[permaculture] Edible Landscape Controversy Grows

Greg FarmerGreg at UrbanFarm.org
Sun Oct 9 16:29:56 EDT 2005

Hey all,

I just wanted to let you know there is a controversy growing in 
GIlbert that might be of interest to you.  Our friend Amy Belanger 
has graciously put together this document.  If you feel moved write a 
letter or make a phone call.  Lets see how we can turn this into a 
learning moment for all involved.



Action Alert: "Dan Thompson's yard is a lush, edible garden -- and 
it's under fire from neighbors who find it unruly."

Dan Thompson's Edible yard is under fire from neighbors who find it 
unruly. See East Valley Tribune story 
or the Arizona Republic story 
People who value natural landscapes, self-sufficiency and 
environmental integrity are needed to help educate the Gilbert 
community about the value of permaculture.

Gilbert Councilmember Dave Crozier told the Arizona Republic he would 
pursue having the town ordinance changed to make Thompson's yard a 
code violation -- if the town attorney rules that it isn't already 
one. However, town manager George Pettit told Amy Belanger in an Oct. 
11 phone call that an ordinance change hasn't been introduced by any 
of the Council members and that Crozier says he isn't planning to 
introduce one anytime soon.

Whether or not Crozier pursues an ordinance change, we shouldn't wait 
to begin educating the community and decision makers. Even if no such 
change is ever proposed, the attention to the issue introduces a 
great public education opportunity.

The simplest way to reach the community and the decision makers at 
once is to write a 200-word letter-to-the-editor of The Arizona 
Republic applauding Dan's permaculture practices and promoting the 
benefits of permaculture. It's so simple to do and so politically 
potent. Just submit one using Arizona Republic's online form at: 

Letters-to-the-editor are usually read by lawmakers and/or their 
staff to help get a read on the public's views before they make a 
policy decision. Our letters should make points that will educate 
people and galvanize support rather than alienate -- the law is 
currently on our side.

You can take it to the next level by helping with educational and 
public relations initiatives, such as leading an educational tour of 
a permaculture site, delivering a presentation on permaculture to a 
Gilbert-area professional association or nonprofit board or writing 
an article in a nonprofit newsletter. Let's take this opportunity to 
spread permaculture.

You can take it to "City Hall" by sending a version of your letter to 
the Gilbert Town Council, adding a request that they reject any 
proposals to change the ordinance in ways that would prohibit 
Thompson and other residents to grow their own food. Send your 
letters Attn: Mayor and Town Council, 50 E Civic Center Dr., Gilbert, 
Arizona 85296. Better yet, follow up with a phone call to make sure 
they received your letter and understand your position: (480) 

Or contact each council member (and the mayor, vice-mayor and town 
manager) individually, especially Dave Crozier:

Mayor Steven M. Berman
(480) 503-6860 (Municipal Center)
<mailto:mayor at ci.gilbert.az.us>mayor at ci.gilbert.az.us

Vice Mayor Les Presmyk
(480) 892-0779 (Home)
<mailto:lesp at ci.gilbert.az.us>lesp at ci.gilbert.az.us

Councilmember Dave Crozier
(623) 393-6661 (wk)
(602) 568-7338 (cell)
<mailto:davec at ci.gilbert.az.us>davec at ci.gilbert.az.us

Councilmember Joan Krueger
(480) 632-0764 (hm)
<mailto:joank at ci.gilbert.az.us>joank at ci.gilbert.az.us

Councilmember Larry Morrison
(480) 545-9109 (Work)
(480) 926-4318 (Home)
<mailto:larrym at ci.gilbert.az.us>larrym at ci.gilbert.az.us

Councilmember Don Skousen
(480) 892-4576 (Home)
<mailto:dons at ci.gilbert.az.us>dons at ci.gilbert.az.us

Councilmember Steve Urie
(480) 539-5700 (Work)
(480) 830-8355 (Home)
<mailto:steveu at ci.gilbert.az.us>steveu at ci.gilbert.az.us

George Pettit
(480) 503-6864
(Municipal Center)
<mailto:georgep at ci.gilbert.az.us>georgep at ci.gilbert.az.us

If you want to be a true activist, watch the agenda of the Town 
Council meetings online and if the ordinance change appears on the 
agenda, show up prepared to comment. Be aware that, in order to 
comment at the public hearing in Gilbert, you must fill out a comment 
form indicating the item number on which you wish to be heard. The 
comment form will be available at the hearing. The Town Council 
agendas (with item numbers) can be viewed at the following url: 

To follow this issue, sign up for the permaculture listserve 

Amy J. Belanger

7952 Orchid St., NW
Washington, DC 20012

6200 South 30th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85042


***ATTENTION***  Please note my new email address.  FarmerGreg at UrbanFarm.org

The Urban Farm
Growing good food
Having fun gardening
Connecting with nature

Greg Peterson

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