FERNANDINA BEACH WEATHER

Update on Proposed Amelia Island Tree Ordinance

Submitted byTree Cropped

Lyn Pannone

The proposed revisions to the Amelia Island tree ordinance are winding their way through the administrative process. On March 19th the item was discussed for the third time, at the Nassau County Planning & Zoning Board meeting. Each time has been productive, with ideas and suggestions coming from the public and members of the Board.

The next step is a public hearing on Tuesday, April 2 at 7:00pm at the James S. Page Governmental Complex, 96135 Nassau Place,Yulee. The most important proposed changes are:

Eliminates the loophole that allowed Flash Foods to destroy the trees ontheir 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 nativecanopy trees 6” or larger in diameter (re-planting is an option only at discretionof Planning and Zoning Board)

Creates an incentive to save the largest, healthy native canopy trees 6”or larger Requires preservation of healthy native canopy trees 6” or larger within required buffer and/or within 10’ of Right of Way (exemption for roads,utilities, etc.)

The list of native canopy trees has been refined based on recommendations of an ISA certified arborist.

Proposed amendments to the tree ordinance will only apply to unincorporated Amelia Island. Please note that single family homes are still exempt from these regulations.

After the Public Hearing on April 2, the proposed ordinance will move on to the County Commission for their vote.

If you care about our trees, then please attend the April 2 Public Hearing. Wear green to show your support for the trees.

Editor’s note:   An Amelia Island Tree support group will be held Friday, April 5,  10:00am at the Fernandina Beach Police Dept. Community Room 1525 Lime Street.

March 27, 2013 9:30 p.m.

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