Think about the expanse of…something…between the sidewalk in front of your house and the curb of the street. Some towns have the sidewalk and the curb immediately adjacent to each other, but in most urban areas, this is a three- to five-foot wide strip in which most folks plant grass as an extension of their yard. Ron Finley, though, plants a garden in his strip (parkway, as it’s known in Los Angeles) in LA, and he advises others on how to do the same.
Except that there are LA regulations against just up and doing that.
City code forbids residents without special permits to plant much of anything besides grass in curbside areas, making many of the gardens illegal.
After receiving citations from the city, Mr Finley persuaded officials to waive the $400 permit fee he was supposed to pay to install drought-resistant, aesthetically pleasing plants up to 36 inches tall outside his own home. But he is still trying to get the city to approve a greater variety of plants for these spaces.
Never mind that such gardens are highly patriotic,
Urban farming isn’t new, dating back at least to World War I, when the government encouraged Americans to become more self-sufficient by planting “liberty gardens[,]”
they’re against the rules.
In fairness to LA, though, there is an effort to get a little bit more sensible here.
A spokesman for the district’s city councilman, Herb Wesson, said city staffers are working on revising current policy to let residents make more use of the parkways [those strips] “where appropriate.”
It remains to be seen, though, what the city’s definitions of “where,” “appropriate,” and “more use” will turn out to be, as well as the rationale for same.