July 9th, 2011

Front Yard Garden War

Found first at Radley Balko’s The Agitator weblog:


Radley Balko

Radley Balko

Front Yard Garden War

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.”

So what is suitable? From another local news report:

. . .  we asked Rulkowski why it’s not suitable.

“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,” he said.

God forbid your yard doesn’t include beautiful trees, bushes and flowers. It’s your job, Oak Park citizens, to give Kevin Rulkowski pretty things to look at. According to Bass’s blog, she’s demanding her right to a jury trial. So the city plans to throw the book at her.

our attorney spoke to the prosecutor today. (for the record, my crush on him is totally finished after today.)

his position: they are going to take this all the way.

officially, this means i am facing 93 days in jail if they win.

no joke.


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9 Responses to “Front Yard Garden War”

  1. 1
    Spirit of '76 Says:

    Not “molon labe” but Κύριε, ἐλέησον.

    LORD have mercy on their souls.

  2. 2
    Saladin Says:

    Everyone in the neighborhood should plant a huge vegetable garden in their front yard! If this isn’t proof enough of what these power freaks are up to I don’t know what is.

  3. 3
    Wally Says:

    I heard the neighbors real objection was to that “Honey Wagon” that showed up every day with a fertilizer delivery.

  4. 4
    Elias Alias Says:

    Wow. Didn’t know gardens have to be fertilized daily. Guess I learn something new every day. :-)


  5. 5
    chase Says:

    her jury trial must be based on the fully informed jury because a fully informed jury would
    find her innocent and the city guilty of stupidity

  6. 6
    chase Says:

    An also why not just build a fence around the yard so you cant see all the evil nature inside

  7. 7
    chase Says:

    This is part of agenda 21 look it up on start page

  8. 8
    Paul Says:

    First of all the bill of rights is clear, GOVERNMENT has no business in your yard/property. I am sick and tired of all the Federal, state, and local Governments thinking they can pass “Ordinances” that tell you and me what you are allowed to do on your own property. I sure wish people with some back bone will start standing up for our “GOD GIVEN RIGHTS” I do not now nor will I ever recognize any so called authority that thinks they can tell me what to do. I have in the past and will in the Future tell any of them to get the F—K of my property and if they do not I WILL PHISICLY REMOVE THEM!! Damn it is time to stand up and take back our country!! People if you have trouble understanding the Bill of Rights and our Constitution try reading the 85 articles in the Federalist papers and many other righting from our founding fathers. KEEP YOUR GUNS CLEAN AND YOUR AMMO DRY we are going to need them real soon!!! “THIS I WILL DEFEND”

  9. 9
    Carl Says:

    they let her keep the veg garden, it is not an issue anymore….

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