Wetlands are determined using the Florida Unified Wetland Delineation Methodology detailed in Chapter 62-340, F.A.C. Persons trained in using this methodology determine if an area contains wetlands based on the type of vegetation present, hydric indicators in the soil, and evidence of hydrology. The historical Soil Survey of Lee County completed in the early 1980s, serves as guideline for locating potential wetland areas. Frequently flooded, slough (sheet-flow) and depressional (ponding and muck) soil types can indicate areas of wetland formation; however, a site visit needs to be conducted by a person trained in wetland delineation methodology to verify the presence or absence of wetlands. For a listing of prominent hydric soils within Lee County, click here. To obtain a copy of the Soil Survey of Lee County, click here. Please note that just because a parcel does not contain a hydric soil mapping unit number does not automatically mean wetland conditions are not present. And the opposite is true – just because a parcel is mapped with a hydric soil number does mean that a wetland is definitely present. Thus, the need for a site inspection by trained personnel. For more information about wetlands and the Florida Unified Wetland Delineation Methodology, please go to www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/delineation/index.htm
Lee County no longer conducts independent wetland determinations since the passing of Land Development Code Wetland Protection Amendments. However, if a hydric soil mapping unit, according to the Soil Survey of Lee County, is present on a parcel Lee County requires a wetland determination prior to the approval of applications for single family residence building permits, planned development rezonings, lot splits, and development orders. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides wetland determinations for single family residence parcels. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) handles parcels zoned for commercial, agriculture and multi-family use. If a wetland determination reveals wetlands are present on a parcel, an Environmental Resource Permit must first be obtained prior to the issuance of Lee County permits and development orders. See Wetland Permitting below.
DEP conducts informal wetland determinations for single family residence parcels under one acre. There is a non-refundable $100 application processing fee (for additional information on this fee, please go to the following DEP website: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/south/images/FEEmemo-PublicHandout-7-1-08_final.pdf (LINK BROKEN)). To obtain the Request for Informal Wetland Determination form online, go to www.dep.state.fl.us/south. Once completed, the form can be faxed or mailed to DEP. For parcels over one acre or further information on wetland determinations, please contact the DEP South District Office.
To view a copy of Soil Survey of Lee County you can either:
Come to the Lee County Department of Community Development at 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers. (get directions here)
Visit the Soil & Water Conservation (Natural Res Conservation) buildings at 3434 Hancock Bridge Parkway, Suite 209-B, 33903 or call 239-995-5678.