As health and environmental concerns rise, so does the popularity of urban homesteading. While growing your own carrots may seem like a harmless enough practice, Oak Park resident Julie Bass now faces serious charges for setting up a vegetable garden in her front yard.
Bass set up her garden in the hope that she and her family could eat organic without having to buy from expensive grocery stores. The garden has become a community favorite as neighborhood children are encouraged to help her maintain the garden and eat from it.
However, the City of Oak Park is now charging her with a misdemeanor for not having a "suitable" lawn in accordance with city code. The city prosecutor is pursuing a full trial against Mrs. Bass bringing charges against her that could carry a 93 day jail sentence.
Protect residents' rights to urban homesteading and demand that the ridiculous charges brought against Julie Bass be dropped.
We are requesting that the City of Oak Park, MI cease its prosecution against its resident Julie Bass for the supposed crime of growing vegetables in her front yard. The bylaw they are pursuing criminal charges under is poorly written and does not explicitly state that you cannot grow vegetables. The prosecutor representing the city wants to take this case to trial, and the associated charge carries a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail. It would be a travesty for this mother of six to be sentenced to 93 days in jail for the simple act of growing tomatoes in her front yard.
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