Julie's front yard got dug up when a new sewer line was put in. Instead of grass, she decided to plant some vegetable gardens. She laid down some very nice planter boxes and was happy with her idea. It looks really nice, check out this picture.
Why is the city going after this mother and her nicely manicured garden? The 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.
Oak Park’s Planning and Technology Director Kevin Rulkowski 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.”
The city is in the mood to take this case to court and if they win, Julie Bass will spend 93 days in jail for not removing her front lawn garden.
This is so incredibly wrong in so many ways. Don't you get tired of paying taxes on property you own...just to be told what you can and can't do with it? I mean, I could understand if it was an eyesore. Heck, I can't tell you how many people have "suitable" plants in their front yards and it looks like crap.
I'm glad Julie is getting national attention for this. You'd think it would shame the officials there to do the right thing and back away from this case. I suppose they wouldn't feel that would be a "suitable" way to handle it.
Julie's blog OakParkHatesVeggies is great. You can help her by donating to help cover her attorney's fees. Here's hoping she wins and can continue to let her garden grow.