Florida Friendly Landscaping can be hard to handle in summer heat

Daily downpours and brutal heat in Florida’s friendliest hometown make it difficult to cut the grass and stay ahead of the weeds.

However, homeowners at The Villages with Florida Friendly Landscaping can find it especially difficult at this time of year.

Earlier this month, 81 year old Myers Hand was called before the board of trustees of Community Development District 10 to uphold a charter due to complaints about its Florida Friendly Landscaping.

This Florida Friendly Landscaping was the subject of a complaint at 3610 Enterprise Drive.

Hand admitted that Florida friendly landscaping has become more than he can handle in the Florida heat. He also testified in a public hearing before the overseers that he cannot hire and maintain landscapers who can maintain the landscaping to his satisfaction. He had 45 days to put the property in order.

He vowed to move out of The Villages and sell the Premier home at 3610 Enterprise Drive, which he bought for $ 671,900 in 2015.

Fines imposed for Kathleen Stringer’s Florida Friendly Landscaping were eventually awarded.

In 2019, a defiant homeowner in the village of Piedmont struggled to maintain her Florida Friendly Landscaping despite the difficulties she had with it. Kathleen Stringer appeared before the Board of Directors of Community Development District 4 at a public hearing where photos submitted as evidence showed the wild entanglement of plants, shrubs and bamboo in their home. Stringer testified that she “got married into this situation” and that she “did not even know about deeds and covenants.” She said her late husband may have signed some documents, but she wasn’t aware of it.

Stringer eventually brought the property into compliance and went back to the CDD 4 board last year asking for forgiveness for the $ 400 fines imposed on their property. The board was divided over the forgiveness of the fines, but agreed.

While Florida Friendly Landscaping cannot be banned, there are certain guidelines for installing it. For all requests to replace lawns with Florida Friendly Plantings, those plantings represent a “ground cover” that provides full ground cover to maintain a “lawn appearance” in keeping with the community aesthetic. The land cover should grow rapidly, be appropriate to the area, and be a mature height of a foot or less. Full ground coverage must be achieved within eight months of the architectural review application’s expiration date. The intent is to give the plants enough time to reach mature expansion.

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