Woman sues Miami Shores over gardening ordinance

Local ordinance bans gardens in front yards

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. - A homeowner wants to squash an ordinance that makes it illegal to plant a garden in her front yard.

Hermine Ricketts planted squash, onions, peppers, and kale in her yard, but a recent ordinance made it illegal for residents to plant their own vegetables in their front yards.

"I haven't had any complaints," she said. "I've had compliments. I've made friends with people who've come by to talk about the garden."

"For aesthetic purposes and otherwise, vegetable gardens are not permissible in front yards," said Village Manager Tom Benton.

Ricketts said her back yard doesn't receive much sun. She and her husband faced $50 in fines each day if they kept the garden.

"My husband volunteered to take it out because I couldn't bring myself to pull it out," she said.

The couple has since filed a legal complaint against Miami Shores.

"You're allowed to have fruit flowers and pink flamingos but you can't have vegetables," said attorney Ari Bargil. "This is an irrigational ban on a peaceful, productive activity."

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