Proposed tree ordinance revision to be presented to Nassau County Planning and Zoning Board

Submitted by

Big Trees 2
Tree removal that took place on Amelia City Flash Food Property

Lyn Pannone

Peter King, Interim Planning Director for Nassau County, will be presenting the
proposal to revise the tree ordinance to the Planning and Zoning Board on February 19 at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held in the commission chambers at the James S. Page Governmental Complex located at 96135  Nassau Place, Yulee. (Just off SR200/A1A)

Although the Planning and Zoning Board is to receive the revised tree ordinance for review on February 19th, no discussion is expected until a March 5 (tentative) at 7:00 p.m. when discussion will be held before the Planning and Zoning board.  A public hearing will then follow on March 19 (tentative) at 7:00 p.m.

The most important changes to the existing tree ordinance are as follows:

  • Eliminates the loophole that allowed Flash Foods to destroy the trees on their property.  That loophole states any trees can be removed from a property if there is an existing building on the property.
  • Requires preservation of 45 percent of caliper inches of healthy native canopy
    trees 6inches or larger  (re-planting is an option only at discretion of Planning and
    Zoning Board)
  • Creates an incentive to save the largest, healthy native canopy trees 6 inches or larger
  • Requires preservation of healthy native canopy trees 6 inches or larger within required buffer and/or within 10 feet of Right of Way (exemption for roads,utilities, etc.)
  • Proposed amendments to the tree ordinance will only apply to unincorporated Amelia Island.

Big Trees 4Citizens who support a stronger tree ordinance are rallying support by encouraging citizens to attend the March 5.  Those attending are asked to wear green shirts, or green ribbons, or by pinning  a small twig on shirts.

After the removal of a number of trees due to a Flash Food expansion at Amelia City, concerned citizens have pressured county officials to approve a strong tree ordinance.  If approved by the Nassau County Planning and Zoning board, the revision to the tree ordinance will eventually appear before the county commission.

Editor’s Note:  Lyn Pannone has owned property on Amelia Island for more than 20 years and became a fulltime resident one year ago. She is a native Floridian. In her professional life she was the training manager for a large financial institution and has long been active in community causes.

February 18, 2013 1:00 a.m.