Skip to comments.gummit busybodies want to mow down my wild grape bushes
Posted on 05/26/2007 9:35:52 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
Got a "nicegram" from my township with a picture of a planting of the wild grape bushes that have been on the corner of my yard for 9 years with nobody complaining, threatening to have my yard cleared of "weeds" while the swat team is there and then billing me beaucoup dollars for it. The letter tells me to see the ordinances on some web site, but after clicking on all 40 some links I found nothing there about weeds (though in scanning the ordinances it looks to me like one neighbor has an illegal sump pump water discharge to a street front ditch). These wild grapes have a clear border kept around them, and any intrusions past this border are mowed with the grass. They are not harming any other vegetation, nor are they spreading onto any neighbor's property. And yes, there is no HOA. I think another neighbor who has for over a year vainly tried to sell a McMansion (the biggest of the neighborhood) that he built on the site of a house smaller than mine is the instigator, and I think this person lied to the occifer that they had "offered to help" (which NO neighbor has). I have found by Google that in some states plantings of wild grapes are banned, but apparently not in Illinois.
Question to property rights freepers: Should I try to fight City Hall (how? under all the multifarious lawyer listings in my phone book I can't find "municipalities"), or should I just cut down the grape bushes?
If you are harvesting anything off of them, they're not WEEDS!
I say fight. Chances are inspectors probably havent visited your house. In Phoenix here a busy body neighbor tried to have a vehicle of mine towed because I hadnt driven it in months, although it was perfectly legal. I did nothing but wait clean the vehicle and waited for the actual inspector to come by. Nothing elese has come of it.
Just tell the town that these are an endangered wild grape species. If the town wants to risk the 100,000 dollars fine to destroy these endangered plants then go right ahead. They probably will never bother you again.
The very FIRST thing you should do is talk to the actual named human being who signed the letter your township sent you, explain that you can’t find any ordinance that applies specifically to your grape bushes, and if they are sure you are breaking the law would they please tell you exactly which law.
The chances are greater than 50% that they know they have no case and will back down. If they point you to a real ordinance and it is obviously inapplicable, call a lawyer and fight them. If they point you to a real ordinance and it is obviously applicable, cut down the bushes. If they point you to a real ordinance and it is not obvious whether it is applicable or not, call a lawyer and find out.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
We Have A Winner!
Just let the royal nobles at town hall know that you are planning on hiring illegals to pick the fruits now that they will soon be issued Z-visa’s and that you will contact your Senators Obama and Durbin to support your cause.
I’ve dealt with zoning ordinances for years. The best advice is, if you’re serious about fighting, get a good lawyer.
These ordinances were written by the city’s attorney to favor the city, not the property owner. You will waste your time fighting this without a lawyer.
Skip the lawyers. Drop in on the city attorney (or township attorney) for a chat. Keep it civil. Just explain what you just said, and ask for a specific cite to the alleged violation. If it’s as vague as “weeds,” then explain what you are really growing. What is next, hedges? Ivy?
See what you can accomplish this way. If that doesn’t work, I suppose you can go to the municipal court and ask for an injunction or an advance ruling of some sort. But for that you just might want a lawyer. Interview a few and pick the one with the most reasonable flat fee who seems to have a clue.
Hope you win this one.
Is it worth what it would cost you to fight them? If so, then WALLOW in it!!! But please keep us posted as to what happens... maybe we’ll need to set up a legal defense fund for you.
You'll never hear another peep from city hall, except maybe apologies.
Doesn’t your citation have a phone number so you can discuss this issue with somebody? I’d try that first.
o g-wd, you’d just give in to the suburbanazis. what will they do when they come for you?
Wild grapes sequester CO2. :)
If they are wild, hell you got a leg up; use the envirovictim ruse. I’m just trying to save the wild grape here in ——— in the face of Global Warming by sustaining this colony. If there are few vines near you, you might have a case. Talk to your neighbors.
what will YOU do when they come for you?
Good thinking. Those wild grapes are offsetting carbon dioxide emissions.
Start demonstrating WHY we have the Second Amendment... You?
don’t ya know guns are banned here? what second amendment?
Nope... I’d fight them. Did it once, years ago. Won in court on appeal, too... City manager and city attorney were both there. Personally. Guess they didn’t like my previous comments to them... But the look on their faces when I pulled out their own ordinance and showed it to the judge was priceless. Sure took the wind TOTALLY out of their sails!!!
I know. I’m SUCH a criminal, aren’t I?
Grape Bushes? I thought they were vines, hence the term vino.
Busho doest have the same ring.
Veritas In Busho!
L0L! good luck with the city
Tell them your preserving a endangered plant...
Plant the fur from an endangered Lynx species in the vegetation, then tell the EPA that your township is threatening to destroy vital habitat. At least, that’s what the Feds do.
You might tactfully suggest that, if pushed, there are many perfectly things you can do which will certainly affect the saleability of his home much more a grape vine.
Tell them that if they set one foot on your property you’ll convert to islam and call the feds down on them for a hate crime.
Fight them if you can afford to. Do these wild grape vines bear fruit? If so, you can always contact some stupid environmentist org to save the birdies, LOL! No, I’m actually serious. Good luck, and keep us posted. I hate petty bureaucracy.
Tell them you are waiting for the Illegal Alien Amnesty Act so your Mexicans can come to trim them without fear of deportation. It is a job an American (you) won’t do and you cannot afford to have more unemployed Mexicans joining criminal gangs in the neighborhood...
I hope you win. Nothing would make most of us feel better than seeing a homeowner stuff this kind of nonsense down the throats of those who try to perpetrate it. There should be a special place of torment in Hell for people who don't know how to mind their own business and respect property rights.
These are a cash crop. I'd apply for a crop subsidy to NOT grow them.
Might as well screw the gummint right back.
So where is this ... about.
Like Naperville ? Or more like Dekalb ?
Beat me to it. I was going to say “Put up a trellace and tie the grape vines to it."
Pasting fake bullet holes on my front door and windows and all over my car has crossed my mind....
Only thing I can think of is if it’s a sight blocking hazard for an intersection or it blocks a stop sign.
We get people that go ballistic when our vegetation crew shows up to trim a tree that caused an accident because someone blew a stop sign. They then threaten to sue us, meanwhile the two vehicle owners are suing us for the impaired visibility of the sign even though the offending tree or shrub is on private property and not the “right of way” for the road.
Now you know why roads never get fixed, the money to do so goes to lawyers.
unincorporated du page. no where near naperville though.
Tell them you are using them as food (wine, stuffed grape leaves, jams & jellies) and you also don’t want to kill the Lepidoptera (moths & butterflies).
The leaves of the grape vine itself are considered edible and are used in the production of dolmades.
Grapevines are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species - see list of Lepidoptera which feed on grapevines.
If they told me it was impairing traffic view, I would raze the bushes myself (and maybe replant in some other area of the yard). But these couldn’t, unless it was for the driver of a car two feet high with an eighteen yard long hood.
Wild Grape Jelly
5 lbs wild grapes
½ cup water
8 cups sugar
2 oz liquid pectin
Use 3 lbs of partially ripened grapes and 2 lbs of fully ripened grapes for this recipe. Wash and stem grapes, then place into a deep saucepan. Crush with a hand masher. Add water and bring mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain cooked fruit through a food mill, then through a jelly bag. Save pulp for grape butter, if desired. Place juice in a saucepan and add sugar. Bring to a boil, then add pectin and boil again for 1 full minute. Skim off foam and pour into jelly jars and seal.
as a former code enforcement officer... ( I hated the job and quit) The city has to follow every step in the process, if they don’t the judge will make them start over. Get all the information you can on their proceedures and make them follow every step.
Go to your local agricultural commish and ask if he will write a letter saying that growing this plant is fine for agricultural purposes....
Forest Preserve District of Cook County (Illinois)
Nature Bulletin No. 204-A October 30, 1965
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Seymour Simon, President
Roland F. Eisenbeis, Supt. of Conservation
In the year 1000 AD, Leif Ericsson the Lucky sailed from Norway
across the North Atlantic Ocean and returned with stories about a new
country he named Vinland because of the abundance of wild grapes
found growing there. Historians agree that Vinland was the east coast
of North America but they are not sure where he first set foot.
Cultivated varieties of grapes have been grown on a large scale in the
Old World since the dawn of history. Columbus brought them to Haiti
in 1494 and, subsequently, they were introduced into what is now
eastern United States by dozens of colonists. Invariably, these early
plantings were attacked by a host of pests and diseases which did not
seriously bother our native grapes. As a result, hardy new American
varieties were developed by selection among the better native wild
grapes, or by crossing these with European kinds. In this way our
Concord and Catawba varieties of cultivated grapes arose from our
wild Northern Fox Grape, and the Scuppernong variety from the wild
Southern Fox Grape or Muscadine, as well as many others. These kind
still make up three-fourths of the yield of our vineyards east of the
Rocky Mountains. The great vine-growing regions of California are
more suitable to the Old World varieties.
In 1878, the grape phylloxers — a queer plant louse which attacks the
roots of grape vines — appeared in France and, within a few years,
almost completely destroyed millions of acres of vineyards. Since that
catastrophe, grape-growing in Europe has been re-established as a
result of grafting European vines onto hardy root stocks taken from
American wild grapes or their cultivated varieties.
About 50 species of grapes are natives of the warm and temperate
parts of the world. About 20 of these occur in the United States and a
half-dozen are common in the midwest. They are so variable and have
so many overlapping characteristics that amateurs have trouble in
naming individual vines correctly.
Wild grapes are high-climbing or trailing woody vines with shreddy
bark and branched tendrils opposite some or all of the leaves. The
leaves are simple and often prominently lobed and notched. Like tame
grapes, their fruit is borne in clusters, though usually small and light
blue to black in color when ripe.
The common kinds of this region are the Summer Grapes, the Frost
Grape, the Sweet Winter Grape, the Northern Fox Grape, the Catbird
Grape and the Riverbank Grape; the first two being most common.
Some wild grape vines grow quite large. One seen recently in the
forest preserves is 8 inches in diameter and is estimated to be 80 years
old. Childrenfind that vines hanging from tall trees sometimes make
good swings. They also love to chew the lemony tendrils, in spring.
The fresh fragrance of the flowers is one of the most delightful
wildwood odors. Farmers often put grape leaves in their hats to keep
their heads cool in the broiling sun; their wives use them to flavor
pickles; and some nationalities use them in their cooking of meat. The
grapes are usually tart and fine for jellies, preserves and pies. Some
become sweeter after heavy frosts; and most of them hang on the vine
all through the winter, making a handy food supply for many birds and
mammals, both large and small.
... Thy wild grape vine
That ust to climb the highest tree
To keep the ripest ones for me. “
— James Whitcomb Riley
Understood, it was the only thing I could think of that would cause such a reaction by the locals.
My brother had to fight local busybodies and City Hall in the mid-80's. He decided to quit mowing his lawn and grow a natural Michigan meadow, which has since moved in the direction of forest. It took him a few months to fight his battle, but he ultimately won. I don't think there was a clear regulation on the books that he was violating. People just expected him to mow his lawn like everyone else does and considered it an eyesore when he didn't. If I recall correctly, the gist of his argument was that a meadow was natural and not an eyesore, and the city ordinances didn't prohibit growing a meadow.
He has had to keep the edges cleaned up so as not to block the sidewalks or intersection, but otherwise he has kept his natural enclave intact. He's a local artist, and over time, this setting and the battle with City Hall, have become part of his public image.
I’ve thought of planting the whole yard in landscaping flowers. No more mowing.
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