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Orlando considers looser garden rules

Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM   |   Comments

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida couple convinced their local planning board to recommend changes to proposed local gardening restrictions to allow for front yard vegetables.

Jason and Jennifer Helvenston had been ordered by an Orlando city code enforcement officer to dig up their front yard vegetable garden and replace it with a city-approved lawn, but city lawyers dropped the issue Monday, saying the city's laws on the front gardens are too vague, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.

The couple went before the Municipal Planning Board Tuesday to argue new gardening restrictions being drawn up by city planners are too restrictive. The restrictions would allow for front-yard vegetable gardens, but would require them to be screened, set back at least 10 feet from the property line, take up no more than 25 percent of the yard and be no more than 4 feet tall.

The planning commission agreed with the Helvenstons and recommended the City Council form a task force including gardeners to look over the regulations and loosen some of the restrictions.

"I worry that we're over-complicating the matter a little bit for a vegetable garden," planning board member Karen Anderson said.

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