Thread: City Hates Veggies; Threatens Homeowner

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  1. #1 City Hates Veggies; Threatens Homeowner 
    Does Michelle Obama Know About This?
    Thursday, July 7th, 2011

    Oak Park, Michigan:



    Their front yard was torn up after replacing a sewer line, so instead of replacing the dirt with grass, one Oak Park woman put in a vegetable garden and now the city is seeing green.

    The list goes on: fresh basil, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cumbers and more all filling five large planter boxes that fill the Bass family’s front yard.

    Julie Bass says, “We thought we’re minding our own business, doing something not ostentatious and certainly not obnoxious or nothing that is a blight on the neighborhood, so we didn’t think people would care very much.”

    But some cared very much and called the city. The city then sent out code enforcement.

    “They warned us at first that we had to move the vegetables from the front, that no vegetables were allowed in the front yard. We didn’t move them because we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong, even according to city code we didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. So they ticketed us and charged me with a misdemeanor,” Bass said . . .

    City code says that all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are what Basses see as suitable.

    However, Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski says the city disagrees. He says, “If you look at the dictionary, suitable means common. You can look all throughout the city and you’ll never find another vegetable garden that consumes the entire front yard.”
    This is the city here, not an HOA. Now, I don't live in downtown Denver or anything but it's dead common where I live to see veggie gardens in front and turf and recreational space around back.

    The Agitator
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  2. #2  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    Code Enforcement. Otherwise known as the Yard Nazi's.
    "Inequality is a false notion propagated by those who are made to feel guilty for what they have by those who are jealous for what they don't"-Former MTV Host Kennedy
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Apache's Avatar
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    Oak Park? As in Obama's Oak Park?
    Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    Code Enforcement. Otherwise known as the Yard Nazi's.
    Here we're glad for them. This is a hippie haven and while some of them do interesting and creative things with their property, others look like a dilapidated microbus in a roadside ditch. There's a difference between xeriscaping and just not cutting your grass/weeds for two years. One guy has edged his yard with old hospital bed rails. Another has "War is not the answer." painted all over his house and fence. I'm surprised no one has thought to arrange old washing machines to look like Stonehenge.
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    Here we're glad for them. This is a hippie haven and while some of them do interesting and creative things with their property, others look like a dilapidated microbus in a roadside ditch. There's a difference between xeriscaping and just not cutting your grass/weeds for two years. One guy has edged his yard with old hospital bed rails. Another has "War is not the answer." painted all over his house and fence. I'm surprised no one has thought to arrange old washing machines to look like Stonehenge.
    I get that kind of thing but growing food for your own table ought to get a pass. Tomato plants and corn aren't notably "uglier" than Joe Pye weed, cosmos, or ornamental amaranthus. If the problem is the bare dirt between the boxes, just make them pave it, mulch it, or turf it.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    Oak Park? As in Obama's Oak Park?
    Is Obama from Oak Park Michigan, which the article clearly states is the location?
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I get that kind of thing but growing food for your own table ought to get a pass. Tomato plants and corn aren't notably "uglier" than Joe Pye weed, cosmos, or ornamental amaranthus. If the problem is the bare dirt between the boxes, just make them pave it, mulch it, or turf it.
    That's true, and I have grown tomatoes in my front yard because my back yard os too shady. Problem was, I was thinking like a Marylander and planted them on Easter Sunday... so I was growing out of season and it was a lot of work to keep them from burning up. For years I've been promising my neighbor I was going to plant corn, just to annoy her.
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    Jeez. I mean look at the house. We're not talking about some kind of real upscale neighborhood where the neighbors are trying to get a million bucks for their house. It's an ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood. Let it go, I say.

    BTW: Our vegetable garden is a lot like hers, in raised boxes and all. Works well.
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    That's true, and I have grown tomatoes in my front yard because my back yard os too shady. Problem was, I was thinking like a Marylander and planted them on Easter Sunday... so I was growing out of season and it was a lot of work to keep them from burning up. For years I've been promising my neighbor I was going to plant corn, just to annoy her.
    We don't usually find corn annoying out here. Snake gourds are fairly annoying, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    Oak Park? As in Obama's Oak Park?
    Oak Park is a suburb on Detroit's north side. It used to be a mostly jewish area, and now is more of a mix of working blacks escaping the city (so their kids can go to better schools) and immigrants from the middle east. The best sign of this is that the former synagog on Coolidge is now an MBE church.

    There is still a hassidic jewish population on the west side, where OP borders Southfield.
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