I hope they win
MIAMI – For 17 years, a South Florida couple grew vegetables in a front-yard garden until a new town ordinance was passed limiting such gardens to backyards. Now, the couple is asking a judge to uproot the ban they claim violates their constitutional rights.
Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts say they dug up the garden in front of their Miami Shores home in August 2013 when town officials threatened to fine them $50 a day if they didn't. The threatened fine came a few months after the Miami Shores Village Council adopted a new zoning plan for the town of about 10,500 north of Miami.
The couple sued, and at a hearing Wednesday their attorney said the ban violates the Florida Constitution in several ways, including improper limits on their private property rights and violation of the equal protection clause by singling out vegetables over other plants.
"We're not saying you can do anything you want on your property," attorney Ari Bargil told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Monica Gordo. "We are simply saying you can grow vegetables on your property and that is protected by the Constitution."
Richard Sarafan, attorney for Miami Shores, said the new zoning rule was not irrational and treated all homeowners the same: their front yards should be covered with grass, sod or a "living ground cover" not further defined. It's no problem, he said, to have a vegetable garden in the backyard.
19 Feb ’12
It's no problem, he said, to have a vegetable garden in the backyard.
And it's not problem to have one in the front yard asshat.
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