Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan is Facing 93 Days in Jail for Planting a Garden in Her Own Yard!

Posted: July 9, 2011 by ladyjustice84 in Harassment, Just Messed Up
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Julie Bass' house, complete with vegetable garden.

By LadyJustice

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…

Source 1| Source 2| Source 3

  1. DarlingVioletta says:

    It’s Michgan and well..
    Let’s just say that yard is MUCH, MUCH better than many yards than I saw, and even better than a great deal of state and city property. Curious as to why the neighbor has a problem with it. I would think that just putting down hay over the dirt and mud is MUCH more of an eyesore.


  2. thinkgoat says:

    I think the garden boxes look lovely. Anyone can buy some shrubs, throw them in the dirt and they look like shit. Or those damn “wild flower mixes” that end up a bloody mess. This lady took a nice amount of time to make her garden look nice and some neighbor with a broken vibrator is getting all pissy with the wrong person. (and 10-1 sleeping with someone on the board). What a waste of time and energy.

    The population there is almost 30,000. You cannot tell me there’s not more important (meaning heinous) crimes occurring.

    And my Darling Violetta, how the hell are you?

    Edit to add: It’s a fucking suburb of Detroit! Unless something drastic has happened, that’s one of the most crime-ridden armpits in the US.


  3. ladyjustice84 says:

    Don’t you just love it when a well-meaning, functional member of society is treated like shit because someone doesn’t like how they think outside the box???


  4. ladyjustice84 says:

    They have dismissed the charges to “examine the statutes better…” It was on the facebook link posted in the article.


  5. Zealant says:

    But other charges against Julie Bass have been resurrected for not having licenses for her two dogs — even though she took care of that issue, lawyer Solomon Radner said.

    From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110714/METRO02/107140475/Charges-dropped-against-Oak-Park-woman-over-veggie-garden#ixzz1SEv97scF


  6. ladyjustice84 says:

    I don’t bring up suing people often but if I was her they’d stop harassing me or I’d own that whole damn town!


  7. robin221 says:

    I’m getting to this late…I think the boxes look great! I thought community gardens were all the rage!


  8. ladyjustice84 says:

    They dropped the charges until they could “further investigate.” I guess that’s a win for now???



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