Right now, you can be fined for growing a vegetable garden in your front yard, just ask McKinley Park resident Karen Baumann, who got a ticket a few years ago.
"I had a choice of either pulling out the tomatoes or paying an $800 fine and having a lien put on my home."
The city dropped the fine when the case was publicized but it shed light on a growing trend: front yard fruit and vegetable gardens. The head of the city’s code enforcement department – Max Fernandez – says they’ve come up with a draft plan that allows residents to use up to 20-percent of their front yards for a garden. He says the main thing city council members want to prevent is blight.
"The council feels that there should be some kind of regulation on what you can do in the front yard."
But Baumann says the city should be more tolerant.
"I don’t understand why they’re limiting the number of trees in our front yards regardless of the species, I mean I thought we were the city of trees."
A community meeting on the issue is set for Tuesday, 6 PM at the Hart Senior Center on J Street.