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In an effort to combat climate change and beautify the neighborhood, Homeowner fined $872.21 for wildflowers in front yard

“Dear PoPville,

I received a DOB Fine/Special Assessment Bill from the Office of Civil Infractions dated October 25, 2022 (Control number: A2300356). The fine is in the amount of $872.21 for “Cut and Clean.”

In an effort to combat climate change while helping to revive the decimated population of pollinators in our region, to follow District suggestions on conserving water, and to beautify the neighborhood, I planted native wildflowers last year. (You can read here about the environmental benefits of planting wildflowers here.)

You can see from one of the attached photo that the results were beautiful:

I created a tiny plot of wild meadow in the middle of the city. In addition to the butterflies and bees, many neighbors have stopped by during the year to complement my garden and often to ask where I obtained the seeds. It’s actually been a great way to meet neighbors.

The nature of meadows, however, is that they’re wild. (You can read about the global environmental harm done by cultivated grass lawns here: https://www.discovermagazine.com/environment/your-perfect-lawn-is-bad-for-the-environment-heres-what-to-do-instead).

Being wild means that — unlike environment-destroying grass — they appear unkempt when not in flower. The problem is that urban residents are accustomed to neat grass lawns that drive climate change, but they’re sadly not used to seeing 10 x 5 feet of actual nature in their outdoor environments.

After receiving the attached Notice of Violation from the city on August 2, 2022 (Notice # 22 ENF PM 04798), I razed the garden on August 8, within the permitted cure period. Since then I’ve continued to cut back the dormant flowers, despite the fact that doing so makes no environmental or aesthetic sense. That’s why I was so surprised to receive the fine for almost $1,000 on November 25th.

I’d like to appeal the fine, but also the city’s decision to fine District growers of wild gardens. Would you please let me know the proper procedure so my appeal can be considered but the fine doesn’t increase even more?

Ed. Note:

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