When You Live Next to a Preserve / Preserve Intrusion Restoration
If you’re reading this, you probably have a letter from the county on your desk.
Beautiful Ponds handles all aspects of Intrusion Restoration.
communication with the county
creation of the restoration plan
removal of non-native plants, including Brazilian pepper
planting the required native plants
sending all required monitoring reports to the county
Your Beautiful Ponds representative will review the county letter & guide you to the most cost-effective resolution. He can also review the issues at a board meeting so the board & residents understand the situation.
You probably already know that the preserve or wetland behind your home has a variety of rules & regulations. These rules are enforced by federal, state, county & city agencies who carry a great deal of power.
The only rule residents need to follow is Don’t do anything without written permission. Verbal permission from anyone (including government officials) does nothing to protect you from possible violation fines.
The typical cost of an intrusion, however well intended, starts about $2,000. Beautiful Ponds worked on an intrusion in Venice in 2008 where three homeowners “didn’t know where their property ended”. They mowed back six to twenty feet & planted ornamental plants in a preserve. The violation required a survey ($500), a restoration plan ($400), the actual restoration ($1,100), a completion report ($250) & monitoring ($250 twice a year for two years). The property was owned by the association who paid for the expenses & passed them along to the homeowners.
Any unauthorized activity in a preserve is called an “intrusion”. Here are the most common intrusions.
Storing anything – toys, lawn equipment, boats, trampolines
Discarding anything – palm fronds, house plants, landscape branches, roof tiles
Mowing past the boundary (even one foot)
Pruning branches inside the preserve
You may consider certain activities small, unimportant or insignificant. The agencies don’t. One extra foot of mowing, one lawn mower stored or one shrub cut outside of your exact property line can trigger a violation.
You might wonder how the government, usually the county, knows about an intrusion. They do not routinely inspect your preserves. The most common way is that one of your neighbors or one of their house guests calls the county. Sometimes they call to ask about “what’s happening in the preserve”. If anyone alerts the county to a possible violation, the county is required to inspect. Occasionally, the county is in the neighborhood inspecting a different, previous intrusion & happens to notice your preserve.
The one activity you can do is prune branches that overhang your property. If it overhangs your property, it’s your branch. You can cut exactly at the property line; no further.
Since your preserve is probably owned by the community association, contact the property manager with concerns & questions. He or she is a good place to start.
Feel free to contact your Beautiful Ponds representative for more information.