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(News On 6 Tulsa)   City: "Your yard is overgrown and in code violation" Woman: "I checked before planting and according to the law it isn't. That garden provides my food." City: "We don't care. Send in the mowers"   (newson6.com) divider line 272
    More: Asinine, Tulsa, gardens  
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20918 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jun 2012 at 5:41 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-16 06:26:49 AM  

Mark Ratner: I will never support her derp hero.


We get it. She's black.
 
2012-06-16 06:29:40 AM  

Mark Ratner: I wouldn't want to live next door to her, if she has these plants in her front yard. It probably looks like shiat.

Fenced in backyard, fine.


This is really a reflection of a larger problem with housing site design. From the pics, I'd guess it's a 1955-165 ranch house, where we just started to move the houses really deep into the lot to accommodate large driveways so you could show off your new car to everyone, rather than keeping them in garages off of alleyways in the back of the property. Before that, front yards were relatively shallow - go walk down any rows of bungalows and you'll notice how tiny the front yards are.

Now, city ordinances would make those bungalows illegal. You're required in almost every urban environment to have huge setbacks on your property, leaving you with this vast expanse of basically unusable yard, filled with grass that eats up time and money. Good for her for standing up and doing something productive with her yard. If enough people start reclaiming these areas, maybe it will be enough that we can start situating houses on the lots in ways that make sense again so we can have smaller but (much more) attractive street fronts while opening up more space in the back for people to create the gardens the want.
 
2012-06-16 06:31:16 AM  
I'm moving from renting a room in my friend's HOA-overlorded condo (where one can't even have herb and tomato plants on the porch) to a house in a residential Seattle neighborhood teeming with garden-y goodness, so I'm getting a kick and all.

/homemade jams and marmalade, motherfarker
//infused oils, vinegars, and vodkas, too
///roommates are all culinary students
////css
 
2012-06-16 06:34:08 AM  
the yard looks like heck especially by the side of the house. it looks like she threw seeds around and planted a few plants and walked away without maintaining it. if the plants were in well defined sections the yard would look incredible. she's still right but don't be surprised if a local law is passed saying gardens can't be seen from the street or must be fenced or something.like that. too bad she had a feud with zoning or the neighbors and everyone else gets screwed thanks to this.
 
2012-06-16 06:39:10 AM  
Yeah.
I hope she wins and gets enough money to slap in a BIGGER garden. With a sign on the fence that has the ordinance in huge bolded font.
 
2012-06-16 06:41:17 AM  

AbbeySomeone: I hope she wins.


Yep.
 
2012-06-16 06:47:19 AM  

IronOcelot: Yeah.
I hope she wins and gets enough money to slap in a BIGGER garden. With a sign on the fence that has the ordinance in huge bolded font.


I hope she gets a pig and some chickens.
 
2012-06-16 06:58:13 AM  
The bigger issue is the lack of an order from a judge. Code enforcement has no right to destroy her property without it.

If they haven't sent her a bill for the removal, then they know what they did was illegal.
 
2012-06-16 07:06:48 AM  
She should just leave the property a dirt lot. I'm sure that'd be just fantastic for property values.
 
2012-06-16 07:09:05 AM  

MBrady: So you wouldn't mind that next door neighbor put 12 used toilets out in the front yard and used them as planters, left 3 vehicles up on blocks in the driveway, and painted his house pink? Because as you say, it's only the economy that makes property values go down.


Many things can make the speculative value of your property go down. Attempting to ban them is not only futile but also often clear violation of the rights of your neighbors. Douchebag neighbors decrease property value, at least in my estimation -- you should be glad no one has tried to kick you out of your home.

If you and people like you would stop trying to control what your neighbors did speculative property values would not be impacted by the state of a neighbor's yard -- the actual pragmatic value of the property is not affected by transient things like the length of your neighbor's grass or where they store their personal property. Alternatively you could just stop worrying about the speculative value of your property -- if you're living there you shouldn't be considering it an investment at all (other than maybe an illiquid repository for your retirement capital), and you'd have to be insane to attempt to speculate with your residence.

/ Also see my previous point about race affecting property values
 
2012-06-16 07:15:43 AM  
The American obsession with manicured "golf course" lawns is something I'll never understand. I'm not saying neighbors should have to look at overgrown weeds, but what's wrong with a yard planted with wildflowers or well tended vegetables or whatever plants are native to the area?
 
2012-06-16 07:18:24 AM  
If I were her, I would nit pick everything her neighbors do, since they were the ones that complained in the first place. If they have one brick out of place or crack in their driveway, I would flood their stupid code enforcement with calls and complaints.
 
2012-06-16 07:18:55 AM  

Mark Ratner: Property value is kind of a big deal, sorry. Conform in your backyard, please.


Growing stuff in her yard will zero effect on property value. It's no different than if someone paints their house dayglo pink.
 
2012-06-16 07:21:33 AM  
this time, she read the ordinance,plants can't be over 12-inches tall unless they're used for human consumption

No hedge rows in Tulsa?

AbbeySomeone: Yep. Who gives a sh*t about their neighbors plants? Mine are loud but don't say jack about my yard.


Talking plants? Do you have one named Audrey II?
 
2012-06-16 07:24:02 AM  
a garden is fine. a mostly untended garden is a shiathouse mess where growth in need of attention and pruning compete for space and choke each other out. let several seasons of dead growth build up and you've got a fire hazard. most towns are tightfisted when it comes to use of their manpower, it costs money. TFA makes me wonder how many years growth had run amuck unchecked in that 'garden' before the town got involved. common sense dictates workers didn't run amuck in a pristine environment.
 
2012-06-16 07:24:11 AM  

The Why Not Guy: The American obsession with manicured "golf course" lawns is something I'll never understand. I'm not saying neighbors should have to look at overgrown weeds, but what's wrong with a yard planted with wildflowers or well tended vegetables or whatever
plants are native to the area?


*bashes Smart button repeatedly*
 
2012-06-16 07:30:42 AM  
This comes awful close to the story a few years back about some people whining about a neighbor using a clothesline in their back yard. They whined it looked low class and something about property values. In both cases, you're free to do what you want on and with your property within the law, and so are all your neighbors. If you can't stand people enjoying what they wish on and with their property, then perhaps you are not quite emotionally fit to own a house yourself. And certainly you may wish to find some place more suitable to you.
 
2012-06-16 07:34:30 AM  

dstanley: The Why Not Guy: The American obsession with manicured "golf course" lawns is something I'll never understand. I'm not saying neighbors should have to look at overgrown weeds, but what's wrong with a yard planted with wildflowers or well tended vegetables or whatever
plants are native to the area?

*bashes Smart button repeatedly*


*also smashes Smart button*

It's the whole my lawn has to fit in with all other lawns thing. For a nation of individuals we sure do try and make everyone conform as much as possible.

Our old HOA had a set of three busy bodies that went ballistic when we placed two large rocks in the front yard(wife wanted a "zen" thing... I guess) and we were completely in the guidelines they had set down.
Claimed it ruined the "set piece" of the area and would lower property values etc., etc..

/ farking hate HOAs
 
2012-06-16 07:34:33 AM  
I wish there was a way to donate money to help this woman out. Sounds like she's in a really shiatty situation.
 
2012-06-16 07:36:04 AM  

The Why Not Guy: The American obsession with manicured "golf course" lawns is something I'll never understand. I'm not saying neighbors should have to look at overgrown weeds, but what's wrong with a yard planted with wildflowers or well tended vegetables or whatever plants are native to the area?


It goes back to our obsession with the rich. What better way to show off your wealth than big plots of land covered with just enough grass to keep the earth from blowing away? The World Wars might've had something to do with it too. After the fighting was over, probably lot of people wanted to forget about failed victory gardens and rationing.
 
2012-06-16 07:38:18 AM  

The Why Not Guy: The American obsession with manicured "golf course" lawns is something I'll never understand. I'm not saying neighbors should have to look at overgrown weeds, but what's wrong with a yard planted with wildflowers or well tended vegetables or whatever plants are native to the area?


It shatters the illusion that Suburbia was supposed to sell. Google "hyperreality".
 
2012-06-16 07:42:50 AM  
planning on putting a bay tree in our little front yard.

Looking for other recommendations for north facing, clay soil in damp environment (UK)

(trying to hijack this into a garden thread)
 
2012-06-16 07:43:45 AM  
Today's episode of heavy-handed busybody local bureaucracy brought to you by the party of small government, no doubt.
 
2012-06-16 07:49:10 AM  

MBrady: cptjeff: Mark Ratner: quickdraw: Mark Ratner: Bathia_Mapes: AbbeySomeone:

Take your property value and shove it. The value of your property doesn't go down when people have a garden. The value of your property goes down when the economy farking collapses.

I hope she files a harassment suit against these "neighbors" and the city.

So you wouldn't mind that next door neighbor put 12 used toilets out in the front yard and used them as planters, left 3 vehicles up on blocks in the driveway, and painted his house pink? Because as you say, it's only the economy that makes property values go down.


You're missing the bigger picture here. If people believe their property value goes down because she's legally growing her food..but her neighbors want that to be illegal... yet the value of their homes decreased by a significantly larger margin in the current state of decline in the economy... why aren't these home owners suing the government to make a decline in the economy illegal and having the housing authority fix it? Why are they bullying one person for a few hundred dollars in property value when the tanked economy robbed them of 25%+ of their property value?
The obvious solution is that if the neighbors don't like it, they pool money and hire somone to displace her garden to a location agreeable to her for the following growing season.
 
2012-06-16 07:50:47 AM  
in one subdivision my parents lived in years ago someone moved in who never saw dandelions before. this new neighbor loved how they looked and brought someone in to help them not get killed off. of course some other people were mad as hell since must people here consider them weeds and their numbers exploded through the development.
 
2012-06-16 07:50:57 AM  

Mark Ratner: You might be right...but without pics, who knows. I'd like to think the city code enforcement drove by, and agreed with the asshole neighbors.


You mean pics like the ones in TFA?

kotv.images.worldnow.com

kotv.images.worldnow.com

Kinda shabby looking but it's clearly deliberate and not just wild overgrowth.
=Smidge=
 
2012-06-16 07:53:45 AM  

The Why Not Guy: The American obsession with manicured "golf course" lawns is something I'll never understand. I'm not saying neighbors should have to look at overgrown weeds, but what's wrong with a yard planted with wildflowers or well tended vegetables or whatever plants are native to the area?


This.

Lawn Nazis ( what I call my HOA) need to DIAF.
 
2012-06-16 07:57:56 AM  

Coelacanth: IronOcelot: Yeah.
I hope she wins and gets enough money to slap in a BIGGER garden. With a sign on the fence that has the ordinance in huge bolded font.

I hope she gets a pig and some chickens.


Two pigs and a goat.

i.telegraph.co.uk
 
2012-06-16 08:03:00 AM  

starlost: in one subdivision my parents lived in years ago someone moved in who never saw dandelions before. this new neighbor loved how they looked and brought someone in to help them not get killed off. of course some other people were mad as hell since must people here consider them weeds and their numbers exploded through the development.


Dandelions are edible. My grandmother used to pick the tender new leaves and serve them with a hot bacon dressing. Apparently you can also make wine out of the flower heads.

My development used to be cow pasture. I never got around to completely grass-seeding my backyard, so there are patches of little low yellow and purple wild flowers in the spring. As far as I am concerned, it is a biodiverse ecosystem. Fark the disease susceptible grass monoculture mentality.
 
2012-06-16 08:04:16 AM  

ArgusRun: The bigger issue is the lack of an order from a judge. Code enforcement has no right to destroy her property without it.

If they haven't sent her a bill for the removal, then they know what they did was illegal.


Well, the article makes it sound like the judge moved the court date to October, and they decided that meant to raze everything at 8 AM the next day. If that's true I'm thinking she'll win, judges get kinda annoyed when you ignore them.
 
2012-06-16 08:06:14 AM  
So here's this bootstrappy person taking care of her own needs and living a frugal life and the small government libertarian Farkers are ridiculing her because they worship theoretical property value aesthetics.
 
2012-06-16 08:07:47 AM  
I like how the article mentions that she went to court to stop the process, the judge continued the case, and the city came and destroyed everything the day after the continuance.
 
2012-06-16 08:10:59 AM  
Lower property values, eh?

I wonder if she would allow a few volunteers to paint her house in a hot pink and purple plaid pattern, and then see how the neighbors react. You thought the veggies were bad?
 
2012-06-16 08:14:17 AM  
MBrady: So you wouldn't mind that next door neighbor put 12 used toilets out in the front yard and used them as planters, left 3 vehicles up on blocks in the driveway, and painted his house pink? Because as you say, it's only the economy that makes property values go down.

I wouldn't mind. Yeah, it sounds tacky and potentially gross, but imagine how spiffy my yard would look by comparison. Actually, I'd be more willing to buy a house with a neighbor like that simply because I know that I would be able to to whatever I damn well please with my yard without the HOA or other neighbors bringing out the pitchforks and torches.

I've had friends who lived in neighborhoods that didn't allow swingsets, clotheslines, certain amounts and heights or trees, etc. I always wondered why they put up with that. I have zero interest in such nonsense.
 
2012-06-16 08:18:17 AM  

loveblondieo: Ridiculous. I hope she sues, and wins, for a very large sum. The person who complained should be publicly outed and ostracized. The people who actually did the mowing should be in jail for trespass.


This.
 
2012-06-16 08:19:08 AM  

doglover: If Americans had any of their original spirit left, we'd fall upon the city inspectors and tar and feather them then drive them out of the city by horsewhipping them in the gonads until they finally were driven into the wilderness to their perish in ignominy and shame for their abuse of the very authority countless of their countrymen gave life and limb to defeat many times in the past.


Your ideas intrigue me. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
 
2012-06-16 08:20:18 AM  
Here's how it really works.....

When *your* the one doing it, it's cool. It's your place. It's your yard, your house, your style. Whatever. People should be free to decide.
When it's your neighbour doing something you don't like, suddenly it's time to call the police/city/argue with them.

It doesn't really matter what 'it' is
 
2012-06-16 08:23:41 AM  
Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin', it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol' mama lion
Ain't no-a high-toned woman make me walk from the line

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't a-get you
Then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store
 
2012-06-16 08:24:29 AM  
I'm just wondering how they'd handle an aquaponics system if I built one in the front yard.

/Think a giant fish pond combined with floating growing trays for plants
//And edible fish
 
2012-06-16 08:25:13 AM  
As a state Master Gardener, I am NOT getting a kick out of this. One of the things we are doing in our state is promoting native plantings. And yes, that includes front yards. As an example, "Rain Gardens" (a shallow basin filled with native plants) prevent runoff and the resulting pollution. There is an initiative in our city to have 10,000 of these gardens (Google "10,000 Rain Gardens"). Suburban HOA's are the biggest problem in achieving this goal, even though city officials, environmental experts, and knowledgeable gardeners are all for it.

The pollution of our waterways by chemicals used to maintain swaths of green grass is bad enough; but when you add in the refuse from these constantly clipped lawns to landfills (because a compost pile is also against HOA rules), the magnitude of our country's obsession with perfect lawns becomes apparent.

I read somewhere that America's obsession with lawns is some kind of throwback to what we feel looks wealthy. A wealthy landowner would have the functional parts of the landscape hidden, with a huge sweep of green lawn surrounding the manse. So even though you live in a suburb with a postage stamp for a property, if you can force everyone else on your street to have matching oceans of green grass, it supposedly replicates this look. And nothing spoils this look of wealth faster than obvious utilitarian gardens that provide food, herbs, or wildlife habitats.
 
2012-06-16 08:25:13 AM  
As a vegetable gardener myself, I would understand if this woman had gone at the people who destroyed her garden with a pitchfork. She would have been defending her rightfully held property. Not to mention, don't fark with my food.

/plenty large backyard for my current gardening needs
 
2012-06-16 08:25:35 AM  
I would much rather live next to that lady than the a**hole I have here that is CONSTANTLY running his lawn mower, the leaf blower and 10 million toxic chemicals he put on his lawn!!!
 
2012-06-16 08:27:15 AM  

WhyteRaven74: This comes awful close to the story a few years back about some people whining about a neighbor using a clothesline in their back yard. They whined it looked low class and something about property values. In both cases, you're free to do what you want on and with your property within the law, and so are all your neighbors. If you can't stand people enjoying what they wish on and with their property, then perhaps you are not quite emotionally fit to own a house yourself. And certainly you may wish to find some place more suitable to you.


Except that 'the law' is easily changeable and reflects the wishes (most of the time) of your neighbours. I received more than my fair-share of letters from the *city* (not HOA, but actual city) because I was breaking 'the law' by doing trivial things on my property. Things like the height of my grass and the things in my yard.

And, since it was *the law* the city actually had the power to take my house and sell it against my wishes to reclaim their b.s. (and ridiculously high) fees. For example, if you went out of town for three weeks, by the end of week #1 - your grass was too tall. You were now breaking the law. City inspectors would literally troll the neighbourhoods looking for violations. Then you'd get a warning letter. Then you had 3 business days to rectify the problem. Then they'd fine you *each day* until it was fixed until a maximum of (I think it was) 30 days; then they'd rectify the problem themselves at 10-100x the fair going rate (IE - they'd charge you $500 to cut your grass).

Long story short - it was very easy to rack up 2-3k worth of fines. And it was 'the law'. And you had to pay. Or they'd take your house and sell it at a tax auction.
 
2012-06-16 08:28:38 AM  
Ob boy, the bleeding hearts with the thinking skills of a second grader. The world is not black and white, there are no good and bad guys here. Even without HOA's, most towns have ordinances. Over 100 plants, this isn't just a few plants and shrubs around your front porch. This probably took up most of her front yard. Dense foliage is a breeding ground for mice and rats, snakes and other pests. Plus, you're giving them not only a home, but an unlimited source of food. Of course the neighbors are concerned.Mice aren't just going to stay in her yard, they'll go to all of the surrounding homes.

And please, it costs a hell of a lot more to garden than to just buy the farking fruit and vegetables. By the time you buy the sprays, soil, plant themselves,

Link
 
2012-06-16 08:32:15 AM  
I feel terrible for this woman. Vegetable gardens are labors of love, lawns are maintenance.

Everyone complaining about property values should remember that their properties already took a huge dive and it had nothing to do with a nice lady growing food.

If I were anywhere near Tulsa I'd show up with a truckload of seedlings and replant this garden in a heartbeat.
 
2012-06-16 08:34:16 AM  
I like this excuse. Everyday I have a dandelion-poison ivy-terror vine salad.
 
2012-06-16 08:34:36 AM  
I'd rather look at her yard, a riot of life in a variety of attractive forms, colors and smells, especially since they're all useful, than at an aesthetically sterile expanse of boring grass with a few flowers tucked in the back.

It comes down to jealousy or racism (or both) here. If more of her neighbors had talked to her, they might have wanted to do something similar in their yards, which would make the neighborhood look even nicer.

Of course, and I know that's not the case here, if someone moves into a neighborhood with a Homeowner's Association, it's their own fault if they get in trouble when they can't abide by the inane rules.
 
2012-06-16 08:37:12 AM  
I can't believe they cut down her nut trees too. Such a waste. Not sure what kind of trees she had, but pecan trees take more than 20 years to bear nuts good enough to eat.
 
2012-06-16 08:37:27 AM  

Mark Ratner: The neighbors complained for a reason, don't ya think?


Quite probably, but it's doubtful that the reason had anything to do with the state of her garden. That was just a convenient tool they could use to hurt her.

Seriously, cutting down her TREES?
 
2012-06-16 08:38:59 AM  

ksdanj: I figured this woman was African-American before I ever clicked on the video.

Tulsa is full of racists and that racism permeates city government and the enforcement of city ordinances.


I had a similar response.

Friend of mine was arrested the other day for the crime of being black in public. He was charged with resisting arrest even though A: they had no reason to arrest him to begin with and B: it's clear from the fact that he has no scuff marks or bruises whatsoever that he did not resist in any way.

Love Tulsa...
 
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