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EZMONEY
07-09-2011, 10:02 AM
Seems Big Brother doesn't want us to grow our own ... that's ridiculous!

Click on the "more to the story" at the bottom of article for additional info...


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/08/michigan-resident-faces-3-days-in-jail-for-vegetable-garden/


Lovely
07-09-2011, 11:22 AM
That seems a little nitpicky. If that was a picture of their garden it was well-maintained, and actually looked very neat.

I get why they might not want a corn field in front of someone's house, but a little garden? :no: Some people will complain about everything.

zoritsa
07-09-2011, 11:51 AM
A response of mine from a YT video I watched from yesterday.

"I'm going to bet that had she done it differently,she could have had her front yard garden and not been arrested.It looks horrid...she could have easily planted veggies and herbs to look alot more landscaped and appealing to the neighborhood...and that wouldn't have gotten her in trouble.Just a thought ~shrug~ I have to add though,a jail sentence is insane and uncalled for."

I really do think she wouldn't have gotten into so much trouble had it looked manicured, rather then the numerous raised garden beds that are there.A cousin of mine has veggies and herbs all over her backyard in random spaces(along with flowers to attract certain insects and repel others) and you'd never guess it was her veggie garden.


julie99s
07-09-2011, 12:08 PM
It looks horrid?! It is her property! Who is anybody to say she can't have veggies in her front yard? This country is out of control anymore when somebody else's veggie garden is "offensive". Heaven forbid she be able to grow her own food. Maybe we should all have to get government permission to have a garden. They can tell us where, how big, and exactly what we should grow. It's a slippery slope, but we are headed there.

Besides, raised beds are totally practical, and result in less time weeding.

TheBunneh
07-09-2011, 12:37 PM
I thought her yard looked fine.

This is why my husband and I refuse to buy a house in a suburb, when we're ready to purchase one. Home owners associations can demand people have a certain numbers of hedges, and even what color flowers a person can and cannot have! It's ridiculous. But at least then a person knows what they are signing on for when they move in. I can't understand why the government would spend time and money on a woman's front yard veggie garden. =/

sumire
07-09-2011, 12:40 PM
What sticks out to me in the picture is not the garden beds, but the lack of grass around them. Other articles mentioned that her front lawn was torn up because of work on a sewer pipe, and that she decided not to replant a grass lawn, but to do the vegetable garden instead.

Now, I think that the urban/suburban cultural requirement of having that beautifully manicured grass lawn just because it looks "nice" is a striking example of how irrational we humans are. But things are the way they are--showing up at a 5-star restaurant in flip-flops and cut-off jean shorts is not likely to net good results--and the same, unfortunately, for electing to do something other than have a green-grass lawn these days.

sumire
07-09-2011, 12:43 PM
By the way, this reminds me of this other article from last year, in which a California couple was sued by the city for removing their lawn to save water:
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/02/local/la-me-bad-lawn2-2010mar02

TheBunneh
07-09-2011, 12:51 PM
By the way, this reminds me of this other article from last year, in which a California couple was sued by the city for removing their lawn to save water:
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/02/local/la-me-bad-lawn2-2010mar02

:?:

I find that sickening. What's wrong with having a lawn landscaped without grass if you live in an area that requires so much water to keep grass alive? I don't get it?

I remember when I was in Arizona people had lawns landscaped with gravel and rocks all over and it looked fine!

julie99s
07-09-2011, 12:57 PM
There is also a fb page concerning this if anyone is interested.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oak-Park-Hates-Veggies/184553881597878

98DaysOfSummer
07-09-2011, 01:32 PM
We've come a long way from Victory Gardens, haven't we?

FrouFrou
07-09-2011, 01:37 PM
I didn't read the whole article but was there a reason she couldn't do it in her backyard? I wouldn't want to go out my front and see that, seriously...it just looks messy to me.

And as far as HOA's go I love them, sort of. The point of them is to keep the neighborhood/subdivision but looking like a s*ithole. I for one wuld not want to live next to someone who has trash all over their yard or junky vehicles up on blocks in the driveway etc. At the same time, I don'tneed anyone telling me what color I can paint my house or asking if I can build a patio/deck. A friend lived in one that stated they can't park their cars in the driveway...have to be parked in the garage and other stupid stuff. You just have to get the rules before you buy a house in a subdivison that has HOA's.

gonnadoitthistime
07-09-2011, 07:05 PM
There are many zoning laws in some areas of the country. They were created for a reason. People do not have the right to break the law. So she wants a garden, the guy three houses down decides to put in rabbit hutches in his front yard, the lady across the street decides to display a piece of her artwork that is made of of rusty cars, next block over, they decided to put in a hot tub in the front yard, and yet another neighbor decides to put in all concrete in the front yard and paint it pink. Get my drift? Who decides? The laws are already there, it's already been decided. I doubt anyone posting on here want THEIR property values brought down because everybody gets to do whatever they want. It should be in the back, or they need to move to an area that doesn't ordinances like that, you can't have the best of all situations, and still do whatever the heck you want. Some neighborhoods are much pickier than that, like no boats/motorcycles/recreational vehicles parked in view, only certain colors of paint can be used.
People like to find things like this and rant about the government, but they often would be the first to complain if it happened on their block, if their neighbor decided to put in playground equipment and rather than use the back yard (which is much larger) fill up the small front yard.

gonnadoitthistime
07-09-2011, 07:07 PM
BTW, I know area, the backyards are about four to five times the size of the front yards, so it seems she was not simply about having a garden.

EZMONEY
07-09-2011, 08:17 PM
I find it HILARIOUS that she could take all those green plants with a veggie on them...

remove the veggie and stick a flower on it and all would be ok....

FYI ~ doesn't look like she has an HOA and if you see the video of the city official trying to explain what is and isn't suitable...well...it is pretty silly really...

an eyesore...come on.....

maybe not Beverly Hills...but an eyesore....

pleeeezzzzz

julie99s
07-09-2011, 09:53 PM
You know what? I think those darn blow up Christmas decorations are eyesores!! Can I complain about that and have those all removed? My gosh, what are we becoming?

EZMONEY
07-09-2011, 09:58 PM
Don't get me started on pink flamingos...

DixC Chix
07-09-2011, 10:19 PM
There must have been more than one complaint filed by a neighbor with the city to draw attention to it. It seems to me there is not enough suitable live green plant material.

What she should worry about is rain that will slide all her dried bark and top soil off the front yard and onto the city owned sidwalks - yuck what a mess that will be. What a time consuming clean-up. Is she prepared to do that immediately?? The kids will all come and play in her mud. The other moms will just love that! The grass is the preferred material because it does absorb the rain and hold the soil in place. Lawns have been used for hundreds of years for just this reason.

It sounds like she ignored the warning and the ticket so she had to know the city would try to GET HER ATTENTION with a court case. Hmmm, maybe that's what this is all about - she wants attention. And she certainly sounds like she has a case of passive aggressiveness. Its not about growing organically, otherwise she would have a garden in the backyard too.

Big Brother? Yeah, not so much.

astrophe
07-09-2011, 10:20 PM
It looks a little bare to me since it is just started. But I don't see the fuss.

If she encased it in a white picket fence so it was less obvious from the street that there's raised beds with veggies would anyone care?

A.

EZMONEY
07-09-2011, 10:40 PM
..... Its not about growing organically, otherwise she would have a garden in the backyard too.

Big Brother? Yeah, not so much.

I may have missed it but I haven't seen anything about a back yard...

does she have a garden already there?

maybe there is a pool there....

and what if she just wants attention...and what if she has a backyard....

doesn't change the front....

but again I say...if she goes out tonight and cuts the corn off the stalk and replaces it with a rose....well the problem goes away right?

:dizzy: ka-raaaazzzzy :dizzy:

Now...back to my NASCAR race :D

julie99s
07-09-2011, 11:08 PM
I am so taking a picture of our raised bed gardens tomorrow in our SIDE yard that, yes, you CAN in fact see from the road. *gasp* I think it's absolutely beautiful... Corn, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, radishes, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, and a border of marigolds (eggplants and kale go in later this season).

If someone else doesn't like it, well, I'm sure I can find something in their yard I don't like. The fact remains though, MY yard, THEIR yard. Our society has turned into the BIGGEST bunch of whiners.

Rainbowgirl
07-10-2011, 05:54 AM
I didn't read the whole article but was there a reason she couldn't do it in her backyard? I wouldn't want to go out my front and see that, seriously...it just looks messy to me.

And as far as HOA's go I love them, sort of. The point of them is to keep the neighborhood/subdivision but looking like a s*ithole. I for one wuld not want to live next to someone who has trash all over their yard or junky vehicles up on blocks in the driveway etc. At the same time, I don'tneed anyone telling me what color I can paint my house or asking if I can build a patio/deck. A friend lived in one that stated they can't park their cars in the driveway...have to be parked in the garage and other stupid stuff. You just have to get the rules before you buy a house in a subdivison that has HOA's.

So, on the one hand you're totally ok with someone telling others what they can/can't do as long as it's something you agree with - but on the other you don't like being told what YOU can't do?

As far as I was aware, when you buy a house, you buy the house and (usually) the property it is on. Obviously, you couldn't turn the property into a farm if it wasn't zoned for livestock, but you can erect most any fence you want, paint your house whatever you colour you want, etc because it is YOUR PROPERTY.

You should be able to do what you want on YOUR property, and that includes having a veggie garden in your front yard, if you so desire. Perhaps that's where the best sunlight is from? Or perhaps that's where the only hose outlet is? Who knows why she did it, she did and it's stupid she's being harassed about it.

Her house.
Her property.
Her choice.

The excuse from the city official is weak and asinine. Are they going to start making guidelines for how high your hedges have to be? How many feet wide the drive ways have to be? How many cobble stones on your front path? Stupid. For the sake of what?


Conformity. That's all it is - CONFORM. Be like the other mindless sheeple. It's ok. Just follow one another and do what you're told. No individual thinking for you!

CorinneIrene
07-10-2011, 07:51 AM
What she should worry about is rain that will slide all her dried bark and top soil off the front yard and onto the city owned sidwalks - yuck what a mess that will be. What a time consuming clean-up. Is she prepared to do that immediately?? The kids will all come and play in her mud. The other moms will just love that! The grass is the preferred material because it does absorb the rain and hold the soil in place. Lawns have been used for hundreds of years for just this reason.


To clarify, her gardens are in raised beds, so this won't be an issue at all.


Anyways, personally I think veggie gardens are beautiful and don't quite understand how it isn't suitable green material. They're still plants, and in nice planters! Seems silly to me, but I live in an area where this would never be an issue...

FrouFrou
07-10-2011, 01:29 PM
Rainbowgirl, lol...calm down beforeyou blow a gasket, seriously. Actually, I don't believe you should be able to do what you want if you buy a house, your house. What a sight that would be if everyone decided to do whatever they wanted...junky cars in the driveway, trash in the yard, swimming pool in the front etc...HOAS are there for a reason and whether I agree with everything or not I abide by the rules because that is the price you pay for having a nice house in a nice neighborhood that is the whole point.

Still wouldn't want to live next door to that in the neighbors yard. Besides, SHE is the one not following the rules/ordinace/law. And that is the problem now days...too many people just do what they want regardless of laws etc.

EZMONEY
07-10-2011, 01:38 PM
Rainbowgirl, lol...calm down beforeyou blow a gasket, seriously. Actually, I don't believe you should be able to do what you want if you buy a house, your house. What a sight that would be if everyone decided to do whatever they wanted...junky cars in the driveway, trash in the yard, swimming pool in the front etc...HOAS are there for a reason and whether I agree with everything or not I abide by the rules because that is the price you pay for having a nice house in a nice neighborhood that is the whole point.

Still wouldn't want to live next door to that in the neighbors yard. Besides, SHE is the one not following the rules/ordinance/law. And that is the problem now days...too many people just do what they want regardless of laws etc.

FROUFROU as you previously mentioned...you did not read all the article or see the video...

I see no mention on an HOA in her neighborhood...as you can see by the houses by her she obviously doesn't have one...

as far as the city ordinace, as you can see in the video, there is nothing that says you cannot have a vegetable garden in her front yard...none...the wording is strictly up to interpertation.

She lives in America :carrot:

Land of the free :carrot:

The way I see it if someone doesn't like what their neighbor puts in their own yard ...as long as it is "legal" according to city/state codes....then move.

If you want all house similar then do as some do and buy in an HOA...good for them :)

My experience here in southern California is that most want out of theirs!

I'm not a fan of junky homes and yards but who am I to tell another how to "decorate" their home.....

FrouFrou
07-10-2011, 01:48 PM
I DIDN'T say she lives in a neighborhood that has a HOA...OMG! Why do you guys keep reading something into nothing...someone else mentioned HOAS and I was commenting on them, geez louise!

And...I too lived in CA...for almost 20 years so what. And apparently it WASN'T legal for the lady to have a garden in the front which is the issue and the topic. A garden is NOT decoration...totally different.

FrouFrou
07-10-2011, 01:51 PM
And America is not land of the free...convo over on my part.

julie99s
07-10-2011, 02:07 PM
And America is not land of the free...convo over on my part.

What a sad, sad comment. You have just pinpointed the reason for the start of the current revolution going on. People are sick of it!

You know what? IF YOU DON'T LIKE TO LOOK AT IT, DON'T. A vegetable garden might not be decoration to you, but it's a VERY functional decoration to others. This is such a slippery slope, telling people what to do, and honestly, it's terrifying.

There is no HOA in this woman's case, nor is there a SPECIFIC ordinance stating this is not ok.

chubbycanuck
07-10-2011, 02:25 PM
SO the whitehouse can have a vege patch but she can't? Are we really so removed from the land that we view vegetables, fruit and herbs as ugly?

I find this story really upsetting and quite indicative as to why we have such an obesity problem. Get your ugly vegetables out of sight!

EZMONEY
07-10-2011, 02:31 PM
...HOAS are there for a reason......

I DIDN'T say she lives in a neighborhood that has a HOA...OMG! Why do you guys keep reading something into nothing....

Frou...it seems to me by your posts YOU keep bringing up the HOA in a way that some of us feel you think she has one.

Lovely
07-10-2011, 02:57 PM
*blinks* Oh my.

All this over a bit of veg! :lol: :hug:

I don't know that all rules are about conformity. Some, yes, but some are about making sure that people who have properties can take care of them properly. For example... have you ever seen an episode of Hoarders? There comes a time when the way one person's yard and house are kept (or not kept) effect an entire neighborhood negatively. And yes, that is an extreme example.

At what point do we have the right to step in and say the way another person keeps their home needs to be changed? Is it when something is an eyesore? Or is it when it's dangerous or hazardous? It might affect someone daily if they wake up see a bright pink house every morning with a neon sign out front. Again, an extreme example. (Though I did once live near a pink house. Very seriously.)

Separately from this entire case (because she doesn't live an HOA area that I've seen), I don't think HOA's are necessarily bad. It just means that if you choose to purchase a property in an area that has an HOA you have to be respectful of those rules. And they nicely have that "line" drawn out for the whole community. Yes, it's about conformity. But, it's about conformity for a common neighborly purpose. To make sure that everyone in that one community lives at least respectfully next to each other. They're not right or wrong, they're only right or wrong for the individual (kind of like diets!). Gotta pick the right house and community for you. If those types of rules are not the kind we wish to live with, there are plenty of other non-HOA communities to choose from!

That all being said, this particular case doesn't even revolve around an HOA. She simply planted a veggie patch, and someone complained enough that the city must've stepped in to take a look. They determined she did something wrong, but I can't quite figure out what it is that she's done that's so awful as to involve the city. It's just a garden, as far as I can see. But, we all have different lines when it comes to what is an eyesore.

Rainbowgirl
07-10-2011, 03:27 PM
Rainbowgirl, lol...calm down beforeyou blow a gasket, seriously. Actually, I don't believe you should be able to do what you want if you buy a house, your house. What a sight that would be if everyone decided to do whatever they wanted...junky cars in the driveway, trash in the yard, swimming pool in the front etc...HOAS are there for a reason and whether I agree with everything or not I abide by the rules because that is the price you pay for having a nice house in a nice neighborhood that is the whole point.

Still wouldn't want to live next door to that in the neighbors yard. Besides, SHE is the one not following the rules/ordinace/law. And that is the problem now days...too many people just do what they want regardless of laws etc.

Oh come now, I wasn't blowing a gasket ;) I was in good debate mode; sorry you couldn't rise to the challenge.

If this is what you believe in in real life, that no one should be allowed to do what they want with their property, I'm very glad I live no where near you. What an uncomfortable place you must live in! With so many people doing things YOU don't approve of :(

Oh, and rules are made to be bent just a bit, if not broken entirely. We wouldn't have as many luxuries as we do if someone didn't break the rules once in history :)

Suzanne 3FC
07-10-2011, 03:29 PM
Agreed, this is not an HOA issue. City ordinance says the lawn must be suitable live material. It's not like she rolled out astroturf and stuck in plastic flowers :shrug:

Actually, edible yards are a trend in some areas and I think it's a fantastic idea. Everything you grow in your yard is food. There's no grass to mow, so you help with the environment. The whole concept is very eco-friendly. There are websites and books devoted to the topic. TIME wrote an article on it. If I ever fence in my front lawn I'll do it too :)

sacal96
07-10-2011, 03:41 PM
You know what? IF YOU DON'T LIKE TO LOOK AT IT, DON'T. A vegetable garden might not be decoration to you, but it's a VERY functional decoration to others. This is such a slippery slope, telling people what to do, and honestly, it's terrifying.



I completely agree with you. It is terrifying and this law suit is just as frivolous as it gets. This must be a county with more money than sense and more time on their hands than they know what to do with. I mean really.. There are much more important things they could be worrying about then a dang garden... I mean its not suitable?? The definition of suitable that I find a bit more suiting over his is: Right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation. If thats suitable to them who are they to say you can't have a garden...

And I agree with EZMoney... If it were flowers it would be "suitable" Stupid flowers that most die within a couple months and are expensive and serve absolutely no purpose other then looking pretty... This woman is growing veggies that can be used to sustain life... She's growing something thats actually useful. Not something that has to be cared for just to die. There is nothing in that ordinance that says no gardens in front yards. I think it looks just great! The boxes are nice and everything looked well kept. It's not like its overcome with weeds.

I think this situation is just to objective. If this idiocracy makes it to trial court who can ever decide??

I bet people in other countries that find out that things like this happen in here just shake their heads. Even the homeless in our country should! There are people all over this world who can't find food and here we are trying to tell someone where they can and can not plant theirs.

Its absolutely petty and pathetic. .

zoritsa
07-10-2011, 06:21 PM
SO the whitehouse can have a vege patch but she can't? Are we really so removed from the land that we view vegetables, fruit and herbs as ugly?

I find this story really upsetting and quite indicative as to why we have such an obesity problem. Get your ugly vegetables out of sight!

Personally,I think she should be able to have a veggie garden in her front yard..and I do disagree with her town,but...I also think it should look aesthetically appealing.She has half her yard covered in mulch and the other half is still dirt with some weeds and strands of grass.It's hard to see in some pics,but clear in others.Maybe she's just not done? Finish it and I wouldn't have an issue at all.However,I think the town still would.

Here is a larger picture,which shows more of her front yard. http://www.factoverfiction.com/article/1102

I know the town official who has spoken sounds like a tool....but I'm wondering if he would still be a tool had she planned the garden out differently.That's my only beef with it,and probably only because I am trying to sell my house,and the house next to me had to be fined in order to get them to even cut their grass...so I may be a bit biased atm.

EZMONEY
07-10-2011, 09:31 PM
ZORISTA...

if anything...for me....that picture reinforces my thoughts on this!

Looks to me like grass is starting to grow in the front of the picture...the beds are well made and manicured....the use of the mulch/bark for the walk way appears to be from recycled garden/tree materials...

julie99s
07-10-2011, 09:39 PM
I know the town official who has spoken sounds like a tool....but I'm wondering if he would still be a tool had she planned the garden out differently.That's my only beef with it,and probably only because I am trying to sell my house,and the house next to me had to be fined in order to get them to even cut their grass...so I may be a bit biased atm.

Do we need to go to government officials to have a garden plan approved? That is completely absurd. I can't believe people are willing to take and give away so many rights and liberties in the name of their own vanity (or being offended, or for "safety") It's truly appalling.

Regarding the link, I think it's beautiful. She does. Her neighbors do. You don't. The city doesn't. SO WHO GETS THE SAY IN THIS? It is not fair for ANY of us to say she can't when it is not harming anybody!

Another link... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2172486269386&set=o.184553881597878&type=1&cmntid=2172508789949

Suzanne 3FC
07-10-2011, 09:42 PM
I agree, Gary, she has put some effort into this. Once the younger plants bush out it will look a lot different.

She commented that the city had dug up the front to put in new water lines, so that probably explains the dirt area where the grass is still bare. That will fill in soon.

Suzanne 3FC
07-10-2011, 09:45 PM
Great photo, Julie! I like it :yes:

julie99s
07-10-2011, 09:55 PM
Your signature is very fitting for this topic, Suzanne :)

Beck
07-10-2011, 10:16 PM
Ugh! This story chaps my hide. Her property, her rights! I have raised veg beds in my side yard that are viewable by the neighbors and street traffic, and I also have a laundry line, that (gasp, horror of horrors!) let's me air-dry my clothing. People need to mind their own business; whatever happened to live and let live?

DixC Chix
07-10-2011, 10:50 PM
To clarify, her gardens are in raised beds, so this won't be an issue at all.QUOTE]

It is an issue because I am talking about the area around the raised beds that are going to run off the positive grade that goes from her house to the street. That little bit of chipped wood will not hold a steady rain. It will wash away and a layer of topsoil with it every time she gets a steady rain. That is where her garden plan is flawed. There isn't enough suitable green plant material to hold the soil around the boxes in place. She could have edged the front yard with a landscaping barrier, put down landscape fabric and 2 inches of a bark, wood or stone mulch covering to not only hold the soil but also keep the weeds at bay. A sprinkling of wood chips is just not effective.

I see a muddy, weedy mess in her future. Exactly the situation the city is trying to avoid. She thought people wouldn't care..but she didn't talk to her neighbors about her plan. She thought she wasn't doing anything wrong even after she got the written warning..but she didn't talk to the city officials. How 'bout getting guidance on how to have her garden and meet the requirements of the city ordinances or how to get a waiver or permit, etc., like getting neighbors to sign letters of acquiescence with assurances from her that certain maintenance work is done regularly and the area kept tidy, etc. There are much better ways to have handled this. She gets what she wants without infringing on other people's right not to have an eyesore next door. Not that a raised bed garden is an eyesore but it could easily get that way if assembled willy-nilly or not tended to. That's why cities have ordinances. (Also, if properly handled, she could have sold this to the city as a green initiative and they could have probably gotten federal funding for a whole neighborhood to plant gardens. Cities love federal funding!!)

Sadly, she chose to just do what she wanted to do without any concern for anyone else because she thought rather than knew by talking to her neighbors whether it would impact other people. That's pretty arrogant on her part and that's the part that pi$$es off the neighbors enough to call the city. A little polite concern and common courtesy would have gone a long way in this situation.

EZMONEY: [QUOTE]but again I say...if she goes out tonight and cuts the corn off the stalk and replaces it with a rose....well the problem goes away right?

No, the problem doesn't go away. She has plenty of companion flowers in the beds - flowers are not the issue. See above.

julie99s
07-10-2011, 11:46 PM
[QUOTE=CorinneIrene;3928933]To clarify, her gardens are in raised beds, so this won't be an issue at all.QUOTE]

It is an issue because I am talking about the area around the raised beds that are going to run off the positive grade that goes from her house to the street. That little bit of chipped wood will not hold a steady rain. It will wash away and a layer of topsoil with it every time she gets a steady rain. That is where her garden plan is flawed. There isn't enough suitable green plant material to hold the soil around the boxes in place. She could have edged the front yard with a landscaping barrier, put down landscape fabric and 2 inches of a bark, wood or stone mulch covering to not only hold the soil but also keep the weeds at bay. A sprinkling of wood chips is just not effective.

I see a muddy, weedy mess in her future. Exactly the situation the city is trying to avoid. She thought people wouldn't care..but she didn't talk to her neighbors about her plan. She thought she wasn't doing anything wrong even after she got the written warning..but she didn't talk to the city officials. How 'bout getting guidance on how to have her garden and meet the requirements of the city ordinances or how to get a waiver or permit, etc., like getting neighbors to sign letters of acquiescence with assurances from her that certain maintenance work is done regularly and the area kept tidy, etc. There are much better ways to have handled this. She gets what she wants without infringing on other people's right not to have an eyesore next door. Not that a raised bed garden is an eyesore but it could easily get that way if assembled willy-nilly or not tended to. That's why cities have ordinances. (Also, if properly handled, she could have sold this to the city as a green initiative and they could have probably gotten federal funding for a whole neighborhood to plant gardens. Cities love federal funding!!)

Sadly, she chose to just do what she wanted to do without any concern for anyone else because she thought rather than knew by talking to her neighbors whether it would impact other people. That's pretty arrogant on her part and that's the part that pi$$es off the neighbors enough to call the city. A little polite concern and common courtesy would have gone a long way in this situation.

EZMONEY:

No, the problem doesn't go away. She has plenty of companion flowers in the beds - flowers are not the issue. See above.

Did you look at the other picture link I had provided? It appears that she is growing grass in front of her garden. I believe, like Gary said, the city had to come in and tear up her lawn for whatever reason. She's got a good 7-10 feet between her garden and the edge of her sidewalk. It looks like there'll be grass in that 7-10 feet. I doubt there'll be any runoff (we have raised beds and there is no runoff). In any case, your concern is kids and mud? Kids and mud are magnetic. Even if they do find a little mud in the sidewalk... SO WHAT?! There is water and mud on the curbsides too. Mud puddles in driveways, etc.

And lack of flowers, grass, shrubs DO seem to be the issue. He already has his mind up as to what an "appropriate" yard looks like.

"That's not what we want to see in a front yard," said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what's "suitable?"

We asked Bass whether she thinks she has suitable, live, plant material in her front yard.

"It's definitely live. It's definitely plant. It's definitely material. We think it's suitable," she said.

So, we asked Rulkowski why it's not suitable.

"If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster's dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what's common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers," he said.
My Fox Det story (http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/julie-bass-of-oak-park-faces-misdemeanor-charge-for-vegetable-garden-20110630-wpms)

Bottom line(s)... 1) People DO NOT have RIGHTS to not see a freaking eyesore. My gosh. I am a freaking eyesore at the beach in a bathing suit!! Do you think everyone should gang up on me and tell me to go home? I mean, really.

2) WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A GARDEN IN A FRONT YARD, NOT A METH LAB!!

Everyone needs to get over themselves, mind their own p's and q's, and LET PEOPLE BE!

shcirerf
07-11-2011, 01:34 AM
This kind of silliness is why I do not live in town. I have raised beds and a regular garden and a clothesline, in what would be considered my side yard.

Personally I don't see what the big deal is. It's neat, well kept a productive use of the space and healthy!:carrot:

My boss actually does plant a small patch of sweet corn, in town, in front of the office every summer. No one has ever complained.

Nekomania
07-11-2011, 05:51 AM
Ahhhh it's nitpicky stupid reasons like this why I left Michigan in the first place.

I would refuse to take it down as well.

Though I would probably have grass growing around the wooden platforms too... A front yard consisting of all dirt is an eyesore (unless you're from Nevada! XD).

Still, it's their yard.

But you have to watch out because some cities, townships, and suburbs have their own codes even regarding which TYPE of grass you have to grow and maintain.

EZMONEY
07-11-2011, 09:40 AM
...............
Sadly, she chose to just do what she wanted to do without any concern for anyone else because she thought rather than knew by talking to her neighbors whether it would impact other people. That's pretty arrogant on her part and that's the part that pi$$es off the neighbors enough to call the city. A little polite concern and common courtesy would have gone a long way in this situation.

EZMONEY:

No, the problem doesn't go away. She has plenty of companion flowers in the beds - flowers are not the issue. See above.

I, myself, can be pretty arrogant at times....just ask my friends/family ;)

I have lived in my home, a tract home, for 32 years and have had a fabulous relationship with all of my neighbors for the most part....I would never ask their permission to do anything I wanted in my own yard....excluding our common fences....

Our homes area all Tudor style...a good neighbor friend of mine took all his trim off and painted it all white....really sticks out with the rest of our beige/browns/ ...he is right across the street from me....nothing on his house goes with the rest of the neighborhood.....

doesn't bother me....it's his home not mine....

I will say that in our area people that have overgrown brush are written up as it is a fire hazard and coyote hazard....those are safety issues within our city limits here....

those veggie beds don't look scary to me :)

time2lose
07-11-2011, 10:42 AM
I agree with those who think that she should be allowed to grow her garden in the front yard. However, I think that if I were this lady I would take a different tack and not run the risk of going to jail. My advice would be to have the garden in the back yard, plant grass out front, and then sue the city. She could still make her point, try to change things but make the city the entity that is at risk.

Suzanne 3FC
07-11-2011, 01:49 PM
From what I could tell from the interviews, the neighbors are fine with it. One of the neighbors that was interviewed even said it was an inspiration to her children.

Only one neighbor didn't care for it.

julie99s
07-11-2011, 05:34 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/07/attorney_says_oak_park_woman_p.html

Another article.

I follow this so closely for a few reasons.
1) I live just over an hour away. It is like this in many places in MI, including my community.

2) DH and I have dealt with the city. Dealt with cops welcoming themselves into our back yard, which is fenced in, or they'd sneak in the neighbors driveway and peep through the fence, finding reasons to cite. This went on through our entire neighborhood for a bit, surely a revenue raiser. We refused to pay the fine. Took it to court, the magistrate tossed it, and the cop was back 2 days later saying his boss told him to reopen it. Ummm? The last was a scare tactic, he knew it, we knew it. Haven't heard from them since. I have also witnessed a cop driving around at 10 at night, in the dark, using his spotlight to find overgrown lawns. I wish I was making this stuff up.

3) The eroding of our rights and liberties terrifies me. These politicians do not have our best interests in mind. They merely see us as cash cows for their agendas.

cbmare
07-11-2011, 06:11 PM
By the way, this reminds me of this other article from last year, in which a California couple was sued by the city for removing their lawn to save water:
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/02/local/la-me-bad-lawn2-2010mar02

I heard about this. It took the guy calling the media in and embarrassing the city to get them to back off. When the city bore (substitute a wh for the b) why it took the media to get them to back off, he had no explanation.

We don't have a lawn either. We re-landscaped and put in edibles in the front and back. Instead of 2 x 4s, we used rocks to border our raised beds. We have tanbark and mulch between the beds as well. We NEVER experience muddy run off.

A lawn is one of the most wasteful uses of water out there. Lawns are fine in areas with a lot of rain. The northwest for example. Even Clark Howard says that about lawns.

As far as HOAs are concerned, I don't want to live in one. My friend lives in one and pays $500/mo to be told that he can't have a car parked in his driveway. He can't repaint the outside of his house the same color without paying a $200 assessment fee. The same color! Ugly white! He had to get written permission, again after an assessment fee, to plant a Japanese Maple in the BACKYARD! NO THANKS. My choice. I won't buy in those areas.

Seems some of the complaints are also about how her grass, if that is grass in the very front, is taking a while to grow. She can't make it grow any faster.

I think the city is being stupid. I hope she wins. "What's common. My backside"! Maybe when she starts sharing some of the fruits of her labor with the neighbors, they'll put in some raised beds as well. The city can't cite the entire block can they?

DixC Chix
07-11-2011, 07:36 PM
Its not right that she just decides she doesn't have to obey the law. Terrible example for the kids. Regardless of whether the law makes sense, is outdated, shouldn't apply, ridiculous in its aplication to her raised beds, it should still be followed until it is changed. Go to the zoning board meetings, the city counsel meetings and get it changed. Maybe thats just a little too much effort for her??? Maybe thats just a little too much like the right thing to do. It is so much easier to just do what she wants.

What if we all decide which laws we will obey and which we will not? Chaos.

Beck
07-11-2011, 07:45 PM
Its not right that she just decides she doesn't have to obey the law. Terrible example for the kids. Regardless of whether the law makes sense, is outdated, shouldn't apply, ridiculous in its aplication to her raised beds, it should still be followed until it is changed. Go to the zoning board meetings, the city counsel meetings and get it changed. Maybe thats just a little too much effort for her??? Maybe thats just a little too much like the right thing to do. It is so much easier to just do what she wants.

What if we all decide which laws we will obey and which we will not? Chaos.

How did she disobey the law? The law states "suitable plant material" (or something to that effect, don't remember the exact wording). She believes, as do many others across the nation (and now world!), that her plantings are suitable. The wording is vague; she can not be blamed for that, nor should she be fined or jailed.

Now, if the law specifically stated "no raised beds in the front yard" she'd be breaking the law. This is clearly not the case, and the onus falls on the municipality to be very clear in what is or is not acceptable material. They, the public servants, work for us- not the other way around!

EZMONEY
07-11-2011, 07:47 PM
What if we all decide which laws we will obey and which we will not? Chaos.

I am curious....

how can you see that the "law" means no veggie plants from what the city code says....

copied from story ~ Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what's "suitable?"

How can anyone get no veggies allowed out of suitable plant material?

Is a veggie live plant material?

answer....:yes:

Thank you :judge:

I rest my case :)

EZMONEY
07-11-2011, 07:50 PM
We posted at the same time BECK....

love your answer!

julie99s
07-11-2011, 11:40 PM
Its not right that she just decides she doesn't have to obey the law. Terrible example for the kids. Regardless of whether the law makes sense, is outdated, shouldn't apply, ridiculous in its aplication to her raised beds, it should still be followed until it is changed. Go to the zoning board meetings, the city counsel meetings and get it changed. Maybe thats just a little too much effort for her??? Maybe thats just a little too much like the right thing to do. It is so much easier to just do what she wants.

What if we all decide which laws we will obey and which we will not? Chaos.

Sorry, i can' help but wonder if you bothered reading any of the articles before tossing your two cents...

Jelma
07-12-2011, 11:55 AM
This is absurd. She doesn't live in a HOA, if you want everything pretty and perfect go live in one of those communities. Her property, her rights. It poses no health or safety issue. If Oak Park really cared about how "pretty" the yards are maybe they should start going after the big banks that allow the properties they foreclosed on to sit vacant, overgrown, with maintenance ignored. Those are the real eyesores.

MiZTaCCen
07-12-2011, 01:27 PM
People in this world are honestly just pathetic.

She bought the house,
She's paying the morgage,
There for SHE should be able to plant what she wants where ever she wants.

Now if she had bushes in her front yard to cover this would it have still been a problem? Also as for the person who said it was ugly. So? It's not your yard, and your opinion shouldn't matter because it isn't your yard.

Stupid bylaws...People need to get a life and certain states with ridiculous bylaws should really find something better to do then arresting people because they decided to grow a veggie garden.

FitGirlyGirl
07-12-2011, 02:03 PM
I agree with those who think that she should be allowed to grow her garden in the front yard. However, I think that if I were this lady I would take a different tack and not run the risk of going to jail. My advice would be to have the garden in the back yard, plant grass out front, and then sue the city. She could still make her point, try to change things but make the city the entity that is at risk.


I would do both. By the wording of their own laws she is not breaking them. I would let this play out and then after I won, I would sue the city for harassing me and wasting my time.

Is it exactly what I would do? No, I would probably use stone or brick rather than the wood and I would probably put grass or clover between rather than wood chips. Is it her right to do what she wants with her own property? Yes, so long as she is not breaking laws or endangering the neighborhood. I see no example of her breaking any laws or endangering anyone. The city is apparently run by lunatics.

zoodoo613
07-12-2011, 05:26 PM
My neighbors at my last house had a small vegetable garden in their front yard. The couldn't have it in the back, because they used that space for their piles of trash that they thought might be useful, old transmissions, etc. But the best part is that not all of the, um, weeds amongst his tomatoes where accidental. His neighbor on the other side was a sheriffs deputy. Quite the arrangement.

BTW, this was a nice neighborhood, not a dump. Just that one yard that was a mess. And even they were good neighbors. We never called to complain about their yard, although when it came time for us to sell that house, my husband had to help them clean up the yard, as that was the sole complaint we were hearing from the showings. They cleaned the yard on Thursday, showed the house on Friday, got an offer on Saturday, and by Wednesday there was a transmission in the backyard again.

AnonymouslyYours
07-12-2011, 05:38 PM
Its not right that she just decides she doesn't have to obey the law. Terrible example for the kids. Regardless of whether the law makes sense, is outdated, shouldn't apply, ridiculous in its aplication to her raised beds, it should still be followed until it is changed. Go to the zoning board meetings, the city counsel meetings and get it changed. Maybe thats just a little too much effort for her??? Maybe thats just a little too much like the right thing to do. It is so much easier to just do what she wants.

What if we all decide which laws we will obey and which we will not? Chaos.

Tell that to the people of the civil rights movement... Seriously if people listened to this we would still be drinking from separate water fountains and the majority of posters on this site wouldn't have the right to vote. We have to challenge authority when it oversteps its bounds and is encroaching on our rights.

DixC Chix
07-12-2011, 08:35 PM
[QUOTE]I am curious....

how can you see that the "law" means no veggie plants from what the city code says....

I never said that the law means no veggie plants. How can you see that you are not quoting the right person!!?!! Misquoting and playing dumb gets you nowhere in my book. It doesn't say no veggies, it says suitable plant material. Your own quote from the story highlights the word suitable.

copied from story ~ Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what's "suitable?"
Yes, this is the issue.

The city official gave the definition of suitable and apparently your opinion and hers is different.

Is a veggie live plant material?

Of course it is plant material, don't be obtuse. But in this woman's neighborhood in this woman's city, the use of raised beds containing veggies and flowers are not perceived to meet the definition of "suitable".

After the warning and/or the ticket, she should have pleaded her case to the proper authorities and through the proper channels. After exhausting those sources of remedy, then go to the media and/or file suit. But at least go the route of a civic minded citizen and give the city an opportunity to include raised veggie beds in the definition of suitable. [QUOTE]

julie99 - Yes I read every word of every article I could find. I am not opposed to raised bed gardening and I personally think its a great idea to grow organically for her family. I just don't think she handled the situation with anything close to mature adult behavior.

anonymously - Your post is mostly hyperbole. This situation is not even close to a civil rights violation of the 50's and 60's which by the way was to outlaw the behavior of racial discrimination and bring freedom, respect, dignity, and economic and social equality to African Americans and restoring voting rights in southern states. Civil disobience was used only after other avenues of resolution were explored, attempted and failed (lawsuits, organizations, political redress, and labor organizing, economic boycotts).

There are different ways of challenging authority depending on the severity of encroachment on rights. Why hit a fly with a hammer when a rolled newspaper will do a better job of killing the fly and not damaging your wall??

This woman never even tried to challenge the authority of the city ordinance that was overstepping it bounds. She just ignored it(the warning and ticket) hoping it would go away.

AnonymouslyYours
07-12-2011, 09:57 PM
[QUOTE]
anonymously - Your post is mostly hyperbole. This situation is not even close to a civil rights violation of the 50's and 60's which by the way was to outlaw the behavior of racial discrimination and bring freedom, respect, dignity, and economic and social equality to African Americans and restoring voting rights in southern states. Civil disobience was used only after other avenues of resolution were explored, attempted and failed (lawsuits, organizations, political redress, and labor organizing, economic boycotts).

There are different ways of challenging authority depending on the severity of encroachment on rights. Why hit a fly with a hammer when a rolled newspaper will do a better job of killing the fly and not damaging your wall??


I guess the part of your post I was addressing was when you said, "Regardless of whether the law makes sense, is outdated, shouldn't apply, ridiculous in its aplication to her raised beds, it should still be followed until it is changed."

That's just a bad statement to make, especially with regards to setting an example for children. Hyperbolic or not, small scale or large scale, the government is not the final authority, it is not infallible and any person who is willing to stand up for his/her rights, should be commended when doing it peacefully and without harming others. Has she done anything drastic? She planted gardens, refused to back down, and now plans to present her case in court. How is this hitting a wall with a hammer? She will be heard in court, it will go on record, this law will be challenged publicly. She has done EXACTLY what she should do about a law she feels encroaches on her rights. None of us would have heard about this had she done it your way. Now the issue has gotten publicity and likely WILL be addressed, rather than being piled up and forgotten.

So really, if you think that we should all just follow laws, and only challenge them the way that the government thinks is the most convenient, that's great, but I think you are not setting the best example for your children if you are hoping for them to grow up to be confident, independent adults who are willing to stand up against the accepted norms/laws for things in which they strongly believe. But they will probably never go to jail or be arrested, either.

Beck
07-12-2011, 10:19 PM
Actually, DixC Chix, she did ask the city before planting whether is was acceptable or not, after the city tore up her yard to fix a sewer issue. She was never told that it was unacceptable and the person she spoke to was quoted as saying something along the lines of, "I didn't think she'd actually go ahead with it." So, she did go through the proper channels from the beginning; it was the city that screwed up.

This is all so ridiculous. I have raised beds in my yard and the thought never occurred to me to ask my town whether is was acceptable to plant vegetables in my yard. I also didn't ask if I could have a compost container, laundry line, or raised American flag.