On Wednesday (Oct 6) the Cape Coral City Council passed Ordinance 79-21, effective immediately.
The ordinance pertains to the use of fertilizer in the City of Cape Coral and strengthened the current requirements for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes to protect the local surface and groundwater quality.
As our city grows at a rapid pace, it is critical to take steps now to achieve further reductions in the discharge of pollutants and improve our waterways, currently characterized as “impaired” due to excess nutrients.
The changes will help and are as follows:
1. The width of the fertilizer-free zone extended from 10 ft to 15 ft from the top of a seawall or any water body or wetland to ensure no fertilizer is dispersed directly into the water.
2. A voluntary educational program for residents and fertilizer retailers has been added and is in development.
3. Fertilizer containing phosphorus is not allowed at any time unless a soil test was performed within the past two years showing phosphorus deficiency. *Note that soil tests have been conducted throughout the city and a negligible number of samples indicated a deficiency.
4. Commercial fertilizer applicators are required to hold a 4-year license, subject to a validity check.
5. The City Manager has the authority to extend the Prohibited Application Period to include the month of May, for a total of 5 months (Currently June 1 to September 30 – 4 months)
6. Code Enforcement is authorized to sample fertilizer tanks and spreaders and submit them for analysis at the City’s expense.
The ordinance markup document (link below) will be added to the city website in the Codes, Land Use, and Charter section (Chapter 9 Article VI). *Note that additional ordinances addressing the use of fertilizer on golf courses and city parks are also in development.
Let’s all get on board with these changes and do our part to help protect the waterways in our little piece of paradise! You’ll be glad you did!