Patriot Garden

After a controversy in College Park over front yard vegetable gained national attention, the City of Orlando is looking to update the city’s landscape regulations including allowing for front yard vegetable gardens.

“We want to support people who want to grow their own food,” City of Orlando Chief Planner Jason Burton the the Orlando City Council today.

In addition to the front yard garden changes the ordinances also deals with water saving measures and increasing the tree canopy of Orlando.

Burton pointed out that “we spend a lot of our public water supply on irrigation.”

Here’s a summary of the new rules that will go to City Council today:

  • Limits to the amount of water intensive landscaping by limiting turf, vegetable gardens and annuals up to a maximum of 60% of the pervious areas of the applicable front or street side yard for one and two family development sites.
  • Maintenance standards for the proper cultivation of landscaping to ensure dead, diseased or overgrown plants are removed.
  • Creates a landscaping calculator that credits sustainable landscaping design features for Multi-Family, Commercial and Industrial properties.
  • Requires water conservation measures for irrigation systems.
  • Sets up standards for street trees and tree plantings on private property.
  • Updates the City’s bufferyard standards to reflect our increasingly urban environment, by concentrating on landscaping screening rather than separation of uses.
  • Preserves water quality by providing aquatic plantings and swales along water bodies to capture nutrients, water and soil.
  • Provides for healthy spacing of trees and planting materials, including setbacks from overhead electric lines and incorporating tree wind resistance into the selection of street trees.
  • Updates the pre-approved list of trees and plants [Tree List] [Plant List] (including the removal of certain invasive exotics), and provides for alternative materials to be submitted to the Zoning Official for approval.

The first reading of the new ordinance will be today, a second reading would be December 6 and if approved would go into effect in April. This is to allow for phasing in and for all existing front yard gardens to come into compliance.

UPDATE November 25, 2013 3:40 p.m. — The Orlando City Council passed the first reading ordinance.

Photo courtesy Patriot Gardens Facebook Page

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  1. I agreed with mr Abbott. I have the same concern.. Who’s going to be sure the code. And that the garden is going to be maintained????

  2. I actually have a vegetable garden on the side of my house and at the community that I helped fund and build. I am not against it. Just against people who will not maintain. And believe me there out there. Drive by 710 Palmer St in Lake Davis and see what the city allows then maybe you would understand my point.

  3. Also take a look at the comments on the article. Jason Burton with the City of Orlando – Your City Government responded to your comment. (unfortunately we can’t pull from the site to FB yet).

  4. @John Abbott Shoot me a note of the address at [email protected] and I’ll look into it with Code Enforcement.  By chance, is this the infamous garden on Oregon and Morris?  Part of the problem is that Code Enforcement has been losing the public perception (thanks to Channel 9) and there weren’t clear expectations for maintenance in the code, beyond the lot clearing regulations.  That changes with the new regulations.

  5. Actually they have not been fined. I have four pages of violations. We had a neighborhood petition for code Enforcment to do something. Went to a code enforcement meeting with the commissioners and they were not interested. We have brought it up at our neighborhood association meeting to our commissioner and as usual nothing. So we have done everything but call Channel 9 which could be next.

  6. OK so the city is doing what they are supposed to do which is notify and fine. After a certain time the City will come and take care of the lawn and make the owner pay for it. Has that happened yet? For our neighbor it was a month or so after they notice was posted.

  7. We have reported so my times. They have had violation after violation. Talked to Patty, she says talk to Mike Rhodes, he doesn’t respond and they just keep posting notices but nothing ever happens. This has been going on since the 90’s. Backyard looks like Sanford and Son’s junk yard. We have had rat issues and mosquito problems. But nothing ever gets done.

  8. Okay John, before you overreact, check out the very nice front yard gardens on Sheridan, Yale, Harrison, Poinsettia and others. People that take the time to plant a garden and grow their own food are much more likely to take care of their property.

  9. If it’s overgrown have you reported it to code enforcement? They regularly were coming by and putting up notices on a neighbor of ours…and now they are finally maintaining it.

  10. Oh great as if we need to give people another reason not to take care of the front yards and let it look like crap. I am all for growing a garden but just not in the front. I live next to neighbors who already have such over growth that you can’t get down the sidewalk. And the city just let’s it happen. So who is going to monitor veggie gardens in the front to see that it is maintained? Answer- No One! Maybe the Mayor and Commissioners should come look at this overgrown jungle next to us before deciding,