Nathan Athans simply wants to grow the produce that his young family eats – with what had been the front yard of his Sugar Creek house as the source.
As it turns out, it's perfectly legal for him to do so, and that's always been the case. For a several days, though, the question of the Athans garden's legality caused quite a social media uproar, a large portion of it from outside the city and metro region.
An ordinance amendment passed March 28 by the Sugar Creek Board of Alderman prohibits food gardens within a front yard's first 30 feet from the street in areas zoned for single-family dwelling. For areas zoned residential estate, the required front yard setback is 50 feet.
At the Gill Street house that Athans and his wife Brittany have rented since last March, that distance is right up to the front porch. But as an existing garden, Athans' plot was grandfathered in, something Sugar Creek Mayor Matt Mallinson said he knew would always be the case.