If you’re in Florida and hope to live a more sustainable lifestyle free from the influence of energy companies and massive agricultural conglomerates by adding solar panels to your home, harvesting rainwater, and planting an organic garden on your property- watch out. Citing the International Property Maintenance Code, city officials in Cape Coral, FL are now forcing Ms. Robin Speronis to use city utilities instead of private solar panels and rainwater, or risk being booted from the property!
Special Magistrate Harold S. Eski ruled Thursday that Robin Speronis was in violation of city codes when she refused to connect to the Cape Coral city water supply. Eskin ordered Speronis to pay for water service, regardless of her need for it, and added that her sewer access (the costs of which, it should be noted, would be covered under her property tax) would be capped until she did.
This news comes just three months after a Miami Shores, FL couple was forced to remove an organic garden from their private property in December. In that instance, the Florida city claimed the couple was in violation of zoning laws, despite the fact that the garden- which the couple had maintained for some 17 years– pre-dated the zoning. “We are already feeling the impact of shopping for overpriced organic food,” said Hermine Ricketts, who dug up the garden in the face of $50/day citations for non-compliance.
News of people losing their homes and governments violating their citizens’ rights regarding their own property- which, you know, they sort of exist to defend- is all too familiar to people who’ve followed the troubles of Sean Law and Julie Bass. Bass, you may recall, was facing prison time in Michigan for planting a vegetable garden in her yard. It’s also worth remembering that Law is also a Floridian, confirming that Florida really is America’s wang.