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Maryland, USA: County zoning rewrite expands land access to urban agriculture endeavors

ECO City Farms lobbied for zoning access to residential areas in 2013. Photo courtesy of ECO City Farms. Click image to see larger file.

I think the whole movement toward urban farms has become so much more appealing over time that it’s become easier for people to, well, digest, so to speak.”

By Lindsay Myers
Life and Times Hyattsville
Jan 22, 2018


One of the biggest proposed changes affects the way urban agriculture is defined and zoned. The county has proposed separating urban agriculture ventures into two distinct categories: urban farms and community gardens. Under the new regulations, both ventures would be “permitted by-right” in nearly all zones, meaning groups interested in establishing either a community garden or urban farm will not need special permission from the county to start the process.

Community gardens are defined as “privately or publicly owned land devoted to the cultivation of fruits, flowers, vegetables, or ornamental plants by more than one person, household, family, or non-profit organization for personal or group use, consumption, or donation,” according to the Comprehensive Legislative Draft released by the county. Produce from community gardens cannot be sold for profit and primarily serves small-group nutritional and social needs. Some areas in the county have had major success with establishing community gardens. The Hyatt Park Community Garden at the corner of 36th Avenue and Hamilton Street boasts an extensive waitlist for its 35 plots, each of which is 15 square feet. The county’s District Council hopes the zoning changes will encourage new groups to establish more gardens, ultimately relieving some of the demand for growing space.

Read the complete article here.