This is ridiculous

Good grief.

DeKalb County is suing a local farmer for growing too many vegetables, but he said he will fight the charges in the ongoing battle neighbors call “Cabbagegate.”

Fig trees, broccoli and cabbages are among the many greens that line the soil on Steve Miller’s more than two acres in Clarkston, who said he has spent fifteen years growing crops to give away and sell at local farmers markets.

13 comments

  1. polisavvy says:

    I still can’t understand the reasoning behind this one. What a ridiculous thing for the county to do! The man should be able to grow whatever he wants on his own property (provided it’s legal vegetation). This is a prime example of the government interjecting itself where it has no place to do so.

  2. Jeremy Jones says:

    Would you object if he was running an all out industrial farm? 100’s of pickers showing up at 4:00 am, tractors and machinary running at 4:15am? My guess, a bunch of the neighbors WOULD be upset about that.

    I am a big proponent of property rights, I am on this man’s side. But let’s not lose focus. This is not an issue, per se, of how much he is growing, it is an issue of zoning. A line must be made between food for personal/family consumption, and food being grown for commercial proposes. He has obviously crossed that arbitrary line.

    Move the line, change the zoning, but I doubt many neighbors would be defending him if his food growing inconvenienced them in any single aspect of their lives. That is the sad part of this story.

    • Jeremy – while I agree that zoning is a necessity, two acres isn’t a whole lot of land. If he’s figured out how to turn two acres into an industrial farm and is hiring hundreds of workers, perhaps he needs to share the knowledge. 🙂

      Noise ordinances should prevent his tractor (if he uses one) and any other machinery from operating at 4 am. But as someone who owns a horse farm combined with micro-scale organic crop production, I don’t see what the big fuss is here, so long as he abides by all the noise, smell or any other ordinances.

  3. Lawton Sack says:

    He stopped the growing until the rezoning finally went through. They are now suing him for a prior violation that has since been rectified. That does not make any sense at all. I hope that there is more to this story than what is reported in the article.

  4. Progressive Dem says:

    Code enforcement is usually preceeded by neighbors complaining. There must be more to this story. Are there any journalists left? Or will this just bounce around the blogosphere as fodder for libertarians?

    • PD – all it takes is for one neighbor to complain for code enforcement to investigate. Don’t tell me you’ve never met someone who felt obligated to complain about everything? As you said, there wasn’t really much info in the story itself, but I’d love to find out more…

      • jm says:

        David –
        You must not live in DeKalb County. It takes a Herculean effort to get code to come out to do anything. Our n’hood has tried to get Code to clean up businesses and residences in our area, with very little luck. There’s just no manpower in that office.

        That being said, if I read the story correctly, he’s been wronged, and hopefully a judge will set it right. His property is now zoned properly, and usually with code you get opportunities to fix the issue, and if that fix was a rezoning, more power to him.

        • jm – nope, I live in North Fulton at the moment, though I’ll be moving to Cobb within the next month if everything goes as planned. Grew up in Gwinnett… never lived in DeKalb.

  5. Max Power says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, local government is for more willing an anxious to trample your rights than the feds.

      • But at least people have the ability when they purchase a home to read through the home owner association rules first, which typically don’t change all that often from my understanding. I’d personally never purchase a home in a subdivision with an overbearing and restrictive HOA.

  6. Lady Thinker says:

    It said he give some of the food away and sells the rest. What happened? One neighbor got a bigger share of the free food than the other one? In this economy, leave the man alone and make his money the best way he can.

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