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Orlando considers relaxing restraints on front yard gardens and Sunday morning drinking

Council Watch: Keeping tabs on City Council so you don't have to

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Editor's Note: A previous version of this story failed to list the correct Council agenda items.

There would be turkey for everyone at this week’s pre-Thanksgiving gathering of the gobbling class! Actually, there wouldn’t be much of anything, short of some tightening of loose ends and some minor grant approvals. Want your minor subdivision plat approved? Yes! But some seeds of incredible potential developments would be planted in the form of two new ordinances presented for their first read. One actually involved seeds; the other just meant you’d have more time to get drunk. Happy holidays!

Item:The city approves on first read Ordinance No. 2013-74, relating to landscaping regulations, front yard vegetable gardens, tree protection, etc.

Translation:Hold up! Remember all the hubbub back in January about that College Park couple who grew a giant and plentiful vegetable garden right there in their front yard? Well, it resulted in an embarrassing fracas that ended up going national. We hate nature! So back in August, the city came back to the table with a more reasonable proposal to allow just a little bit of veg in the front, like, say, 25 percent of your yard. Earthy types balked and the city ran back into its public relations laboratory. Now, at last, the city is back with an extensive landscaping ordinance that will allow for up to 60 percent of your yard to be edible and/or rotten, with the other 40 percent having shrubs or groundcover (but no mulch! Also, no exotic plants! Also, limited rock beds!) Probably no marijuana either. Damn.

Item:The city approves on first read ordinance No. 2013-60, relating to alcoholic beverages.

Translation:You know that hateful Sunday-morning hangover feeling when the bottle next to your bed is empty and there are no hairs of any dogs within reasonable reach? Well, the city is now realizing – just like John Lithgow did in Footloose – that it’s time to give up those old lady laws restricting Sunday-morning drinking and scoot the legal limit for selling alcohol up from noon to 9 a.m. on Sunday. They’re going to get their expanded drinking hours somewhere, right?

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