I often say that those who own property in the United States don’t actually own their property. If you actually owned your property you’d not have to pay the government rent (property taxes) and could do as you please on your land so long as you didn’t harm others or their property. Unfortunately governments have seen fit to regulate almost every activity people do whether it’s on “their” property or not. Take Oak Park, Michigan for instance, property “owners” there wanted to grow their own food but the city said all food grown on “private” property must be inedible:
However, Bass’ garden is a little unique because it’s in her front yard.
“We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” she said.
Bass’ cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she’s been charged with a misdemeanor.
Of course the city enforcers’ excuse for fining the land “owners” if flimsy at best:
Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what’s “suitable?”
We asked Bass whether she thinks she has suitable, live, plant material in her front yard.
“It’s definitely live. It’s definitely plant. It’s definitely material. We think it’s suitable,” she said.
So, we asked Rulkowski why it’s not suitable.
“If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster’s dictionary, it will say common. 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,” he said.
Basically they find Bass’s garden unsuitable because that’s not what most people have. Well by that logic those parking a Dodge Viper in their driveway should be written up for violating some stupid law because most people don’t have Vipers and therefore they’re not suitable by this statis’s “logic.”
There are only two possible options when it comes to ownership; you either own something or you don’t. Governments have seen fit to ensure they own everything and simply let the peasants occupy and work the land… so long as they pay their tribute to the King of course.
If a person wishes to grow a garden on their property then they damn well should be allowed to do so without some pencil-necked bureaucrat coming in and demanding not only payment of a fine but also destruction of the garden. Honestly if the Bass’s really wanted to piss of the city they could plant cacti and and cover their entire front yet in sand because that’s very common in places like Arizona and therefore “suitable” by Mr. Rulkowski’s definition.