Vegetable gardens can now be planted in front lawns in The Villages

Vegetable gardens could soon be growing in the front lawns of homes in The Villages, and there won’t be anything to be done about it by Community Standards.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a law which takes effective Monday, July 1 banning local governments from enacting ordinances preventing homeowners from planting gardens in their front yards. The state law supersedes deed restrictions in The Villages.

Community development district supervisors have been bracing for months for this unwelcome change. District Counsel Valerie Fuchs had been closely monitoring the bill and warned that it could become an issue in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

“You could have a cornfield in your front yard. It would be pretty unsightly,” Community Development District 2 Supervisor Barton Zoellner had predicted.

Supervisors said they were fearful of what damage front-yard gardens could do to the aesthetics in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

The bill was inspired by a South Florida resident who defied an order to remove his vegetable garden or face a $50 a day fine. The homeowner went to court, but an appeals court upheld the ordinance. Thus, the legislature opted to step in.

State Rep. Brett Hage, R-The Villages, and state Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Lady Lake, both voted in favor of the legislation.