Here’s my dilemma. We live in B’ham, and we just had twins. B’ham schools being B’ham schools, that means in five years we’re going to have to either start shelling out major buckage for private school or else move. Our house is kind of small, and around the same time we’ll probably be outgrowing it. So, if I’m going to have to start spending an extra grand or so a month, I’d much prefer to spend it on a bigger house than on private school. Hence, all signs point towards moving. But where?
No way in you-know-where I’m ever living in Shelby County or Hoover. I refuse to spend more than fifteen minutes commuting to my job, so that (and other factors) eliminates Gardendale, Trussville, Leeds and PelHenaBaster. Vestavia? Probably not; it’s too hilly and car dependant. That leaves Mountain Brook, which I could never afford, or Homewood. We could probably afford Homewood, it’s close to my office, and though it has been in decline for the last few years, it still has some nice parts. But then I read stories like this:
Homewood officials say they could have an Edgewood woman arrested and her yard cleared if she continues to ignore city laws on weeds and litter.
Now this is where we should read about how she has rusted cars and broken beer bottles in her yard, maybe some fallen trees, and rats. What we do read is this:
But Amy Vickers, owner of Red Rain, a Homewood store specializing in natural and environmentally friendly products, says the organic garden in the front yard of her Edgewood home is anything but weeds. She has lived on Valley Place for seven years.
The garden includes collard and mustard greens, leeks, garlic, spinach and onions. She and her daughter, Madilyn, eat or sell whatever is grown in the garden.
“It’s nice to eat food and you know where it’s from … from start to finish,” she said. She said she prefers to plant the garden in her front yard because it’s the sunny portion of her property.
The story goes on to say that she has no idea who initially complained about her garden. Whoever they are, they are a**holes. Good Lord people, why don’t you go talk to the woman before you call the police? And the city officials who are now threatening to condemn the property and throw this woman in jail? Also a**holes. By no definition is a tended garden “weeds and litter.” This is using the criminal law to enforce someone’s aesthetic nitpicking.
This would never happen in my neighborhood. For one, B’ham is too busy with homicides to have a garden inspection and enforcement unit. More fundamentally though, no-one in my ‘hood would be anal enough to complain about it. Far from it, most of the folks around me would probably be inspired to do something similar. How ridiculous.
Here’s a picture (from the news article) of the offending property: