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Intricacies of land development in Collier County

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | Land Use and Zoning | 0 comments

Land development in Collier County may be a bit different than in other parts of Florida. Certain environmental standards are in place to protect the land. Native vegetation and state and federally protected species lie within Collier.

Preservation standards are mandated but will vary depending on what type of development is planned.

Initial steps

The Collier County Environmental Review Guidebook outlines initial steps to take to determine the preservation requirements for your intended land use. For example, a golf course built near the coast must allow for the preservation of 35% of native vegetation, while a residential development built on less than 2.5 acres needs to preserve 10% of native vegetation.

When determining the presence and density of native plants, developers should consider three levels: Groundcover, mid-canopy and canopy. Any level that contains 25% or more coverage by native species qualifies as native vegetation.

If the habitat has any listed protected species, such as those that den, nest or burrow, developers are required to submit a protected species survey to the county before any land development begins.

Examples of native vegetation

The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences lists a wide variety of vegetation that is native to the area. Some include but are not limited to:

  • Muhly grass
  • Southern magnolia
  • Beautyberry
  • Coreopsis
  • Oak trees
  • Swamp lily

Once identified as native, it may be easier to ascertain the location in which to preserve the required percentage of native vegetation.