How Does Your Garden Not Grow…


(To Keep You Out of NY Jails)

There are many different crimes one can break that could land them up in jail, but in New York City, a rather surprising new one is the inefficient care of residential gardens.  The new law that is being enforced in NY’s Massapequa Park has declared that if lawns are not properly maintained, the guilty parties will be fined up to $10,000 and be imprisoned for up to 15 days.  The reason the law was enacted was to maintain the high value of properties in the area which has been particularly negatively impacted by foreclosures.  In a unanimous vote, it was thus decided that if lawns are not mowed, dumpsters are full, there are broken gutters or boarded windows on a property, homeowners will be subject to the fine or jail time.  First offenders will be fined between $250-$1,000; second offenders, $2,500 and 10 days in jail and third-time offenders of the law will face up to 15 days in jail and top fines of $10,000.

Controversy on Garden Laws

But while in theory this new law seems like a good idea to many, there have been some very pertinent criticisms as well.  One resident who chose to remain anonymous said he didn’t like the idea of people reporting on each other from the same neighborhood.  He liked the place because it was known for people helping each other out, not doing the opposite. He then pointed out that it’s not so easy for everyone to maintain their properties, such as the elderly and that instead of being reported, neighbors should band together to help them, not fine them and make their already-challenging lives even harder.  Especially since for those who have had their home foreclosed, smacking an extra fine on them seems like a case of adding insult to injury.

Blame it on the Banks

Given this new law, it seems disgruntled New Yorkers in the Massapequa Park area are really blaming it on their banks, and with their money, not just their mouths.  Well, that’s especially true for Mayor James Altadonna who has recently proposed a law that would ultimately put the money blame on them.  The law is set to charge the bank $500 every time a village employee is forced to  clean up a property that has been labeled unkempt (in other words; lawns are not mowed; hedges are not trimmed; stagnant water is not drained, etc.). 

So, either way, Massapequa Park is getting a real clean up.  And no longer will residents be able to claim that “the grass is greener on the side,” since all gardens will be getting a shake up.  The only question left to be answered is, who will be paying for it?