VICTORIES IN THE CITY OF SANFORD AND THE CITY OF WINTER SPRINGS!
The August 14th public hearings with the City of Sanford, and the City of Winter Springs resulted in good outcomes for both licensed lawn-care professionals and BMP-trained homeowners. It was a tale of two cities and two stories.
In Sanford, the draft ordinance had been modeled after the so-called “strong” ordinance passed earlier this year in Seminole County (which included the complete four-month fertilizer blackout).
To the credit of the Mayor, the City Commissioners and the City Manager’s office in Sanford, comments by Mac Carraway of EREF were given a fair hearing in the city council’s work session prior to the public hearing. Also speaking at the work session were representatives of Seminole Audubon and from Seminole County, both arguing in favor of the Seminole-styled strong ordinance and against exemptions for licensed lawn-care professionals and BMP-trained homeowners.
During the public hearing, speakers in favor of the additional exemptions again included EREF, as well as Dr. Eric Brown from Massey Services, and Dr. Barry Troutman, speaking for the Florida Turfgrass Association.
When the commission’s discussion began after public comment, it was clear that the commission believed the ordinance as written was not in the best interests of the environment or the citizens of the City of Sanford, and despite what was clearly overt pressure applied by Seminole County staff, they voted unanimously to amend the ordinance to reflect exemptions from the four-month summertime fertilizer blackout for licensed lawn-care professionals and BMP-trained homeowners. Our thanks go out to the City of Sanford’s Mayor, Commissioners and staff for their professionalism throughout this process.
The City of Winter Springs opted to take a different route and put the updated FDEP Model Fertilizer Ordinance before the Mayor and City Commission, believing that this version was more than sufficient to provide the water-quality protections they sought. Speaking at the public hearing in favor of the City’s draft ordinance was road warrior Dr. Eric Brown. Again, the vote for the ordinance was unanimous.
With the recent protection of exemptions in Citrus County, Orange County, the City of Sanford and the City of Winter Springs, the importance of good science, workshops, dialogue and industry stakeholder attendance and support cannot be overstated.
Additional thanks go out to Bryce Gibson representing FGCSA and to Sidney Hinson of SiteOne for their consistent support and attendance in connection with these efforts.
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