Tulsa "Code Enforcement" Sparks Outrage

The demolition of a Tulsa resident's edible garden, deemed "too tall" by city inspectors, has sparked a civil rights lawsuit, and is generating national attention.
June 21, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Unemployed and uninsured, Denise Morrison grew more than 100 types of edible plants in her yard, which she used for food and medicinal purposes. That was before city inspectors, responding to a complaint, deemed the plants too tall and told her they needed to be removed.

As Sarah Laskow notes: "Morrison knew she was in the right; she had read the city code, which allowed plants over 12 inches if they were meant for human consumption. Hers were, so she got the police involved. They issued a citation, and she and the city went before a judge in August. The judge told them to come back in October."

"The next day, the city came to Morrison's yard and bulldozed her plants."

"Now", writes Laskow, "Morrison is suing Tulsa for violating her civil rights. She says the inspectors went way over the line. So far, the city doesn't have anything to say for itself. We're hoping that when they do, it starts with 'sorry' and ends with several zeroes."

Thanks to Christine M. Kudija, Esq., AICP, ASLA

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Published on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in Grist
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