Urban landscapes are commonly installed on a final grade consisting of fill material brought on-site during construction to elevate the land surface. This material is typically inert, lacking organic matter and nutrients, and becomes compacted during the construction process. UF/IFAS research and other studies have shown that incorporating compost into these soil conditions can increase water retention in the root zone and decrease the need for supplemental irrigation for turfgrass. As a result of this benefit, local governments may consider requiring amending of new landscapes. This publication describes an example ordinance that can be used by local governments as a starting point for developing a compost amendment ordinance tailored to their local situation and conditions. The example ordinance is divided into five sections. Section 1, Basis of Ordinance, provides the background information that supports the ordinance, while Section 2, Applicability, defines the situations and circumstances for which the ordinance shall be applied. Section 3, Compost-Amended Soil Requirements, specifies the procedure for amending soils with compost, while Section 4, Compliance and Enforcement Procedures, covers how compliance shall be assessed and how the ordinance is enforced. Section 5, Other Clauses, includes any information that does not fall under the other sections along with the effective date. The content within each of these sections should be evaluated and adapted to the local context, rather than using material “as-is.”
Jovana Radovanovic, James D. McGuire, Jana Caracciolo, Tom Ankersen, & Eban Z. Bean, Example Ordinance for Compost Amending Soil in Urban Landscaping, UF/IFAS Extension Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering paper #AE566 (2021).