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Salem City Council rejects change in zoning rules for urban farms

Ken Yuszkus/Staff photo Andy Varela checks the broccoli rabe, bier radishes, and lettuce greens in one of the greenhouses at Maitland Farm in Salem. Photo: Ken Yuszkus

“Our condo directly abuts the Maitland property, and as I understand it, I don’t have a problem with them raising vegetables on their land,” said Valiant Way resident Larry Slater. “The issue is that they’re going to be having a manufacturing plant, or they want one.

By Dustin Luca Staff Writer
The Salem News
Feb 26, 2018


City councilors on Thursday shot down a change to city zoning rules that would have supported urban agriculture by knocking a lot-size requirement down from 5 acres to 2. The change was based largely on updated state rules that have not been adopted locally.

The zoning change was launched by Maitland Mountain Farm, which wants to build a packaging house on its Cedarcrest Avenue property. That effort was shot down by city zoning officials, who determined the site’s primary use is not agriculture.

The #Pickle-gate tag on the saga stems from the popularity of Maitland’s pickled products, which have received praise from public officials and even opponents of the zoning change throughout deliberations.

Supporters have argued the change would help to support the local business, while opponents have said a packaging plant in a residential neighborhood would be a nuisance. The farm’s neighbors are almost universally opposed to the change, according to Ward 7 Councilor Steve Dibble.

Read the complete article here.