Florida lawmaker takes aim again at ban on front-yard vegetable gardens

After being unable to get the House to go along during the 2018 legislative session, state Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, will try again to prevent local governments from regulating homeowners’ vegetable gardens.

Bradley last week filed a bill (SB 82) that would largely bar regulations on vegetable gardens on residential property. The bill stems from a legal dispute between homeowners Hermine Ricketts and Laurence Carroll and the Village of Miami Shores over an ordinance that banned front-yard vegetable gardens.

The couple had maintained a front-yard garden for nearly two decades but uprooted their vegetables when faced with the possibility of fines. They challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance but lost in court.

Bradley convinced the Senate during the 2018 session to approve a bill that would prevent such ordinances, but the measure did not pass the House.

The new bill is filed for the 2019 legislative session, which starts in March.

“The Legislature intends to encourage the development of sustainable cultivation of vegetables and fruits at all levels of production, including for personal consumption, as an important interest of the state,” the bill says.

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