Skip to comments.Woman Sues City of Tulsa For Cutting Down Her Edible Garden
Posted on 06/16/2012 11:07:10 AM PDT by Altariel
TULSA, Oklahoma -
A Tulsa woman is suing the city's code enforcement officers after she said they cut down her garden with no cause.
Denise Morrison said she has more than 100 plant varieties in her front and back yards and all of them are edible and have a purpose.
She knows which ones will treat arthritis, which will make your food spicy, which ones keep mosquitoes away and treat bug bites, but she said none of that matter to city inspectors.
Last August, Morrison's front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.
She got a letter from the city saying there had been a complaint about her yard.
She said she took pictures to meet with city inspectors, but they wouldn't listen, so she invited them to her home so they could point out the problem areas.
"Everything, everything needs to go," Morrison said they told her.
When she heard they wanted to cut it all down, she called police. The officer issued her a citation so it could be worked out in court.
She said she went to court on August 15, and the judge told them to come back in October. But the very next day, men were cutting down most of her plants.
They even cut down some of her trees - ones that bore fruit and nuts - and went up next to her house and basically removed everything in her front flower bed.
"I came back three days later, sat in my driveway, cried and left," Morrison said.
Morrison said she had a problem at her last property with code enforcement, so this time, she read the ordinance, which says plants can't be over 12-inches tall unless they're used for human consumption. She made sure everything she grew could be eaten, which she told the inspectors.
"Every word out of their mouth was, 'we don't care,'" Morrison said.
Morrison said she used many of the plants that were destroyed to treat her diabetes, high-blood pressure and arthritis.
"Not only are the plants my livelihood, they're my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn't have insurance," Morrison said. "They took away my life and livelihood."
Morrison finally went to court last week for the citation she got last August at another property. The garden portion of the citation was dismissed and she pleaded no contest to having an inoperable truck in her driveway.
She filed a civil rights lawsuit this week, accusing the inspectors of overstepping their authority.
The City of Tulsa said it hasn't received the lawsuit yet, so it couldn't comment.
Tulsa? Good God. what a travesty and sham of a job of “enforcement”. Heads should roll.
Hope she wins. My neighbor had a gorgeous vegetable garden on her front lawn, but in boring, stultifying suburbia, the neighbors complained and she was forced to remove it. She’s put her house on the market and sewed the front yard with weeds.
I’ve experienced city inspectors like this. They’re given authority and believe it makes them God. Damn the ordinances, I’m in charge here.
I hope her suit goes through.
I hope the city of Los Altos, California never gets this idea, or Ros Creasy will be in deep kimche. She wrote the book(s) on edible landscaping, and her front and back yards are proof.
Nah, they won’t (although in a sane world they would). You must not live in the area. The Tulsa City government and bureaucracy is a hotbed of busybody, “I-know-what-is-good-for-you”, wanna-be-an-East-Coast-elite, lefty liberals (at least for Oklahoma). I am glad I live outside of the city limits now (but, unfortunately, not out of Tulsa County).
Dandelions are also edible...
Poor lady, she was living on Tulsa thyme.
Those idiots sound like they wouldn’t even recognize a grape vine if it grew all over them.
Maybe she could get speedier service in small claims court.
Here is the Google street view of her house. Her big sin is probably upsetting a neighbor with ties to the city because her garden looked like an over-grown lawn. It isn’t exactly a showplace neighborhood. Everything looks like of run-down per street view.
She should have demanded a warrant for removing and damaging her property.
I smell a lawsuit.
And if purpose cultivated in a garden they would be OK. But this is a chitty city too big for its breeches.
Of MoochHell 0bama can dig up the roses and lawn that have been there for decades, in the yard to the mansion that they are squatting in, that belongs to the citizens of the USA, to plant veggies, and be praised by all the world, why can’t a lady do the same on her own property?
(sorry for that horrible sentence construction)
If she wasn’t keeping control of the plants and they were creeping out into a neighboring yard, that might be cause for concern. But there’s no hint of this.
Ive experienced city inspectors like this. Theyre given authority and believe it makes them God. Damn the ordinances, Im in charge here.It's called Rule of Men, vs Rule of Law.
It's disgusting, and illegal.
MINT? Never, never let mint get loose in a garden by planting it! Keep it confined in a pot, sunk into the ground, or grow it in an above-ground planter. Once you have it, you can NEVER get rid of that crap! Unless, all you want is mint, mint, mint everywhere.
This is a pig sty. It is one thing to have a garden and another to have a pig sty in the front yard. She sounds like a nutcase. If the plants meant that much to her, she should have taken better care of them.
Take me back to Tulsa. I’m too young to marry.
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