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Native Vegetation Preservation


(Major Plant Communities in Lee County)


   Indigenous Open Space Requirements:

Per Land Development Code (LDC) Section 10-415(b)(1), large developments, with existing indigenous native vegetation, must provide 50 percent of their open space percentage requirement through the onsite preservation of existing indigenous native vegetation.

Per LDC Section 10-415(b)(2), as an incentive to preserve indigenous native upland plant communities in large tracts, a scaled open space credit for single preserve areas will be granted as follows:


Credit provided  Minimum size  Minimum width
110%   1/2 acre 50 feet
125%   1 acre 75 feet
150%   3 acres 150 feet

An additional, maximum ten percent credit will be granted if any of the following indigenous vegetation areas are included:

  1. Rare and unique uplands as defined by the Lee Plan.

  2. Connection to offsite public or private environmental conservation or preserve areas.

  3. Upland buffers to natural waterbodies.


   Deviations from Indigenous Open Space RequirementIndigenous vegetation

Per Land Development Code (LDC) Section 10-415(b)(3), consistent with the provisions of section 10-104, the director may permit administrative deviations to reduce the minimum 50 percent indigenous native vegetation requirement within this subsection to a lower percentage. Existing, approved indigenous preserve areas within planned developments are not eligible for administrative deviations. The administrative deviation request must include the unique conditions or circumstances that make the property unusable and unreasonably burdensome. The applicant must provide details of other actions that will be taken to offset the reduction (mitigation). Mitigation must, at a minimum, meet a one to one (1:1) ratio of reduction of indigenous area to mitigated area. Mitigation that will be considered includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Onsite ecological creation/restoration, with long-term management.
  2. Offsite land acquisition with perpetual conservation protection.
  3. Offsite ecological restoration on public lands or protected private lands.
  4. Purchase of appropriate credits from a permitted mitigation bank.


Per LDC Section 10-415(c)(3) Indigenous open space areas must have a minimum average width of 20 feet and minimum area of 400 square feet.

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