Last week, Zenon Evans passed along the story of Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll, who are fighting the city of Miami Shores, Fla., for the right to grow vegetables in their front yard. They are suing with the help of the Institute for Justice.
Head north, though, and the City of Orlando has magnanimously decided to allow homeowners their home-grown vegetables, though they've packaged it within a whole host of other regulations controlling what people do with their yards. From the Orlando Sentinel:
On Monday, the City Council gave preliminary approval to rules that would allow veggie gardens to cover as much as 60 percent of a home's front yard. But they could not be planted in the public right-of-way along the street, and would have to be screened with fencing or shrubs, and set back at least three feet from the property line.
It's more garden-friendly than city planners' first attempt, which restricted gardens to no more than 25 percent of the front yard, required 10-foot setbacks and sought height limits on tomatoes and other plantings.
As in Miami Shores, the fight started when the city demanded a couple, Jason and Jennifer Helvenston, remove their vegetable garden or face fines. The city's efforts were short-circuited when it was discovered the city didn't actually have any rules about vegetable gardens.
So really, the new rules aren't giving residents more freedom to decide what to do with their yards. It's actually taking it away. The new rules require a shade tree on every lot of every new home construction – and for anybody attempting to add to their property. It also has a list of "approved" shrubs and trees and regulations for irrigation timers.
Read the whole story here.