Missouri Family Has To Destroy Garden Because Of City Ordinance

Casey Harper | Contributor

A Missouri family is outraged that a new city ordinance requires they destroy their vegetable garden.

Sugar Creek, a suburb of Kansas City, passed the ordinance March 28 requiring all front yard gardens be at least 30 feet away from the street. Residents have until Friday to comply. Nathan Athans said the city passed the ordinance specifically to target his garden, which takes up his small front yard.

“I’d probably say about 300 hours [so far this year], I spend all my free time out here,” Athans told KSHB.

“I want my family to know where their food is coming from. I don’t want to have to go to the grocery store and worry about what was done to that food,” he added.

He started an online petition to Mayor Matt Mallinson to change the rule and save his garden. He is a little over halfway to his goal of 500 signatures. The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Mallinson, but he did not respond in time for publication.

“We are the only house in the city with a front yard garden, and just happen to be exactly within those first 30 feet,” the petition’s webpage reads. “They have been targeting us since we moved in last year, because we grew a garden in the front yard.”

Athans said it has helped prevent erosion and kept their basement from flooding since the soil absorbs more water.

“We believe in sustainability, growing our food locally without pesticides and excessive fertilizer use, reducing our need for fossil fuels to import produce from other countries, countries that have little or no regulations on pesticide use,” the petition’s webpage reads. “Sugar creek is also prone to flooding, as it is located next to the Missouri River, so using our yard for growing plants instead of grass is beneficial because our garden takes in water as well as holding the soil together to prevent erosion, all while filtering out pollutants.”

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