In an earlier post, we brought you the story of Josée Landry and partner Michel Beauchamp of Drummondville, whose urban gardening practice of growing vegetables in the front yard, brought them to the attention of local officials and from there, the world.
Their front yard garden violated a local bylaw requiring that front yards be composed of no less than 30% grass. As a result, the couple was ordered to uproot a significant portion of their garden or face heavy fines. In addition, local officials announced that in light of this incident, their intention was to bring in changes to the existing bylaw, which would ban the growing of vegetables in front yards entirely.
The urban gardening community took exception to the actions and intentions of these officials and spoke out in postings across the web, and on August 9th, les Urbainculteurs, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of gardening and urban agriculture, added its voice via press release.
On August 21, 2012, Alejandro De La Cruz of Causes announced the reversal of the decision to implement changes to the bylaw, which would ban front yard gardens.
Urban Gardening: Front Yard Garden Ban Reversed
Cause leader Roger Doiron set out to reverse a Canadian town’s ban on front yard gardens by creating a petition, acquiring signatures and support, and delivering them to town officials. This week, he won! In a sudden turn of events, Roger’s Drummondville petition forced town officials to allow front yard gardens to exist. More importantly, the town has publicly announced that they will work with Josée and Michel, owners of the picturesque garden above, to help implement new guidelines that will allow residents to nurture their gardening aspirations.
Drummondville town officials announced the decision [Ed note: Link is in French] this week during a special session of the Municipal Council to discuss the case. The decision could create a ripple effect in other cities worldwide as zoning laws are a constant debate in urban environments. Roger told us, “The Drummondville case was one of the highest profile examples of a local municipality challenging the right to grow food in one’s own yard. While it took place in Canada, it quickly attracted international media attention because of the garden’s beauty and productivity. The win is significant because it helps establish a precedent that other urban and suburban gardeners can refer to when similar challenges arise in other parts of the world.”
Here is the Google translated version [French to English] of the Drummondville City Council’s announcement.
New regulations coming
City Council Drummondville announced in a public meeting yesterday, a new regulation will meet the demands of front gardens in residential areas. “It will now be allowed to Drummondville this type of garden in the front yard. However, this practice should be coaching, “announced Mayor, Francine Ruest Jutras.
The new regulations will be tabled in early March 2013 or earlier if possible. To do this, consult the City including some existing regulations and take account of information on good practices garden. The Mayor has invited Mr. Beauchamp to collaborate in the process. “The City believes that this regulation will eventually inspire other municipalities in Quebec,” says Ruest Jutras. She took the opportunity to advise the couple Landry Beauchamp they will finish the season as qu’amorcée.
New community gardens
The City is already available to different sectors of the population of the territory for community gardens. These four gardens allow those who wish to grow their own vegetables and is also an interesting place to socialize. The Board has therefore precede the identification of new areas to implement this type of installation.
This announcement from the city officials of Drummondville has raised cheers throughout the worldwide urban gardening community. The council’s decision to take things one step further and consult with Mr. Beauchamp in the drafting of the new bylaw, shows its good intentions. This decision also shows that councilors have listened to the protests from urban gardeners and their willingness to ensure the new guidelines will reflect good urban gardening practices.
The many faces of urban gardening are not just trends. They are reaching into cities around the world and changing perspectives and lives. The reversal of the ban on front yard gardens in Drummondville stands as an indication of things to come and will serve as a stepping stone for others in the urban gardening community to foster change in their own areas.
How do you think this decision will effect the urban gardening community? Can you see it having a positive or negative effect?
Photo by YouTube