A woman who faced the prospect of 93 days in jail for refusing to stop growing vegetables in her front yard is sighing with relief after the Detroit suburb dropped all charges against her. All charges regarding her garden, that is. Now they have renewed charges against her for having two unlicensed dogs, even though she got her paperwork taken care of in June.
Julie posted the news in a new post on her blog she set up to cover the story.
The town ordinance says that front yards have to be planted with “suitable, live, plant material.” According to Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski’s interpretation, Julie’s garden didn’t account. “If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common,” he told WJBK. “So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers.”
But when you actually look up the word in that dictionary, the definition doesn’t include the word “common” or any synonym of it.
Julie’s story went viral, with strangers across the country signing a petition on her behalf, and a Facebook page and a dedicated blog cropped up in support.
Though the City of Oak Park dropped the charges against her over the vegetable garden, they are now pursuing a new case against her for having two unlicensed dogs, The Detroit News reports. She got licenses for the dogs after the city gave notice to her about it in June, but the city is now pursuing misdemeanor charges against her, even though their normal procedure is drop things after the owner gets the dog licenses. If convicted, Julie could face 93 days in jail.
short but not so sweet [oakparkhatesveggies]
Charges dropped against Oak Park woman over veggie garden [The Detroit News]