Looks like we’ll never run out of local laws to rant about. The wealthy Miami suburb of Coral Gables outlaws the parking of pick-up trucks on its streets from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. No matter that some trucks are smaller than some passenger vehicles. (A hint that it’s not really about size.) City officials say trucks are "out of character" and that they’re merely protecting "community appearances." But a resident who uses a pick-up for hauling his sailboat was issued a $50 parking ticket and is fighting it. "This has to do with a certain class of people they don’t want in the city -people they see as being inferior – the blue-collar guy, the laborer – those people." This sailer happens to have a lawyer for a brother and is starting law school himself, so he filed a lawsuit time and wound up with two appeals court judges who agreed with him, calling the city’s reasoning "frightening."
Not surprisingly, Dave Barry nails it: "Coral Gables has a legendary group of code-enforcement personnel who, for strict adherence to The Rules, make the Nazi party look like a Grateful Dead tour." Well, turns out he knows up-close-and-personal because he lives there himself and one of the many items in the local code is "Make Dave Barry’s street beautiful." So Dave, no more special treatment, I guess.
Now I know this has nothing to do with gardening but it gives me another chance to ask for your ideas about changes the Community Association Institute might propose for its members’ landscaping rules. You know, mandatory mowing, turfgrass-only, no veggies, etc. Here’s my pitch for help, and if you have any more ideas, just send ’em along today or tomorrow. Our "white paper" goes to Project Laundry List Monday. Thanks!