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Tipsheet

Property Rights Victory: Married Couple Allowed To Plant Vegetables In Their Own Front Yard Again

Mary Leach via AP

As limited government advocates frequently observe, the government interferes way too much in our lives.

Case in point: While common sense dictates that people ought to exercise control over their own yard, a Florida couple just recently regained the right to plant vegetables in their front yard after years of being prevented from doing so.

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Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll grew their garden in their front yard because the backyard lacked proper sunlight, but after the local government changed a zoning code, they had to ditch the vegetables they cultivated to avoid a fifty dollar per-day fine.

But now the Florida legislature has now passed a law that prevents local governments from impinging on people’s right to grow vegetables in their own yard. The Miami Herald reported that “The new law was motivated by a legal battle going back to May 2013, when the Miami Shores Village Council amended its zoning code to prohibit front-yard vegetable gardens in the name of ‘protecting the distinctive character of Miami Shores Village.’ The couple either had to get rid of the vegetables or face fines of $50 per day.”

The newly approved law allowing them to grow vegetables states in part: 

“Except as otherwise provided by law, a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state may not regulate vegetable gardens on residential properties. Any such local ordinance or regulation regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties is void and unenforceable.”

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According to the Miami Herald, “Aside from those who are part of homeowners or condominium associations, the law protects gardeners from local government enforcement.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) weighed in on Twitter, asking why this infringement wouldn’t constitute a violation of the 5th Amendment that should trigger government compensation—he also joked about a typo in his tweet and Twitter’s lack of an edit option:

Watch Hermine Ricketts in the video below:

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