Potted Garden in Your Yard? Prepare to Pay a Fine!
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.
Courtesy of Dade County Planning and Zoning The De La Portillas have received numerious zoning citations for the permaculture garden in their yard.
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.
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.