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County orders removal of problem pepper trees

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 14, 2001

BROOKSVILLE -- Hernando County commissioners approved an ordinance 4-1 Tuesday that would require homeowners to remove all Brazilian pepper trees from their property.

Effective June 1, the ordinance makes Brazilian pepper eradication mandatory and requires each property owner to take financial responsibility for the cost.

Several residents of Hernando Beach, where the problem is most severe, urged the commission to adopt the ordinance as soon as possible to prevent spread of the plant, which the state has classified as a noxious weed.

Commission Chairman Chris Kingsley cast the only vote against the ordinance, citing concerns about how it would be enforced and how the county will get rid of its own Brazilian pepper infestations.

"I would like to have it done, but not if we're not ready to do it in the same manner as everyone else."

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