Oak Park, Michigan-Since the city dug up this lady’s yard to replace sewer lines she decided that she’d make good use of the space in her yard by planting a nice vegetable garden. Julie figured that she was doing something good for herself that wasn’t hurting anyone else. However the city, and the moron Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski, see it differently.
After a warning, then a ticket, Julie Bass is now facing a full on misdemeanor charge that carries a sentence of up to 93 days in jail simply because she refuses to tear out her vegetable garden. When she decided to put the garden in Julie thought it was a good idea and wanted others in the neighborhood to be able to enjoy it too. Most of the neighbors do enjoy it.
“I have a bunch of little children and we take walks to come by and see everything growing. I think it’s a very wonderful thing for our neighborhood,” said neighbor Devorah Gold.
“We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” Julie said.
But one moron in the village doesn’t like vegetables so they turned her in to the city. They city code enforcement gave her a warning and then a ticket. Julie refused to remove her garden or move it to the backyard because the city code only states that “all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material.” What followed from there is nothing sort of stupid.
Seeing her refusal to yield to their demands to remove the garden the city charged her with an actual crime. When asked if she thought that her yard met the city code Julie said, “It’s definitely live. It’s definitely plant. It’s definitely material. We think it’s suitable!” Then someone had the bright idea to ask the
moron city planner, Kevin Rulkowski, why it didn’t met the code.
“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. The actual definition of SUITABLE from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is 1 obsolete : similar, matching 2a : adapted to a use or purpose (suitable for kitchen use) b : satisfying propriety : proper (suitable dress) c : able, qualified (a suitable candidate for the job.) Since common isn’t in there it sounds like he needs to learn to read to me.
“I think it’s sad that the City of Oak Park that’s already strapped for cash is paying a lot of money to have a prosecutor bothering us,” Julie said.”We now find ourselves in a storm of controversy worthy of some high level mischief. Seriously?” she wrote in an entry for her blog. “It’s a GARDEN. It’s not a high crime or treason or murder. IT’S VEGETABLES. And yes, we did throw in a few flowers.”
“They don’t have (anything) else to do (if) they’re going to take her to court for a garden,” said neighbor Ora Goodwin.
I tend to agree with her. There are so many un-kept, over-grown yards in towns now and you want to throw her in jail for having a few nice flower beds with edible vegetables in them? Now they have a facebook page for supporters and a blog about their legal struggle with the city. What do you guys think? Is this a crime? I think that it’s just a city harassing a citizen…