Offbeat
2:00 pm
Fri July 15, 2011

Oak Park drops gardening charges against local woman

Charges relating to an illegal vegetable garden have been dropped against an Oak Park woman, according to the Baltimore Sun:

"Charges against an Oak Park, Mich., woman, who faced 93 days in jail for having a vegetable garden in her front yard, have apparently been dropped."

"The attorney for Julie Bass said, however, that he is not certain that officials won't revive the charges after the negative publicity subsides."

"News of the action against Bass, who has a tidy collection of raised beds in her front yard where she grows vegetables, went viral, and officials in the town found themselves swamped by bad publicity after charging Bass with violating city codes."

"The Oak Park Hates Vegetables Facebook page, for example, has more than 29,000 'likes.'"

The Sun suggested a different headline for the story: "Tomatoes beet bureaucrats."

However, Ms. Bass didn't get off entirely scot free.

From the Detroit Free Press:

"Julie Bass may still have to go to court this month -- over her dogs."

"Bass was cited in June with a misdemeanor for building the garden, which sits in five raised beds in the back part of her front yard behind grass. She said she had opted for the garden rather than flowers to create an educational tool and to have a few extra vegetables for the family."

"That citation included violations for owning two unlicensed dogs. They are not licensed, but Bass said she took the vaccine information to court in June, where an impasse was reached over language in the ordinance and Bass asked for a jury trial."

The pretrial date has been scheduled for later this month.

-Brian Short, Michigan Radio Newsroom