Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36

Thread: Front yard vegetable garden

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,896

    Front yard vegetable garden

    Interesting story from the "D"

    The ordinance is online at municode.com, and its language does not support what code enforcement has stated.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,062
    Unbelievable. Doesn't the city have better ways to spend its staff time and resources? Who is making the judgement call that well-tended vegetables are unsightly, while a weed-choked yard is acceptable? Go into any garden center display or botanical garden and you will note the common practice of mixing vegetables (cabbage, peppers, etc.) with flowers and other landscaping.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Jamestown, New York
    Posts
    1,705
    If the home owners had a messy vegetable garden in the front yard, that is one thing, but just because somebody doesn't like the "design" of a neighbor's vegetable garden that happens to be in front of their home, too bad. Regulating what plants homeowners can plant in the front yards is an affront to common sense.

    My narrow front yard has essentially been turned into a flower garden with a mulched path wandering down the middle. Now, I'm working on the strip between the sidewalk and the street. I don't have any veggies in my front yard, but that's only because there's better soil and a lot more sun in the backyard -- and it's less a target for deer predation.

    BTW, "common" is NOT a synonym for "suitable", and even if it were, tomatoes, basil, peppers, lettuce, etc are very "common" plants.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,896
    Suggestions for face-saving on the part of the bureaucrat are welcome.

    (I've sent links to my favorite newspaper, and after reviewing the ordinance -- finding nothing that supports the ZA's violation stance -- I sent comments to the gardener.)


    ETA: here's a photo of the violation.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,550
    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Suggestions for face-saving on the part of the bureaucrat are welcome.
    ...
    ETA: here's a photo of the violation.
    Another stupid bureaucrat trick. These things will never end.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,062
    She needs to consult Maister regarding more efficient use of the beds, but to me this yard looks far better maintained than many.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  7. #7
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Posts
    11,044
    They need to require lemon verbana. I love that smell...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    19,273
    I had some beyotch call me up a couple weeks ago to complain about a property that had converted the front yard into a vegetable garden. 'Doesn't the city have any regulations prohibiting this sort of thing?' You have no idea the restraint required of not go off on her elitist ass when she suggested that because there arent any such regulations, the city administration should immediately spearhead an effort to adopt some regs! Yeah, we've got nothing more pressing to deal with

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,550
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I had some beyotch call me up a couple weeks ago to complain about a property that had converted the front yard into a vegetable garden. 'Doesn't the city have any regulations prohibiting this sort of thing?' You have no idea the restraint required of not go off on her elitist ass when she suggested that because there arent any such regulations, the city administration should immediately spearhead an effort to adopt some regs! Yeah, we've got nothing more pressing to deal with
    A buddy from Seattle was in town this past week, and he relayed the sheer number of front yards that have food gardens in them now: in the planting strip, front yard, window boxes, everywhere. They are proliferating like mad.

    Now that's cool. Elitist dim-bulbs who want a mandated lawn as symbol of dominion over nature can go shove it.

    BTW, when I semi-retire soon I'm going to have a consultancy that teaches people how to grow food in their little suburban nirvana. I'm working out the low-cost season extension & am most of the way there. Business Plan in place and just waiting. Soon, such dim-bulbery about mandating green lawns will go away and folks will get outside again. Not everyone, but enough.

    [/angry guerrilla gardener]

  10. #10
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,923
    Really? REALLY?! People are upset by this? How disappointing...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  11. #11
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Really? REALLY?! People are upset by this? How disappointing...
    I am more upset by snout nosed garage houses. Maybe its the fact that there are people in front of the home now that are making the neighbors upset?! Streetlife? Why we moved to this quiet burgh to get away from such foolishness!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  12. #12
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,681
    Blog entries
    3
    The vegetable garden in the photo Veloise posted looks neat and well-tended.

    Around here, front yards can include anything; lawns, lawns with natural patches, informal English gardens, rain gardens, vegetables, and wildflower gardens. I have to account for that in the SmartCode calibration. Where it can get questionable, at least to my sensibilities, are when the back-to-earth hippies decide to let their lawns "go natural, man", and they just become weed-choked messes. I know one man's weed is another man's wanted plant, but they aren't doing their gardening neighbors any favors with their 700 square foot patches of bindweed, nutsedge, mugwort and groundsel.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Upper left edge
    Posts
    4,358
    We specifically amended our landscaping ordinance to make clear that vegetable gardens are landscaping.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,923
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    The vegetable garden in the photo Veloise posted looks neat and well-tended.

    Around here, front yards can include anything; lawns, lawns with natural patches, informal English gardens, rain gardens, vegetables, and wildflower gardens. I have to account for that in the SmartCode calibration. Where it can get questionable, at least to my sensibilities, are when the back-to-earth hippies decide to let their lawns "go natural, man", and they just become weed-choked messes. I know one man's weed is another man's wanted plant, but they aren't doing their gardening neighbors any favors with their 700 square foot patches of bindweed, nutsedge, mugwort and groundsel.
    I think there is a distinction to be made between managed and unmanaged spaces, independent of what it is that is growing there. I've recently gotten into eating and using edible plants that are commonly considered weeds recently. My 10 year old son even helped me gather a Wild Salad from items gathered in the immediate neighborwood. Wild amaranth, hollyhocks, lambs quarters, wild mustard, yucca flowers, etc. I now view a lot of these things differently than before - what is a nuisance and what is of value is definitely subjective. So, regardless of the content, if one is using some sense of organization and management up front, even if its not my approach, is ok with me.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rockwood, MI
    Posts
    1,463

    Fat Cat

    I have worked for cities where we would have loved to have a manicured yard like this. Instead we had cars on blocks and other assorted flotsam
    This is what gives planners a bad name

  16. #16
    Bureaucratic bs. Code enforcement has better things to do than go after this and the cp needs to get a life. I work in a county that still pretty rural in places. We have horses, cows and tractors in the front yard.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2009
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    43
    It's funny you guys are talking about vegetables.
    Apparently the City I grew up in on the east coast of Canada is starting to encourage people planting gardens.

    Video

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,896

    Media machine ramps up

    http://weirdnews.aol.com/2011/07/08/..._n_893436.html

    I'll ask it again: any ideas on how the CP can back down without looking completely incompetent? Other than "leaving to spend more time with his family," of course.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Aliquippa Pa
    Posts
    233
    any ideas on how the CP can back down without looking completely incompetent?
    He deserves to look completely incompetent.

    On edit: Having thought about it a little more, I realize that my above comment, though heartfelt, was probably not constructive.

    How about just admitting that he made an error in judgement about what was "suitable"? People often appreciate it when somebody has the intestinal fortitude to admit they were wrong.
    Last edited by digger; 09 Jul 2011 at 10:19 AM.
    Proudly spending today building the dilapidated housing stock of the 22nd century.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,062
    "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," Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski told MyFoxDetroit.

    May yard would probably run afoul of his definition, with a large patch of wildflowers. Although covered in blooms at the moment, it is covered in dead plants from late fall to early spring, when I clear it off and have a patch of bare ground until they begin to sprout again.

    Maybe he should take a look at a local garden center display or the nearest botanical garden. Contemporary gardening does use many of the vegetable plants she is growing, like cabbage and peppers. I once did an alternative design for a short pathway that included peppers in the planting beds. Of the alternatives, it was my favorite, with blue glass chips in the concrete pavement, galvanized metal, silvery steel furnishings and accents, a fountain, and plantings including multi-colored peppers, trumpet vine, tritoma and coppertina. The cool colors of the hardscape contrasted with the fiery, spicy vegetation to make what I thought would be a very interesting space.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2010
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    218
    I just saw this story and am heartened to see the responses here. Is this truly what "planning" in suburbia has become? Is this the face we want to present to the public, of what "planners" can do for their community? When I heard the planner say, "I told her not to do it ...", it spoke to a government bureaucrat on a power trip, based on a poor interpretation. I am glad to see this planning director and the poor judgment of the code enforcement has been taken to task. Vegetables not "common"? Gardens not "suitable plant material"? Come on, 50 million+ Americans garden! In a society where most people fail to get three servings of fresh fruits and veggies a day, the idea that government is there to interfere in this family's quiet enjoyment of their property seems wrong.
    Last edited by docwatson; 09 Jul 2011 at 12:33 PM.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South of Canada
    Posts
    347
    Do any of the locals know if there has been an update on this? I'm very curious to know if the municipal official admitted a (severe) error in judgement and if the homeowner is now free to continue?

    As to an earlier question, I'd like to see the municipality save a little face not only by apologizing, but also by taking an active role in promoting such gardening. Maybe the best way to bridge the gap is to have the employee and the gardener work together on a community project to promote urban gardening, and maybe even make changes in the plans and bylaws. Turn a negative into a forward facing positive.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Glass City
    Posts
    2,610
    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    http://weirdnews.aol.com/2011/07/08/..._n_893436.html

    I'll ask it again: any ideas on how the CP can back down without looking completely incompetent? Other than "leaving to spend more time with his family," of course.
    A personal apology to the homeowner and a public apology for wasting tax dollars and time/resources on this issue would be a good first step. I realize this is harsh and his ego will likely be bruised, but that would be the right thing to do and may unruffle some feathers.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,896
    Quote Originally posted by ThePinkPlanner View post
    Do any of the locals know if there has been an update on this? I'm very curious to know if the municipal official admitted a (severe) error in judgement and if the homeowner is now free to continue?

    As to an earlier question, I'd like to see the municipality save a little face not only by apologizing, but also by taking an active role in promoting such gardening. Maybe the best way to bridge the gap is to have the employee and the gardener work together on a community project to promote urban gardening, and maybe even make changes in the plans and bylaws. Turn a negative into a forward facing positive.
    Took a while for the publicity to ramp up, but the two local papers finally discovered it. (They were mired in some sort of murder trial coverage.)

    The perp, Julie, keeps blogging about how many media interviews she is doing, but nothing of real substance. Says the TV trucks are driving by every day.

    A long-time friend, an early retiree, apparently has decided to become an expert on code enforcement and zoning. He lives somewhere in the same burg, claims he "doesn't know" where the violation is. (I'm sure I could find it with a few more keystrokes, but whatever.) He's going on about how this is such an embarrassment and gives his fair city a bad name. Unfriending in 3...2...1...

  25. #25
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,550
    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Took a while for the publicity to ramp up, but the two local papers finally discovered it. (They were mired in some sort of murder trial coverage.)

    The perp, Julie, keeps blogging about how many media interviews she is doing, but nothing of real substance. Says the TV trucks are driving by every day...
    When you have the facts, bang the facts. Otherwise, bang the table.

    Working the refs.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 4
    Last post: 23 Dec 2011, 3:07 PM
  2. The front yard
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 83
    Last post: 01 Jun 2011, 3:41 PM
  3. Vegetable Garden Poll
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 60
    Last post: 13 Oct 2006, 11:15 AM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last post: 17 Sep 2006, 1:26 PM
  5. Replies: 42
    Last post: 28 Oct 2003, 12:46 PM