following main points:

Updated terminology to be current with Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles and landscape industry standards, and improved irrigation practices.

  • Deleted outdated references which were replaced with more current, industry terminology commonly used in practice today.
  • Replaced the outdated term “xeriscaping” with “Florida-Friendly Landscaping™”.
  • Replaced where applicable, the measurement term “diameter” with “caliper”.
  • Deleted the term “at breast height” and replaced with “caliper”.  Landscape industry professionals such as suppliers and designers refer to “caliper” which is typically measured at purchase.
  • Created an irrigation section to provide guidance on planning and installation of more efficient systems.

Improved alignment with existing Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Broward County criteria.

  • Referenced Broward County ordinance  as the basis for revisions (Volume II, Chapter 39 Zoning, Article VIII. Landscaping for Protection of Water Quality and Quantity).
  • Referenced species and terms identified within the Florida-friendly Plant Database  as developed by the Florida Springs Initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Allowed for more consistency for property owners and developers to understand ordinances used throughout cities within Broward County.

Upgraded criteria to reflect standards that further support sustainability principles and preservation of the tree canopy.

  • Clarified statement of intent and definitions to be purposeful and focused toward sustainability and also referenced support of landscape that create habitat for wildlife.
  • Increased the scope of native vegetation from just those plants native to South Florida to plants native to Florida that will thrive in South Florida; Required per property from 40% native of total landscape required to 50% FFL/native.
  • Reduced the tree size threshold for requiring a City permit for tree removal. Revised from a caliper of equal to or greater than twelve (12) inches, to be equal to or greater than eight (8) inches at true caliper. 

MEETINGS

A prescribed process was followed to adopt these changes into our Unified Land Development Regulations. The following meetings took place.

Public Open House

The Public Works Department, Sustainability Division (PW-Sustainability) hosted a Public Open House on October 14, 2014 (5:00 pm to 6:30 pm at City Hall in the first floor Commission Chambers). Neighbors, landscape architects and industry professionals, neighborhood associations and members from the business community were in attendance to discuss proposed amendments in detail.

During the meeting the landscape principles were introduced and the proposed amendments were presented. Staff panelists from PW-Sustainability and Department of Sustainable Development were available to provide answers to questions from the audience.

Open-House Meeting Agenda 

Open-House Presentations

  1. Public Works Department–Sustainability Division Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ for Sustaining the City’s Long-term Water Supply
  2. Department of Sustainable Development Downtown Streetscapes

City of Fort Lauderdale Planning and Zoning Board Meetings

This proposed ordinance item was on the November 19, 2014 Planning and Zoning Board meeting agenda. Due to Planning and Zoning Board meeting time constraints, this item was not discussed and it was deferred to the December 18, 2014 Planning and Zoning Board meeting.  At the December 18th meeting, the proposed ordinance was recommended for approval by a vote of 5-2.

PZB Agendas and Staff Reports: November 19 Meeting Agenda; November 19 Meeting Results; December 18 Meeting Agenda

City Commission Meetings

CITY COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING: PUBLIC HEARING (READING 2)
DATE:  Tuesday, February 17, 2015 
PLACE:  City Hall, City Commission Chambers, 100 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 
TIME:  6:00 P.M.
AGENDA AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTSAgenda, and click here for supporting documents.

All interested persons were to appear at said meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed amendments.

CITY COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING: PUBLIC HEARING (READING 1)
DATE:  Tuesday, February 3, 2015
PLACE:  City Hall, City Commission Chambers, 100 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 
TIME:  6:00 P.M.
AGENDA AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTSAgenda, and click here for supporting documents.

All interested persons were to appear at said meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed amendments.

For more information, results and relevant documents, please scroll down to the bottom of this page. 

TIMELINE FOLLOWED FOR REVISED ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS REVIEW AND APPROVAL

Public review and comment on proposed Ordinance Revisions to Incorporate Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles into the ULDR Section 47-21. LANDSCAPE AND TREE PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS.

  • Open House: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 5:00 PM (COMPLETED)
  • Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations, Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 7:00 PM (COMPLETED)
  • Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB), Wednesday, October 27, 2014, 6:30 PM (COMPLETED)
  • Planning and Zoning Board Meeting Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:00 PM (DEFERRED 30-DAYS)
  • Planning and Zoning Board Meeting Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:30 PM (REVIEWED AND RECOMMENDED BY VOTE 5-2)
  • City Commission Regular Meeting: Public Hearing (Reading 1), Tuesday, February 3, 2015 (COMPLETED)
  • City Commission Regular Meeting: Final Adoption Hearing (Reading 2), Tuesday, February 17 (COMPLETED)

MORE INFORMATION 

CONTACT: Adrienne Ehle, Environmental Analyst, Public Works Department, Sustainability Division
EMAIL: aehle@fortlauderdale.gov
PHONE: 954-828-5798
MAIL: Adrienne Ehle, City of Fort Lauderdale, Public Works Department, Sustainability Division, 101 NE 3rd Ave, Suite 1400, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

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