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Judge Rules Town Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re Ugly

from Off The Grid News:

MIAMI – In a blow to freedom and property rights, a Florida judge has ruled that residents of Miami Shores do not have a fundamental right to grow vegetables in their front yard, even if they don’t have a backyard or their backyard is deficient for growing plants.

Miami Shores officials say the ordinance benefits neighborhood aesthetics.

The ruling by Circuit Court Judge Monica Gordo is a blow to the well-publicized case of Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll, a married couple who say their backyard is too shady to grow a garden.

The couple grew vegetables in the front yard for 17 years for health and financial reasons until the Miami Shores village government passed an ordinance banning front yard vegetable growing. Ricketts and Carroll were facing a $50-a-day fine.

“This Court is not convinced that the prohibition of front-yard vegetable gardens impairs any fundamental right” Gordo wrote in her Aug. 25 opinion. “… The Court finds that the prohibition of vegetable gardens except in back yards is rationally related to Miami Shores’ legitimate interest in promoting and maintaining aesthetics.”

She added that “protecting aesthetics is a legitimate government purpose.”

Story continues below video

The couple was represented by the Institute for Justice, which offered experts who argued that vegetables “do not have an intrinsically good or bad visual quality” and “are not aesthetically degrading,” but Gordo wrote that the city’s law was a “value judgement” that she would not second guess.

The Institute for Justice said it will appeal the ruling.

“Today’s ruling affects every homeowner in Miami Shores who wants to grow a garden in their front yard,” said Institute for Justice attorney Ari Bargil. “The court agreed that Miami Shores never explained how banning front-yard vegetable gardens promotes its claimed interest in ‘aesthetics,’ but the court nevertheless ruled that the village has the power to ban these gardens anyway.”

Their garden was known as one of the more attractive ones in the area.

“I am disappointed by today’s ruling,” Ricketts said. “My garden not only provided us with food, but it was also beautiful and added character to the community. I look forward to continuing this fight and ultimately winning so I can once again use my property productively instead of being forced to have a useless lawn.”

Bargil noted that if Ricketts and Carroll wanted to “grow fruit or flowers or display pink flamingos,” the town would have been fine with it.

Read More @ OffTheGridNews.com

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3 comments to Judge Rules Town Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re Ugly

  • marcs

    So, the owners have grown their food for 17 years. The govt creates a new law that in effect reduces their bundle of rights, and the govt did not pay them for the taking of these property rights.
    The govt needs to be sued for the violation and taking of property rights without due compensation.
    Value loss would be the value of the yearly food supply, that being the lost income to the owners, example say $10,000/yr @ 5% cap rate = $200,000 in lost property rights.
    When the govt decides to make new laws that violates an owners property rights, they should also be prepared to pay all property owners. When the system works in this fashion, the govts will stop this reckless behavior, but since the judges are paid by the govt, good luck on payment for takings of property.
    Another whorejudge.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Agreed that we should all have the right to grow, but fighting the beast takes too long, the crash is almost upon us.

    The judge did them a favor if they move away from that crowded area, sell out before the house prices drop, move to the sticks and pick a good growing location.

    After the USSA becomes like Venezuela, it will be OK for everybody to grow food anyplace the wish, but right now, the beast is in charge of arrogance, stupidity and the sheriff or city cops.

    Sometimes we hate being pushed to leave a bad situation, and don’t see the benefit until the old situation becomes deadly toxic.

  • Ed_B

    “Judge Rules Town Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re Ugly”

    Has this judge looked at the people running the DNC? Perhaps they should be banned too? 😉

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