LA Cracks Down On Parkway Vegetable Gardens

Our clueless, incompetent and backwards city government here in Los Angeles apparently has nothing better to do than crack down on parkway vegetable gardens two years after hassling Ron Finley. Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, wrote a great column about this ridiculous situation, “L.A. still saying parkway vegetable gardens must go.” And above you can hear Lopez joined by Finley and Councilman Bernard Parks (who sounds like the president of an excuse factory) discuss the situation.

Please Tweet, Facebook, email and otherwise spread the word. My hometown government needs some international ridicule.

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  1. ” “If you go to Brentwood,” said Nishida, “do you think those people have permits” for their overgrown rosebushes, bougainvillea and other plants on parkway strips? ”

    That’s really it in a nutshell, isn’t it?

  2. I have fruit trees on my parkway, and in the winter time, my dad has a plethora of peas climbing the dormant japanese plum tree. Down the street from us Steve Wynbrandt of Wynbrandt farms has crammed his parkway with loquats, avocados, citrus trees, borage, and a passionfruit vine is engulfing the local telephone pole and is thick on his walls. No one has bothered us in the past decade that we have had these plants in place. We also live in an upper middle class neighborhood. These places need fresh vegetables and fruit more than my neighborhood ever does. I have SEVEN supermarkets within a 1 mile radius, I can walk or bike to any of them easily.

  3. Yup. Bureaucracy. I wonder if when the the Sky Marshalls rule planet earth a la Starship Troopers style will they be pro or anti home garden. The rallying cry should be Victory Median Gardens : “When you plant in the median, you provide for the average man!” get it? a math joke. I’m really proud of myself.

    Good use of Excuse Factory Erik.

  4. This ‘no-vegetables-on-the-parkway’ issue symbolizes so much of what is wrong with our culture/values. Maybe a food shortage crisis unseen in this country (and directly impacting the bureaucratic mindset/lifestyle) would change the thinking and laws? Maybe, maybe not.

  5. OK, I just now filed a complaint with the city of LA over this stupid issue. “Liability”? Spare me! Ice plant causes tripping, ivy attracts rodents when people throw food there, trees lift up the sidewalks and dead grass attracts fire ants. LA is Sue City so of course they are worried. Maybe a law to change frivolous lawsuits is really what is needed.

  6. I’m blogging about it tomorrow. It makes absolutely no sense and shows how distorted our values and laws have become.

  7. I think it is a class issue. There are a lot of different laws on the books that are disproportionately applied only to poor people. If a rich person has a vegetable garden, then its so quaint and eco friendly and organic! If a poor person has one, then it is “ghetto” or an eyesore.

  8. Out here in the valley people have what look like desert landscapes, weed-o-ramas, conventional bedding flowers & plants, thoroughly burned out grass and tree trunks with a forrest of shoots coming up from the roots. I can’t imagine even an untended veggie patch could look any worse than any of those or the 18″ sidewalk heaves that don’t get taken care of by … er, ahem, cough, cough … the city.

    Why shouldn’t folks have them as long as they understand that a lot of what they grow is going to “disappear”?!

  9. Everytime I read about this I feel like I’m staring at jibberish-I truly do not understand what is going on! The city cannot possibly have the time or resources to police this issue as much as they are. I can’t comprehend how the city expects these residents to “maintain the area,” so long as it is mowed weeds. It seems they are trying to pull revenue from an impoverished area like an idiot would milk a bull-I hope they feel the horns.

    • I have been known to ask a policeman or three, “Why don’t you go away and quit bothering me? Why don’t you find a bad person who is breaking laws and stealing or hurting people instead of hassling me?”

      When I moved into this house, a city inspector came by and informed me that I and my family would not be allowed to live in the house until I put screens on the house because people had to have screens on their windows. I informed him I took all the downstairs screens off so I would not have to look through them, that we all had allergies and used the ac.

      He tried to sound more stern. We exchanged a few words. Finally, I gave in and told him that I would put screens on after (big important attorney in new house) put screens on his house. The guy’s jaw snapped shut, he left, and was heard from no more. Every time the city threatens me, I threaten to make it a point to find other people who are doing the same as I am turn them in.

      So, why doesn’t someone threaten to make a list of people planting roses and turn them in. I do not suggest actually doing so, just mention that the food people are not the only ones putting hazards next to the street or sidewalks. I would rather run into a tomato plant than rose thorns. Those sidewalks really do sound dangerous.

  10. Not to make excuses for the City of LA (I am an avid gardener, and grow veggies in my front yard), but I also work as an assistant city attorney, and the Councilmember Park’s description of the liability issues is right on. We deal with an enormous quantity of “dangerous condition of public property” lawsuits in my office – most people have no idea how many lawsuits are filed. And that’s taxpayers’ money! So cities are stuck between a rock and a hard place, really. That said, I don’t worry about veggies in the parking strip. I’m all for it. But while two years might seem ridiculous (to me, that says it has been back burnered) – two weeks or days – is insane. It takes a planning commission hearing, two council readings, and 30 days to change a local zoning ordinance in Calfornia! That’s state law. That doesn’t count the time it takes to redraft an ordinance, etc.

  11. Just a little conspiracy theory to add to the mix…
    Obesity is chronic in the USA.
    If you all start growing your own vegetables you’ll be eating healthy food and not buying the GM crops and junk food. So the pharmaceutical companies and the big money food companies will not be happy. These companies have a serious voice in how the country is run….?

  12. whenever i see things like this, i wonder how and why would they care? I live in small town america, and we hardly have the money for the things that need to be fixed for the sake of safety. How does a sprawling metropolis like LA have the time or money to police zucchini in the parkway? This a stupid sandwich with a side of dumbass, as my dad would say.

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