Article Courtesy of The
Tampa Bay Times
By Samantha J. Gross
Published March 10, 2019
Senate bill to ban local governments from regulating vegetable gardens is likely
headed to the floor.
The Senate Rules Committee — the bill’s
last stop — voted unanimously Wednesday to advance the
Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican, filed a
similar bill that passed during last year’s 2018 session,
but the clock ran out and a House version was never filed.
Lucky for garden enthusiasts, Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand,
has filed the House version (HB 145), which is identical in
“Freedom is at stake,” Bradley, the Senate budget chair
In January, the Senate Community Affairs Committee
unanimously backed the measure which prohibits a county or
municipality from regulating vegetable gardens on
residential properties and voids any existing ordinance of
The vegetable garden proposal is rooted in a legal
dispute about an ordinance in Miami Shores that banned the gardens from
being planted in front yards. Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll sued the
village, and in November 2017, an appeals court upheld a ruling that the
couple does not have a constitutional right to grow vegetables in their
front yard. They appealed the ruling to the Florida Supreme Court, which
declined to grant review.
Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican, voted against the bill when it
came up in 2018. She said she changed her vote Wednesday because of
homeowners associations and other groups that are not covered by the bill
and are able create their own regulations when it comes to vegetable
“Sometimes a local government will pass an ordinance that is, for lack of a
better term, a stupid ordinance,” she said. “A local government that
prevents someone from putting in a vegetable garden in their yard is wrong.
It’s the principle, but we can’t have someone’s private property rights
impacted like that.”
The League of Cities has publicly opposed both vegetable garden bills in the
past, maintaining that the legislature should respect local government’s
authority to make decisions on ordinances for their communities.
No one representing the League of Cities was at the Rules Committee meeting