Sharonville man told his garden's got to go

Posted at 6:47 PM, May 16, 2016

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — All Andy Gorman wanted was to grow his own food.

But the design of his garden has drawn the attention of some city officials, and they’re saying it has to go.

Gorman is a practicing vegan who said his goal is to grow at least half of the food he eats. He grows all kinds of fruits and vegetables in a network of raised beds and flower boxes that take up the majority of his front yard.

The set-up cost Gorman hundreds of dollars to construct.

But, according to the city’s code of ordinances, Gorman’s flower beds — particularly those closest to the sidewalk because, according to Sharonville Community Development Director Richard Osgood, the public right-of-way line sits roughly a foot into Gorman’s yard.

“This is a unique situation that he has out there,” Osgood said. Gorman’s neighbors’ lawns do not overlap with the right-of-way.

As a result of the overlap, Gorman is required by law to allow public access to all portions of the right-of-way, Osgood said. Because the beds sit on the right-of-way, Osgood said the city could be held liable if, for instance, a child were to crash his or her bicycle on the concrete flower bed.

Gorman appealed to the city’s zoning board, but that appeal was denied.

“I’m very frustrated,” Gorman said. “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.”