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Potted Garden in Your Yard? Prepare to Pay a Fine!

Categories: Food News

Miami-Dade-no-potted-gardens.jpg
Courtesy of Dade County Planning and Zoning
The De La Portillas have received numerious zoning citations for the permaculture garden in their yard.
Imagine you live in the burbs, want to build a garden, but don't want to disturb your pristine lawn. So you decide to pot your plants. Sorry, but that's not allowed, according Miami-Dade County zoning officials.

Rigo and Eliza De La Portilla were a little shocked to discover this fact recently after receiving a courtesy warning notice from the county zoning department.

See also: How To: A DIY Pallet Garden For Apartments With Balconies (Photos)

The De La Portillas were cited for having too many potted plants on their property in the Westwood Lakes neighborhood of West Dade. Seems it's an "unauthorized use in a single family residential district (RU-1)... nursery business in a residential district; plants; pooting [sic] soil."

Presumably, they meant potting soil rather than "pooting" soil. But according to Grisel Rodriguez, supervisor for zoning information, the use of potting soil with numerous potted plants -- for decoration or consumption -- constituted a violation of RU-1 zoning ordinance. She acknowledged that some potted plants are allowable but said the number of plants that might constitute a violation is left up the interpretation of the compliance officer. However, she did mention what might be considered too many.

"The line is subjective," she said. "If you have 30 potted plants around your house, then that's a little fishy. It doesn't pass the smell test. Because you have potting soil there, I would conclude that is a nursery."

Property designated as RU-1 is also the most abundant and the most restrictively zoned residential land in the county.

Rodriguez added that zoning ordinances in Miami-Dade are exclusionary codes, meaning if something is not permitted, as in this case of the single-family residential district zoning ordinance (Chapter 33, Article XIV of Miami-Dade ordinances), it is not allowed.


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12 comments
mikemoskos1
mikemoskos1

I was on a tour of gardens put on by Earth Learning a few years back; those homes fit perfectly into their higher income neighborhoods. 

They need to make their gardening look more like landscaping and less like scattered food production. It can be done. For example, you'd be surprised how much sweet potatoes look like any other ground cover. 

Tattooed_Beekeeper
Tattooed_Beekeeper

wait till some one passes a bill that i can have goats .. im sooo getting two pet goats ... and some ducks .. 


South Florida Survival
South Florida Survival

What bothers us most is that the laws are left to interpretations by people who obviously know nothing about Permaculture and growing your own food.

anotherstupidmiamian
anotherstupidmiamian

buy guns, throw concrete, and kill people. much safer than potting plants for your home and minding your own business....... FOR SURE

Omar Becerra
Omar Becerra

i bet is legal to concrete until there absolutely no soil uncover, and no trees left, only in Miami , so glad i don't live there

MiamiDon
MiamiDon

Some cranky neighbor is at the root of this.

Odile CA
Odile CA

Is that the freedom Americans talk about? >> It's ok to have guns but a bad thing to have potted plants... Wow, no further comments.

gthumb
gthumb

right & no fruit trees allowed either.

D.f. Basora
D.f. Basora

Doesn't the county extort enough money in other ways? Leave us who are trying to live our lives THE FUCK ALONE!

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