Keeping your yard prepared before and during hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30, is important. Clearing coconuts from palms and trimming foliage can help prevent the loss of native and nonnative trees in the event of a storm and protect your and your neighbor’s property from additional flying hazards.
Storms are NOT an Excuse to Clear Vegetation
A storm or hurricane is not an excuse to clear vegetation, especially native vegetation, like mangroves or gumbo limbo, from your property. Sometimes it is necessary to remove vegetative debris, but there are limits on what can be cleared. Hurricane Irma proved that some property owners would take advantage of a storm for personal gain. This is illegal, and code compliance follows up on illegal clearing complaints.
Only clear damaged vegetation that constitutes a hazard to life or property. Take pictures to prove there was a hazard if a complaint is filed.
In general, vegetation can only be removed if permits are obtained or if it presents a hazard to life or property.
Property owners may remove up to 10 “stems” of invasive exotic vegetation on parcels with a lawfully established residential use without a permit, but the removal of more than 10 stems of invasive exotic vegetation will require a permit from Monroe County.
For complete regulations regarding vegetation removal, please refer to Monroe County Code Sections 6-100, 11-2, and Land Development Code Sections 114-102 and 114-103.
Municipalities within Monroe County may have different rules. Please check with them for their rules.