Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Governments Continue War On Greenery

You might have seen or heard me complain before about governments or homeowners associations forcing homeowners to tear out vegetable or flower gardens because, apparently, pavement or sterile, overfertilized lawns are SO much better than a fresh tomato or some brightly colored zinnias.
The "unsightly garden" that was "bringing down
property values" in Miami Shores, Fla.  

Well, the trend seems to be continuing. The people responsible for forcing gardeners to rip out their vegetable plants or flowers always give "maintaining property values" or "safety" as the reason, but they never explain how doing this saves property values and safety.

This is all a mystery to me. 

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll are now suing the city of Miami Shores, Florida, because zoning officials made them rip out the vegetable garden they had in their front yard for the past 17 years.

The couple said they didn't grow vegetables in the back yard because that area of their property doesn't get enough sun.

A new Miami Shores ordinance prohibits front yard gardens to "protect the distinctive character of the Miami Shore Village" whatever that means.

Although vegetable gardens are banned from front yards, cheap, plastic pink flamingos are just dandy, according to the Miami Shore Village ordinance.

I wonder if bathtub Virgin Marys and those weird crystal balls are OK too? I guess as long as there aren't any rogue radishes or kale growing nearby, I suppose. 

Judging from the pictures, it does no such thing. And the couple said they were told a decade ago to plant the garden to minimize flooding that occasionally occurs along the lane.

Also, according to the homeowners, the garden helps motorists figure out where the edge of the road is when it's snowing, so they're less likely to slide off the pavement and less likely to smash into their cottage. 

Next, the local government said they had to remove the flowers because it prevented pedestrians from moving out of the way of oncoming cars. But there's a well-maintained sidewalk across the street and there's plenty of room to jump into the narrow flower garden if someone had to in an emergency.

I'm sure the couple wouldn't mind one broken rose branch in the unlikely event someone had to get out of the way of a car.

As I said, the hostility some governments show toward gardens is baffling. I guess some people prefer their surroundings boring, useless, and unproductive.

Kind of like some government officials.

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