Understanding the Florida Friendly Landscaping Law

In 2009, as a response to severe droughts in the state, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill
2080. The Bill is now codified in Florida Statutes 720.3075(4).

The new law states that homeowner association documents "may not prohibit or be enforced so
as to prohibit any property owner from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping …"
Florida-friendly landscaping is defined in Florida Statute 373.185 as "quality landscapes that
conserve water, protect the environment, are adaptable to local conditions, and are drought
tolerant."

Further, the statute lays out the nine principles of Florida-friendly landscaping. The nine
principles are:

  1. planting the right plant in the right place;
  2. efficient watering;
  3. appropriate fertilization;
  4. mulching;
  5. attraction of wildlife;
  6. responsible management of yard pests;
  7. recycling yard waste;
  8. reduction of storm water runoff;
  9. waterfront protection.

This law has a profound effect on the enforcement of homeowner association covenants, articles
and by-laws. The plain meaning of the statute is that restrictions which predate the law may now
be unenforceable.

In response to this new legislation, the Florida Extension Service has created numerous
publications written specifically for homeowner associations. The publications detail the law and
its implications. Visit http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/community_association_kit.htm

The publications include:

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Model Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for New and Existing Community Associations.  fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/professionals/services.htm

A list of considerations for Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ guidelines for architectural review boards.  fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/materials/ARB_FFL_consideration_guidelines03_23_2011.pdf

Handbook—provides the basics of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ with a summary of the nine principles; checklist for homeowner recognition of a Florida-Friendly Landscape.  fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/homeowners/publications.htm

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection and Landscape Design.  fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/FYN_Plant_Selection_Guide_v090110.pdf

Guidelines: What To Look For In A Landscape Maintenance Contract.  sarasota.extension.ufl.edu/fyn/Pubs/FYNCommunityGuidelines-Broc.pdf

 

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