Couple faces jail if they don’t plant grass in the front yard

Photo courtesy of Freedom Center of Missouri.

Big Grass has won again.

In St. Peters, Mo., a couple could go to jail for refusing to plant grass in their front yard.

Jan Duffner pulled her front yard out because she’s allergic to grass. She planted wildflowers and a garden instead.

But nothing — except for, perhaps, a hockey rink — can stir up neighbors like someone who challenges the norms of the front yard lawn.

The city has a grass turf ordinance requiring homeowners to plant lawns, so the Duffners sued in federal court, claiming the law “imposes a permanent obligation on the owner to cultivate and maintain that unwanted physical presence on their property for no reason other than that the government commands it.”

Photo courtesy of Freedom Center of Missouri.

On Thursday, a judge threw the case out, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Judge John Ross said “aesthetic considerations constitute a legitimate government purpose.”

Dave Roland, a Freedom Center of Missouri lawyer representing the Duffners, says he’ll appeal the ruling.

“If a city can compel citizens to devote half of their property to growing a plant that the citizen does not want and that makes them sick, there is no longer any principled limit to the government’s control over private property,” he said in a statement.

The Duffners say they face jail time or fines of $7,490 to nearly $188,000.