The Institute for Justice has filed a lawsuit against Miami Shores, Fla., on behalf of homeowner Hermine Ricketts, who was forced by the Code Enforcement Department to pull up her front-yard vegetable garden. Zoning law allows fruits and flowers but not vegetables, a rule that the institute alleges violates a state-guaranteed right to use and enjoy property.
The South Buffalo Township, Pa., Board of Supervisors has drafted a nuisance ordinance for abandoned homes and other eyesores. The ordinance would require grass to be 8 inches or shorter and would prohibit junk and trash on a property. The township would be allowed to cite property owners who ignore warnings, and owners could face a fine or jail time. The ordinance is scheduled for a vote in January.
The Birmingham, Ala., City Council has adopted an ordinance that defines when and where food trucks can operate. The measure requires trucks to obtain a permit and prohibits them from locating within 150 feet of a restaurant. The ordinance also establishes hours of operation in city center: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
The Rockford, Ill., City Council is considering a proposal to open a staff wellness center that employees say could save $4.5 million in health costs over five years. The center would cost $818,000 annually and focus on preventive care. For the program to be cost-effective, at least 45% of the city's 1,100 employees would need to participate.