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Vegetable Gardens now allowed in residential subdivisions

Staff Reports

Subdivisions can be very strict on imposing regulations for residents within their jurisdiction, right down to the color they paint their house and more. Many disputes have arose from residents wanting to grow their own garden on their own property over the years, but that will end on July 1, 2019.

The Governor signed a new bill into law that prohibits a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties. Any local ordinance or regulation regarding vegetable gardens on residential properties is void and unenforceable.

Senator Rob Bradley introduced CS/SB 82 after a dispute in the Village of Miami Shores. According to an article written last December in the Orlando Sentinel, a couple dug up a 17-year-old vegetable garden to avoid $50-per-day fines by the village, which passed an ordinance banning front-yard vegetable gardens. Other disputes that garnered headlines from the New York Times and more, have influenced lawmakers to prohibit ordinances against residents growing their own food.

“It struck me that this really is a case about fundamental basic freedoms,” Bradley was quoted as saying. “If you own a piece of property, the government should not keep you from growing food on your property.”

The bill provides an exception for local ordinances or regulations of a general nature that do not specifically regulate vegetable gardens, including, but not limited to, regulations and ordinances relating to water use during drought conditions, fertilizer use, or control of invasive species.

The bill defines the term “vegetable garden” as a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated for human consumption. Happy gardening!