Oak Park seems to be out of touch as they prepare to prosecute resident Julie Bass for growing vegetables in her front yard. After all, front yard vegetable gardens are in vogue right now as homeowners strive for economical organic means of supplying their own produce. However, Oak Park city code states: "all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material." What makes vegetables unsuitable?
From the photo, it is obvious this gardener hasn't let the raised beds go to weed. She has instituted raised beds to contain her crops, making it easy to cultivate and pleasing on the eye. So why does the city have a problem with it?
As quoted in the Huffington post, Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rukolwski told MYFOXDETROIT: "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."
Gardener Julie Bass has received a warning, a ticket, and now a misdemeanour charge for refusing to remove the vegetable garden from the front yard. Pretrial is scheduled for July 26 of this year. According to Julie's blog, she faces up to 93 days imprisonment.
Fellow gardeners, do you think the city's actions are justified? Or, do you side with the homeowner, Julie Bass? How do you feel about the homeowner's right to landscape as she sees fit?
The full news article is here.