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Appeals court sides with Mankato homeowner and his natural yard

A Minnesota appeals court has ruled in favor of a retired botany and physics professor in North Mankato whose unmanicured yard was declared a public nuisance.

Ed Borchardt wanted a natural yard, filled with native plants and flowers that would attract birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. The city of North Mankato disagreed with his vision and said his yard doesn’t meet the standards of a new local ordinance that encourages naturally managed lawns.

The appeals court on Monday said a city cannot declare a nuisance “based on little more than neighbors’ displeasure with the property’s appearance.” City Administrator John Harrenstein said officials will consult with their lawyers on how to proceed.


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