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New landscape laws

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By The Staff

A new law signed by Gov. Charlie Crist promotes the installation of Florida-friendly landscaping. The law states that homeowners associations (HOAs) may not prohibit a homeowner from applying Florida-friendly landscaping to their property or create any requirement or limitation in conflict with state law.

Florida-friendly landscaping emphasizes nine easy-to-accomplish principles that, when practiced, can have a significant positive impact on yards and the environment. The concept was developed by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences for the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program.

By following Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices, homeowners use a low-maintenance approach to landscaping that conserves water. Homeowners also spend less time maintaining their lawns and more time enjoying them.

“Because homeowners can no longer be prohibited from following Florida-friendly landscaping practices, they will have more freedom to choose the type of plants and turf that are right for their property,” said Sylvia Durell, Florida-friendly landscaping project manager. “This is a great opportunity for homeowners to get know their yard’s sun, soil and moisture conditions and put the right plant in the right place.”

The law, which is in effect also states that HOAs may not fine homeowners for brown lawns when the homeowner is abiding by water shortage rules such as the District’s water shortage orders that restrict residents to watering their lawns one day per week.

For information about water restrictions, water conservation and the drought, contact your local utility or visit the District’s web site at www.WaterMatters.org/drought/.

To learn more about Florida-friendly landscaping, please visit www.WaterMatters.org/yards.