Sunday, May 31, 2009

tower community garden

an interesting story is brewing in my neighborhood. several people have planted crops, but the crops may not remain. why? well, they've planted them on land that is not theirs. here's an interesting report done by the local news about the issue

(i wanted to embed the video but it wasn't working properly so just click on the link above)

now, i want to keep following the issue, but here are my thoughts so far:
-i like that the city is willing to work with community gardeners.
-i like that the city is willing to enforce code.
-i like that the city is willing to take stances that are unpoplular.
-if these gardeners did not have persmission of the owner, they shouldn't be allowed to just set up shop, even if it is nicer to see veggies than weeds.
-if they had permission, then the city is willing to work with the farmers, and that's good.


Dale Stewart said...

I happened to be going by when Ch 30 was doing their piece. Saw Chuck from the Democrats and I tried to get in the shot but couldn't. IMO there is just so much good about the garden that trumps any property issues. If it was not unused and neglected then property rights would come into play. They have actually done what big time developers do only they did it without any charge to anybody and benefits many. If every vacant, abandoned lot had a vegetable garden Fresno would be a better place.

edluv said...

i think you're right that this is a very complicated issue. i totally agree that this lot was a blight on the neighborhood, and that it looks way better now.

it gets complicated because the zoning is all screwy on that lot. it's my understanding that the owner isn't able to do what he wants with it due to zoning, but since it's been vacant damn near forever it's hard to know what it they want to use it for.

i give the gardeners a lot of props for getting materials donated, and all the free manhours they've put in. it does look nicer than before.

however, i'm not too happy being hit up for money by the group that hangs out there every time i pass by. i'm assuming that the group spending large quantities of time there every day is the gardeners, at least in part.

Tom said...

As a gardener I have to chime in. I would love to see every vacant lot used for gardening. This is especially the case in Fresno, where there are a lot of random lots filled with weeds. That being said, I guess it comes down to the fact that one should get permission, probably in writing, before one goes about doing anything on someones property other than their own. I'm not saying its impossible, but I just can't imagine the Police pressuring someone into choices for the use of their land, unless it violates codes. I mean I would love to have chickens in my yard, but the city code forbids it. If I set up a chicken coop in my yard, the police would have every right to pressure me to take it down. This would be the same in my yard or my neighbors yard. As for the Tower gardeners, just because something is more appealing and makes a vacant lot look better doesn't make the law go away. All that being said, I would be sad to see it go and I hope the city, the property owner, and the gardeners can work something out. If they, then next time I am in Fresno I will have to come by and check it out.

Anonymous said...

In 1999 or 2000 some friends of mine tried to do the same thing in the same location. The owner gave them permission for a short period of time, then ripped it out to use the area for parking for Mardi Gras. We stood in front of the lot telling people that wanted to park there what the owner had done. He made two dollars that night.