This Just In: Oak Park, MI Front Yard Veg Garden Case Dismissed


According to Julie Bass' blog, the case against her has been dropped. As you know, local city officials were giving her grief for putting raised beds in the front yard, the objecting being that her "plant material" was not "suitable."  I guess they wised up.  I'd like to think that we can all take credit for making a ruckus in the blogosphere, but it's also possible that city officials simply took a minute to think things through and came to the only logical conclusion, which is that people should be able to grow a little fresh food in a few raised beds in their front yard, for chrissakes.

So.  All's well that ends. 


  1. Awesome news!! That’s one small win in the gardner’s column. I hope the city can be more open and forward thinking about urban land use.

  2. I’m so happy to hear this news. And I’m glad we ranters ranted our heads off about the situation, perhaps having some part in effecting change. Yay!

  3. It ain’t over yet. Although Julie’s garden should be grandfathered in when they re-write the ordinance, most likely the city will be explicitly clear in outlawing all future front yard veggie gardens.

  4. I’m glad to see that Oak Park has backed down, if only to consider tighter wording of their regs.

    I received a phone call from one of the Planning staff of my town, and asked him about front yard vegetation issues. The idea of letting the lawn die down over a couple of months, in order to plant anything else, did not make him happy, but I did suggest it could be smothered by weedcloth or newsprint, with a mulch on top of that, so that you had something more pleasant to look at in the transition.

    He did talk about water-reduction and proportion of hardscape allowed in a yard–so I told him about my Santa Cruz hard, where I got rid of the ugggglyyyy crushed white rock and what I put in instead to accomplish both goals.

    I didn’t ask him what he thought about artificial turf, or yards upon square yards of landscape cloth…forgot that part.

  5. I don’t think this is over by a long shot – if you read the entry in its entirety, it sounds as if the city is going to make her life a misery by nibbling her to death with one BS technicality after another. Just to make their point. Bastards. Good luck, Julie!

Comments are closed.