Urban agriculture uses to remain by-right in neighborhood commercial corridors in Philadelphia
While the amendment is likely to please urban agriculture advocates, it may not go far enough for some.
By Jared Brey
Jan 22, 2013
It appears that community gardens and farms will continue to be permitted by right in neighborhood commercial corridors, as the new zoning code intended.
Councilman Brian O’Neill, who introduced a bill last fall which would have restricted community gardens and dozens of other uses in CMX-2 and CMX-2.5 zoning districts, agreed on Wednesday to remove the Special Exception requirement for urban agriculture uses from the bill, according to an internal email obtained by PlanPhilly. O’Neill wrote:
After discussions with the Council President and several Councilmembers, I will be amending Bill 120917 this Thursday 1/24/13.
The amendment will allow community gardens and market or community supported farms as a matter of right, as they would have originally been permitted under the new zoning code.
Very truly yours,
Councilman, 10th District
The change comes after a wave of opposition from urban farmers and community gardening advocates. At the end of November, the Planning Commission voted to request an additional 45 days to review the bill, which prevented Council from taking a final vote on it during its fall session. Council’s Rules Committee gave the bill a favorable recommendation in December.