Doctor receives fine for planting flower near her office

Dr. Susannah Beattie and local Councillor Geoff Heathcock  
By: John Roberts 

Dr. Beattie, 47, spent her own time and money making the walkway to her office look attractive by planting shrubs.

Neighbors were happy with the welcoming new look the walkway has received.

The problem was that she planted it on city owned property. The walkway to the office was very often muddy and unattractive. Neighbors thanked Susannah Beattie for making the neighborhood so pretty.

Shockingly, a few days later she received a letter from the council saying that she has done the work without the proper license.

Dr. Beattie was told that she had to apply for a ‘license to cultivate’, where she would need to submit paperwork with a detailed plan in order to get permission to use the land for crops or gardening along with a $110 processing fee.

She reluctantly complied. She filed the paperwork and paid the $110, but she also demanded the city to a rethink the 30-year-old rule, that makes no sense. “It doesn’t make sense to be discouraging the local community from beautifying the neighborhood,” Dr. Beattie said.

A local councilor, Geoff Heathcock said: “People who improve our neighborhood should not be treated like a criminal. This actions against Dr. Beattie is unnecessary.”

The council insisted the application fee for a license was standard practice. “The licensing fee covers the cost of inspecting the site and agreeing to a planting scheme that specifies the species and sizes of plants,” a spokesman said.