Orlando

Florida man resists government tyranny by refusing to uproot front yard garden

Thursday, December 06, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: front yard garden, Florida, government tyranny

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(NaturalNews) The "beauty" police are at it again; this time in Florida where a man is refusing to uproot his edible front yard garden and replace it with water-hogging grass to appease the demands of city officials. As reported by WKMG News in Orlando, Jason Helvingston is bravely standing up for his sovereign freedom to grow whatever he chooses on his own land, which just so happens to be a fully-functioning, well-kept vegetable and herb garden that his neighbors do not seem to be particularly concerned with as a "nuisance."

Trouble arose for Helvingston several months ago when local code enforcement officials from the City of Orlando first noticed the garden, and subsequently notified the man that his front yard, a 25-foot by 25-foot plot marked by clean rows of radishes and other superfood delectables, was allegedly in violation of local ordinances. Helvingston, a homeowner in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, challenged the city's vendetta against him, citing the fact that his garden is beneficial, sustainable, and well-enjoyed by locals.

But local officials are refusing to relent, having insisted that Helvingston remove his garden by November 5, or else face further action against him. Refusing to allow his sovereign rights to be trampled upon by ignorant bureaucrats, Helvingston is standing his ground and sticking by his natural right to grow his own food. He has even gathered hundreds of signatures from his neighbors as part of a petition to convince the city that its demands are completely unwarranted, and not in the best interests of local citizens.

"I said, 'You'll take my house before you take my vegetable garden,'" explained Helvingston to WKMG News about his dealings with the city in recent days. "There's nothing wrong here. There's nothing poisonous here. This is a sustainable plot of land. I said to the city, 'All right, we'll put up a fence.' [They said] -- not acceptable."

City of Orlando's Code of Ordinances does not prohibit front-yard gardens

As far as we can tell; however, there is nothing in the City of Orlando's Code of Ordinances that prohibits front-yard gardens of the type found in Helvingston's front yard. The only restrictions, according to Section 68.503 of the code, entitled Residential Landscaping, involve fence height and type. Nothing in this section of the code, in other words, makes any sort of requirement about what types of plants or ground cover an Orlando resident is required to plant in their front yard, which makes the city's crusade against Helvingston completely unjustified.

"This is another example of the government telling us what we can do with our own property," added Helvingston to WKMG News. "That should never happen."

According to reports, the City of Orlando is well aware that Helvingston is protesting their tyranny, and they are requiring him to go before a city board next month, which will decide how to proceed. In the meantime, freedom advocates are encouraged to call and write the City of Orlando to protest its persecution of Jason Helvingston.

You can reach the City of Orlando's Code Enforcement department by calling:
(407) 246-4444

Or by emailing:
mike.rhodes@cityoforlando.net
wendy.horency@cityoforlando.net

Sources for this article include:

http://www.clickorlando.com

http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=13349

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