I’ve tried.

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We received a letter in the mail today that was also sent to all of our neighbors within 185 feet of our property. Propaganda at it’s finest. This letter stated:

“The owner of 309 Louisa wishes to utilize his property, currently zoned R-1D, for agricultural purposes by planting tall crops which will cover the entire front yard of the property. City Staff has determined that such use is not allowed within that zoning district under Chapter 49, the Zoning Ordinance for the City of Ferguson and, otherwise, constitutes a nuisance. The owner appeals that determination.

In the event that Board finds that the City staff’s interpretation of the Zoning code and nuisance provisions is not correct and that the owner is allowed to plant tall crops covering the entire front yard, the owner has applied for variance from all setback requirements to allow the planting of tall crops up to the property boundary line.

All persons interested may appear and be heard at that meeting.”

Stating that we are committing unlawful acts when we are not is slanderous.  My garden does not meet Ferguson’s own definition of agriculture. Our residential district is zoned for agriculture, but since we don’t meet that criteria, it does not apply. Roughly one third of our front yard has grass, so I fail to see how we are planting our “entire front yard”. Also, to say we are “planting tall crops which will cover the entire front yard of the property” is an insult, inaccurate, and as well, very misleading.  There are over 50 plant varieties in our front yard. Less than half of them I would consider to be “tall”. We are not seeking a variance, for there are no ordinances to waive. The only action that should have been taken by the City, is to have had Council write an ordinance against our endeavors months ago. Instead, they have cited irrelevant, if not fraudulent ordinances, have attempted to intimidate us, and have harassed my family for four months now without justification.

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21 Responses to I’ve tried.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Typical, arrogant, government officials. Liars all. Good luck to you.

  2. Chriss Horgan says:

    How do “tall crops” weigh against tall landscaping flowers and plants such as rows of tall rose bush trees, the ever popular tall pencil-like Italian Cypress Trees, or any tree for that fact? Ridiculous.

  3. Melissa says:

    Hang in there, you are fighting the good fight. You are right and they are wrong. If I can help in any way please email me. I live in Florissant. gemini@digistorm.net I wonder if Elizabeth Simons at Live Well Ferguson can help in any way?

  4. sketchkat06 says:

    oh my goodness, have you thought of contacting the ACLU and see if they’d help you get the city to stop?

    • ridiculed says:

      The ACLU said they wouldn’t be interested in our case since it is dealing with zoning regulations, which they don’t offer their services for. They may help with the harassment aspect later on though. We’re still seeking council for such.

  5. Meredith says:

    Perhaps it’s time to get an attorney involved. Or the media. This is unbelievable.

  6. Your garden is beautiful and you should be allowed to grow useful, nourishing food for your family on your own property if you choose. During WWII all American’s were encouraged to grow victory gardens on their property! With a food garden you actually collect a return on your investment of time, effort and resources, including water and whatever materials you purchase or make to build beds, supports and mulch. To grow food is to learn and practice an valuable skill, to teach and to nourish your family and to pass that skill to your children and most importantly, to promote food security and freedom of choice for you and your family. It is a noble and challenging endevour. Besides this, it’s hard enough to have a well kept garden with the antagonists of pests and disease out to ravage your harvest; these petty, misguided lawmakers need to get out of the way and learn something from your example. Good luck to you, I wish you all the best and a bountiful harvest!

  7. Tammy says:

    I thought of you as I was harvesting some green beans this morning. Who knew that something as benign as gardening could incite such a negative response from authority. I think that seeking legal counsel is probably the best idea at this point: someone who understands the ins and outs of local laws and regulations and can guide and direct you. It is just so incredible that you even have to go to such lengths to defend your simple little garden.

  8. marvelrae says:

    perhaps its time to file a lawsuit against the city code dept. between the harrasment and slander and defamation of character i expect there will be a lawyer or two more than happy to nail the city for its stupidity & culpability in the matter.

  9. LC says:

    Makes you wonder who actually “controls” the property you “own” doesn’t it? As a property owner and taxpayer, you fund the salaries of everyone who is against you. Makes you kinda sick, doesn’t it?
    I fought my own city about running power lines (and installing a pole) on my property, because they have an easement.

  10. BassoraMo says:

    There are towns that don’t permit clotheslines (get a corporate produced clothes dryer). There are towns that don’t permit solar panels (use corporate energy sources). There are now towns who don’t want vegetable gardens (buy from corporate grocery stores).The corporate world has spoken.

  11. Ivette Soler says:

    All I can say is get your neighbors involved! The more good will there is for you in the community, the better it will be. Yes, these are our properties, but we all KNOW that our property values are based on our neighbor’s property values as well, so we have to be very savvy when we build our front yards so as to feed us. We need to do it so that they are also decorative in some way. Yes, food is intrinsically beautiful because of what it does for us, but we live in a country that is very visually oriented as well, so anything you can do to make your front yard appealing to the eye will help your cause. The media and lawsuits should be the very last resort – best to build alliances with those in your community so that you won’t have to deal with more stress in your life. Thank you for fighting the good fight, during a difficult time. You are doing a very important and meaningful thing by growing food in public – you’re on the vanguard. Less Lawn, More Food!!!! Grow Lettuce, Not Lawn!!!
    all the best,
    Ivette Soler

  12. […] felt compelled to lend support after the board sent a letter to Tricamo and all nearby residents saying: The owner of 309 Louisa wishes to utilize his property, currently zoned R-1D, for agricultural […]

  13. […] compelled to lend support after the board sent a letter to Tricamo and all nearby residents saying:The owner of 309 Louisa wishes to utilize his property, currently zoned R-1D, for agricultural […]

  14. […] felt compelled to lend support after the board sent a letter to Tricamo and all nearby residents saying: The owner of 309 Louisa wishes to utilize his property, currently zoned R-1D, for agricultural […]

  15. […] Perhaps more neighbors felt compelled to lend support after the board sent a letter to Tricamo and all nearby residents saying: […]

  16. […] Perhaps more neighbors felt compelled to lend support after the board sent a letter to Tricamo and all nearby residents saying: […]

  17. boe jangles says:

    did the city consider you a nuisance or did the neighbors? because if they dont ave a problem with it- i dont see why the city does. Besides, do you need the king s permission to do what you want to do with your property?

  18. […] “Perhaps more neighbors felt compelled to lend support after the board sent a letter to Tricamo and all nearby residents saying:” […]

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