An urban gardener gets heat in Boulder, Colorado

The Daily Camera (an E.W. Scripps Co. publication) has a good-sized article on the struggle Mr. Scott Hoffenberg faces in Boulder, Colorado. At first glance, Hoffenberg is doing a very good thing, adding life to the median between the sidewalk and the street. As with any garden, you do have a problem with animals seeking a bite to eat, and gardens make wondeful places for them to find such a thing. Hoffenberg took a logical step to deal with the pests and built a fence around his garden.

And that appears to be where he ran into trouble. Building fences and trellisis on the median appears to me (the resident non-lawyer) to be obstructing the public right of way. Visibility for car drivers, bike riders, and pedestrians may be affected. In a way, I don’t want to come down against a fellow urban gardener, but building a fence in a public right of way seems to be asking for trouble. Fortunately, I can blame a crabby citizen of Boulder who complained to the city about the garden, which by that point apparently “included a basketball hoop and a hummingbird feeder.” (I must raise an eyebrow at that.)

To make the story short, according to the article, Boulder’s Environmental and Zoning Enforcement office is apparently trying to work with Hoffenberg to work something out to keep the garden in the median yet minimize or eliminate its intrusiveness. If they can’t work something out, the city may just come in and remove the hardware, as would be their right as a municipality. (Or so I think. My wife* the proto-lawyer does a bit with municipal law at her job, so this is my assuming stuff based on dinnertime conversation.)

In other news, Boulder’s media is apparently still obsessed with the death of JonBenet Ramsey. I had entirely forgotten about it until I looked over the Daily Camera’s site. Thank you, Daily Camera. You creeps…

(Say, in that one episode of South Park, didn’t they have O.J. Simpson sitting alongside Ramsey’s father, with one of the South Park natives shouting to the high heavens about how they so obviously committed the murders? And is it abundantly clear to you that I’ve spent a bit too much time out in the warm sun spreading mulch today?)


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

3 thoughts on “An urban gardener gets heat in Boulder, Colorado”

  1. I think more people should follow his lead and plant their gardens. Just think what a better world it would be if everyone grew their own gardens and went back to some basic things that we and our parents did 50 years ago …. They didn’t have half the problems that we have today ! Barbara New Zealand

  2. Hi Barbara,

    I’m with you on that idea. Here in the States, the federal government food agency has been regularly issuing dire warnings about salmonella contamination of tomatoes, the origin of which is unclear. That and the rising cost of food prompted me to plant a garden, which has been very rewarding and changed my palette as well as my whole mindset about food. it’s a great thing!

    Say, are you on the north or south island?


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