Notice of Clearing Application Procedures
Property owners who wish to remove trees from agriculturally zoned property for bona fide agricultural use must obtain a Notice of Clearing from Environmental Sciences prior to commencement of any land clearing activities. Documentation verifying intent to use the property for bona fide agricultural purposes must be included with the Notice of Clearing application.
Note that properties classified as agricultural for ad valorem taxation purposes pursuant to Florida Statutes 193.461(3)(b), also known as agricultural (green-belt) tax exemption, are not required to obtain an approved Notice of Clearing from Lee County. Contact Environmental Sciences Program to obtain the tax-exempt status of a parcel.
Please note that if an application to rezone a parcel is filed within three years from the date the most recent Notice of Clearing was issued, and the rezoning is granted, the applicable open space requirements of Chapter 10, Lee County Land Development Code (LDC), must be satisfied in the following manner:
- A sufficient number of trees listed in Appendix E (LDC) must be placed, planted and maintained consistent with Section 14-384(a)(1)-(4) to the extent that such minimum open space requirements cannot be satisfied by then-existing natural forest.
- Such reforestation as required in subsection (a)(1) of LDC Section 14-377 shall be satisfied by imposing the necessary conditions to any final development order issued at any time within eight years after the land in question is rezoned.
To apply for a Notice of Clearing, please submit the following documents to the Environmental Sciences:
Completed Notice of Clearing Application
Letter of Authorization (where applicable)
Written notarized statement from the property owner that the purpose of the clearing request is for bona fide agricultural reasons and specify proposed agricultural use.
Two current aerial section maps (1" = 200' scale) with the property boundaries clearly outlined. Aerials can be purchased from the Lee County Property Appraiser's Office located at 2480 Thompson Street, Fort Myers. The Property Appraiser's telephone number is (239) 533-6159. You can also visit the Property Appraiser's website for more information on aerial section maps.
A complete legal description of the property.
Copies of any applicable documents which demonstrate intent to use the property for bona fide agricultural purposes. Examples of such documents include, but are not limited to, a South Florida Water Management District water use permit, cattle lease agreement(s), forestry management plan(s), expansion of a current bona fide agricultural operation, receipts for stock materials, etc.