Despite concerns from the Florida League of Cities, a Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that would largely prevent local governments from regulating homeowners’ vegetable gardens.
The Senate Community Affairs Committee unanimously backed the measure (SB 82), which Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, has filed for the legislative session that starts March 5. The Senate passed a similar bill during the 2018 session, but the issue died in the House.
The proposal stems from a legal dispute about an ordinance in Miami Shores that banned front-yard vegetable gardens. Bradley said he objects to the possibility of code-enforcement officers requiring homeowners to tear up gardens. “That, to me, is not consistent with the fundamental rights that we have in our Constitution,” he said.
But David Cruz, a lobbyist for the Florida League of Cities, said he hopes “middle ground” can be reached on the issue. Such an approach could involve setback and height restrictions, with Cruz saying, for example, that homeowners might not want to live next to property where tall corn is growing.
Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand, has filed the House version (HB 145) of Bradley’s bill.
Source: News Service of Florida