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  Hope Thursday went Ok
From: LMassey628 at aol.com on 2002.12.15 at 01:06:38(9724)
In a message dated 12/14/02 7:31:20 PM Eastern Standard Time,
sauromaton@yahoo.co.uk writes:

> Hi,

From: Valerie Gillman hortma at yahoo.com> on 2002.12.15 at 06:27:48(9726)
Linda, what exactly is the charge? Growing a stinky plant? It doesn't seem possible. Do you have to get rid of it or your whole garden?

The Florida taliban is fining me $50.00 a day.

From: Harry Witmore harrywitmore at witmore.net> on 2002.12.15 at 13:02:27(9729)
Well I know it would be time for me to get a lawyer or find a new place to
live. It's amazing to me how ignorant people are. I am constantly irritated
by people telling stories about how afraid of snakes they are and they kill
everyone they see. I then go into my story about a horse wondering into my
yard and having to go get the hoe and cut his head off because you know I
am soo afraid of them.

You can imagine the look I get. I then look at them the same way.

Linda I wish I could help and if there is anything I can do please let me
know. Your fight is for sanity.

From: hermine hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2002.12.15 at 17:18:32(9731)
At 09:29 AM 12/15/2002 -0500, Ron wrote:

Linda, Why don't you get a letter from Fairchild Gardens discribing the
plant Genus and its rarety. Ron

I wonder if there is local "LAW" preventing you from owning an American Pit
Bull Terrier, or any breed presumed to be one. (MIAMI-DADE for example).

From: hermine hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2002.12.15 at 17:19:12(9732)
The Florida taliban is fining me $50.00 a day.


From: "N Carroll" ncarz at charter.net> on 2002.12.15 at 17:51:00(9733)
Linda, I have been reading this thread with amazement. I
may have missed something but WHO exactly is fining you
here? The city government? Have you been told exactly who
your accuser is? (if not it must be a local coommunity
assosiation or something) a local community regime? What
is the wording of the law that has been.
What exactly is their proof that this is even your plant?
This all seems to be so incredible and absolutly

From: LMassey628 at aol.com on 2002.12.15 at 18:26:30(9734)
In a message dated 12/15/02 11:52:23 AM Eastern Standard Time,
hortma@yahoo.com writes:

> Linda, what exactly is the charge? Growing a stinky plant? It doesn't seem

From: LMassey628 at aol.com on 2002.12.16 at 13:03:02(9735)
In a message dated 12/16/02 1:05:50 AM Eastern Standard Time,
ncarz@charter.net writes:

> Linda, I have been reading this thread with amazement. I

From: LMassey628 at aol.com on 2002.12.16 at 13:04:36(9736)
In a message dated 12/16/02 1:05:52 AM Eastern Standard Time,
hermine@endangeredspecies.com writes:


From: David Hopkins sauromaton at yahoo.co.uk> on 2002.12.16 at 13:56:05(9737)
Dear Linda,
Thanks for letting me know
I'm so sorry. It's not just the money although that is appalling, but the fact that a bunch of idiots can do this. I find it hard to believe that in a supposedly free society that you can be punished so outrageously simply for growing a range of beautiful and exotic plants. I suspect that you will not submit and will not transform your garden to an identikit reproduction of those around you.
You need some specialist advice. You could be liable for fines of up to $1000 dollars or, be subject to a law suit seeking the money and a court injunction to change you garden.
I'm sorry I thought for some reason that you were in Arizona, but here are the some links for Florida. Have a chat to SHORN and see what they can suggest. Good luck, and remember you're right! If I can help or if you just need to let off steam let me know
From: hermine hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2002.12.16 at 16:45:22(9738)
When they levied that fine they almost did. One horrible woman on the board
wanted the fine to be $100.00 a day.

From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.12.16 at 17:23:08(9739)

So sorry to hear about your problems with your less-than-enlightened
neighbors. Very, very sad. As an owner of a very wild garden (in pots
only), I am lucky to have very tolerant neighbors and a landlord.

I realize you are being inundated with questions (and a lot of support) but
here are a couple more:

You say that the newspaper articles were a week after the story
started--have they followed up since the fining began? A nice community
outcry would help.

Does your homeowner's organization demand other things, such as a mandatory
lawn and mandatory holiday decoration? (I understand such things are

How many us (all over the country/world) are stuck by all of these and can
only maintain our (interesting) plant collections in their backyard? I
suspect you are not the only one. I've also heard that in many
drought-prone California neighborhoods it is impossible to get rid of the
ubiquitous front lawn and replace it with more arid-tolerant plants.
(Luckily my mom doesn't live in such a neighborhood--Dracunculus vulgaris
was one of the plants that bloomed in her front yard this year in a space
formerly occupied by lawn!). I suspect that some of the worst are the
"gated communities"--any experiences?

I guess my overall question is how many of us are suffering under such
homeowner agreements and what can be done about them now and in the future.

Good luck,


From: Betsy Feuerstein ecuador at midsouth.rr.com> on 2002.12.16 at 23:11:16(9741)
Just happened to think, is there a newspaper that might publish an article on
this case? If so, then you could forward to all of us and I think you could get
a ton of folks to start a barrage of emails, or letters to the powers that be.
The newspaper gives you a legitimacy and makes them look like jerks. Work on
this so we can help you or if you want us to write to them, just put it out on
aroid l and the garden web. I think they would hear from people all over the
world as to how stupid they look to the world. Just let us know...


From: "Marge Talt" mtalt at hort.net> on 2002.12.17 at 03:55:15(9742)

According to a Condo Law column by lawyer Mark Bogen in the Sun
Sentinel (one of the links that David posted) :

"Unless the association documents give the board the authority to
fine, the board is powerless to levy a fine."

"Assuming the board has the authority to fine, it cannot levy one
until it gives reasonable notice to the unit owner and an opportunity
to be heard before a committee of other unit owners."

"If the committee does not agree with the fine, the unit owner is not
required to pay it."

I don't get the impression from your posts that you had a
hearing...did you? Seems like a lot hinges on the actual wording of
the specific covenants governing your condo association. Do you
have a copy of this document?

It also seems to me that you ought to get a lawyer. At the very
least, talk to some listed on that SHORN site link -

From: MossyTrail at cs.com on 2002.12.17 at 18:19:15(9743)
In a message dated 12/16/2002 8:00:35 PM Pacific Standard Time,
story@caltech.edu writes:

> I guess my overall question is how many of us are suffering under such

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