Wellington family faces high fines due to invasive Brazilian pepper trees on property

Wellington family faces high fines due to invasive Brazilian pepper trees on property

WELLINGTON, Fla. — One Wellington family faces $246,000 in fines and counting from Village Code Enforcement because invasive Brazilian pepper trees on their property are growing out of control.

Adam and Aaron Polish live with their elderly father in Wellington.

You’ll find all kinds of vegetation on their property including the highly-invasive Brazilian pepper tree.

Adam Polish says, “I’m sure other people have it on their property. It feeds the birds, things like that, and it’s also good privacy, so you don’t have to worry about people invading your privacy.”

That’s exactly what Polish says is not happening after an initial complaint was filed in 2009.

Wellington Code Enforcement Manager Steven Koch says, “At that point when they didn’t comply with the courtesy letter, we issued the second letter which was a notice of violation notice of hearing, which we gave them another they didn’t comply with that and that’s when the fines started.”

The current $246,000 fine will continue growing at a rate of $100 a day until the Polish family comes into compliance and meets with Village leaders.

Adam and Aaron Polish say they only learned about the lien on the property two weeks ago when someone approached him about buying the property.

Adam explains his reaction as a, “Very jaw-dropping moment. We don’t have the money we got health issues here we’re living off of fixed income and on Social Security disability. It’s very tough for us to deal with this situation. We don’t know what else we are going to do. We could be homeless. We don’t know yet.”

Code Enforcement officers say the property needs about $15,000 to $16,000 worth of tree removal before the property is in compliance.

At that point, the lien against the property can be negotiated with the Village of Wellington.

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