No county tree permits required in certain circumstances in aftermath of Hurricane Ian

Storm debris collections to continue on Monday, Nov. 28

As Sarasota County residents continue to recover from the damage that Hurricane Ian inflicted on the area in late September, county staff has advised the public that the Sarasota County Trees Code remains in effect, including in circumstances involving “regular procedures for single-family homes, condos, apartment complexes, and commercial properties.”

However, a news release explains, no tree permit is required for the following types of situations.

  • Attempts to prop up and stake newly planted trees on new single-family homes sites and common area tracts, which may allow recovery and survival of those trees.
  • Large trees that are completely uprooted and leaning over or otherwise irreparably damaged can be considered dead and can be removed by the property owner.
  • Tree replanting is not required for documented storm losses. County staff does advise the public to use photos to document a tree’s condition before it is removed, “to avoid future code compliance concerns.”

The news release stresses that permits “are required for tree removal when not storm-related.”

It is recommended that a property owner use an American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) or an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified professional to trim, stand up or remove trees, the release adds.

For issues related to trees located within a privately owned preservation or conservation area, county staff asks individuals to contact the Environmental Protection Division for assistance. Privately owned preserves are the responsibility of the applicable homeowners association, the release points out.

A person may contact the Environmental Protection Division at 311, which is the number for the county’s Call Center.

Further, the release emphasizes, commercial tree services are not permitted to dump vegetative storm debris, including removed dead trees, on public rights of way for county collection or to avoid disposal fees. Commercial agencies must dispose of storm debris at the Central County Landfill, which stands at 4000 Knights Trail Road in Nokomis or at an alternative permitted facility, or they may work through their insurance companies for debris removal services.

In a related matter, county staff also continues to advise the public that storm debris collection vehicles “may pick up the various types of materials at your residence on different days. If you feel your residence has been missed, please check the status of your collection zone on the interactive county map”:

Zones shaded in blue are areas where contractors will continue to work after this week, when they are taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, staff says. Work will resume on Monday, Nov. 28.

However, staff adds, “If your zone appears in green, it is considered complete for first pass.”

After the initial pass for vegetative storm debris, as well as construction and demolition materials and household goods, has been completed, the staff advisory continues, “[A] second and final pass will be conducted to collect any remaining materials. Please be mindful that both the first and second pass collections are for storm related material only.”

Construction and demolition debris “includes bricks, lumber, siding, gutters, roof/shingles, screens, drywall and vinyl/wood fences,” the county website explains. “These items should be placed separately from household goods,” which include items such as carpet, furniture and other large items, the website points out.

Hazardous waste items such as paint, chemicals, cleaning supplies and batteries should not be placed curbside, as they will not be collected by the debris contractors, the website warns.