Jason Helvingston of Orlando, Florida is in a battle with the city to keep a micro-irrigated 25x25 vegetable garden in his front yard. While you have to step over all kinds of vegetables to get to his front door, Helvingston does have it neat and well kept, it's just against city code.
"I said, 'You'll take my house before you take my vegetable garden,'" he said. "There's nothing wrong here, there's nothing poisonous here. This is a sustainable plot of land."
While the city's code requires that land have a "finished appearance" so that it keeps property values up, it certainly is an infringement upon the property owner's rights.
Helvingston gathered more than 200 signatures from people, including his neighbor as he petitions the city code to allow for his garden. His neighbor Shelly Snow siad that she didn't have a problem with it at all. "(I'm) definitely not bothered by it. As a matter of fact, we love it," she said.
He hopes the city will reconsider the code when they meet again in December.
"This is another example of the government telling us what we can do with our own property -- that should never happen," he said.
I agree. Where do things like this stop? Does anyone actually think the framers of the Constitution would have stood by and allowed anything like this in their time? I don't think so. Would they have been putting people in jail and fining them over tomatoes and beans being grown on their own property? I'm guessing not.
The problem in all of this is that we have had our land stolen from us. Think of it. We purchase property and pay tax on that purchase, but then we continue to pay taxes on our property and if we don't, government steps in and takes our property. Now the reality is that if we believe rights, including property rights come from God who commanded "You shall not steal" then what right does the government have to demand we continue to pay them to, in essence, rent or lease our own land? They should not have this power.
Finally, if you are one of those people who want to bring up the "value of the property" argument then listen, stop helping advance government to do your dirty work. Instead, peacefully discuss with your neighbors what is at stake. Then if you cannot come to a peaceful settlement between yourselves, then sue the person for the value you are losing in court. Otherwise, leave people alone that want to grow a garden on their own property. In the end they are more than likely more healthy, active and they probably won't be a drain on the healthcare system either. Wait, that might just offset those property values!
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