of The Villages News
By Meta Minton
Published July 1, 2019
Vegetable gardens could soon be growing in the front lawns of
homes in The Villages, and there won’t be anything to be done about it by
Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a law which takes effective Monday, July 1 banning
local governments from enacting ordinances preventing homeowners from planting
gardens in their front yards. The state law supersedes deed restrictions in The
Community development district supervisors have been bracing for months for this
unwelcome change. District Counsel Valerie Fuchs had been closely monitoring the
bill and warned that it could become an issue in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
“You could have a cornfield in your front yard. It would be pretty unsightly,”
Community Development District 2 Supervisor Barton Zoellner had predicted.
Supervisors said they were fearful of what damage front-yard gardens could do to
the aesthetics in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
The bill was inspired by a South Florida resident who defied an order to remove
his vegetable garden or face a $50 a day fine. The homeowner went to court, but
an appeals court upheld the ordinance. Thus, the legislature opted to step in.
State Rep. Brett Hage, R-The Villages, and state Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Lady
Lake, both voted in favor of the legislation.