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Category — Policy

City officials cluck over Crown Point, Indiana resident’s request for chickens


A Crown Point man is asking the city to allow him to raise chickens and goats on 7.5 acres he owns on North Main Street.

By Carrie Napoleon
Chicago Tribune
Oct 2, 2015


When Peter Kossis pictured his future in Crown Point, it included a house on a few acres of land with some goats and chickens.

Born in Greece, Kossis said the animals remind him of his homeland, where his family raised chickens and goats for food.

“It’s something that’s a hobby for me,” Kossis said.

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October 9, 2015   No Comments

Strathcona County Council, Alberta, approved Agriculture Master Plan which includes urban agriculture


Urban agriculture will begin as soon as possible and will continue into 2016

By Krysta Martell
Sherwood Park News
October 1, 2015


What occurs to me is, what does Strathcona County have that can really be utilized for a lot of 20, 40, 80 acre parcel areas? What can be done on those parcels that would be an agriculture base? We have the equine industry, how can we show that and use it as a benefit going forward?” he said.

Agri-tourism is the opportunity to discover agriculture through experimental education in a variety of forms, including single outings or multi-day experiences.

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October 8, 2015   No Comments

City of Lawrence, Kansas finalizing standards for new urban agriculture plan

“We’re putting chickens and ducks into it, which that was in the city code. We may add small goats, rabbits,” Miller said.

By Dia Wall
Sep 28, 2015


he City of Lawrence is looking at proposed changes to its urban agriculture plan.

On Monday, the Douglas County Food Policy Council hosted a public meeting at the Union Pacific Depot. Dozens of people came for a presentation then broke up into groups to come up with creative solutions to common barriers to urban farming.

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October 5, 2015   No Comments

Moorhead, Minnesota sets up urban agriculture commission made up of officials and community members from the region

Moorhead, population was 38,065.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said he supports the commission’s goal of promoting urban growing. “It’s good to encourage a lot of the self-sufficiency,” he said. “It teaches people the value of growing things themselves.”

By Adrian Glass-Moore
Sept 26, 2015


Megan Myrdal, an urban agriculture commission representative, floated ideas that included allowing gardening on boulevards — the grassy area between the road and sidewalk — and encouraging more gardening in community spaces, apartments and rooftops.

The Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo, for example, grows herbs and flowers on its roof.

The commission has also discussed whether to allow what are typically considered farm animals into the metro. Chickens and bees, Myrdal told the Moorhead council, “are typically the two aspects of urban agriculture that receive the most attention, both positive and negative.”

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October 4, 2015   No Comments

Kathmandu, Nepal: Rooftop farming training to cover 150 households

roofkathClick on image for larger file.

In 2014, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City had provided rooftop farming training to over 500 households.

By Thomas Bogaty
The Himalayan Times
September 23, 2015


The Kathmandu Metropolitan City is planning to provide rooftop and terrace farming training to 150 households in the capital in a bid to promote urban greenery.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City said selected households of Bhimsenkola, Sinamangal, Buddhanagar, Kalanki, Teku and Dallu will be given orientation and training on growing vegetables, herbs, spices, flowers and fruits on rooftops and terraces.

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October 1, 2015   No Comments

San Pablo: Permit requirements could shutter urban agriculture project

gooseberGreenaway, Kate (1846-1901)
“Her Grandma – was ever so kind – and said now my dear you may play in the garden, till tea time but don’t touch anything – Oh no said the little girl. And her Grandmama had a fine gooseberry tree and the first thing the naughty girl did was to pick lots of her Grandmother’s favourite gooseberries.” Click on image for larger file.

Schneider said she has spent about $30,000 out of $45,000 she raised in grant funding to get established and doesn’t have the money to obtain permits from the health, fire, building and other departments that San Pablo is seeking.

By Rick Radin
Contra Costa Times


SAN PABLO — A farm set up to educate students and other residents about urban agriculture is on shaky ground with the city, which is saying that the farm needs a series of land-use permits to continue to operate.

The situation seems to have grown out of a misunderstanding between farm operator Linda Schneider and San Pablo over whether the permits would be waived because of the nonprofit status of the project and the tight budget under which it is operating.

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September 29, 2015   No Comments

Los Angeles County plans to lower property taxes on urban lots used for farming


In a report issued in June, the county assessor estimated that about 57,000 parcels may be eligible countywide and that roughly 8,000 of those are in unincorporated areas of the county.

By Elizabeth Marcellino
Los Angeles Daily News


LOS ANGELES — The Board of Supervisors voted today to move forward with a plan to reduce property taxes on some vacant urban lots if owners lease them out as vegetable gardens or fruit orchards.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas proposed the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone program, saying it would boost public health and replace vacant, blighted lots with gardens full of healthy fruits and vegetables.

“This seeks to provide a carrot, literally and figuratively, to make it more financially viable to grow fruits and vegetables in the urban space,” Ridley-Thomas said.

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September 29, 2015   Comments Off on Los Angeles County plans to lower property taxes on urban lots used for farming

Michigan’s legal battle over urban farming

Next to his home in Kentwood, Geno Lombardo tends to his goats and chickens. (Photo by Ted Roelofs)

“There are the people who really want to do it,” she said. “Then there’s the people who say, ‘There’s no way I’m looking at chickens and goats next to me.’

By Ted Roelofs
Bridge Magazine
Sept 22, 2015


The tension between upstart farmers and bewildered city officials is increasingly playing out before zoning appeals boards and courtrooms in Michigan, with first-time urban farmers seeking many of the same commercial protections afforded rural farming operations. The conflicts underscore how the scope and very definition of farming is evolving in an era of main street farmers markets and farm-to-table sourcing of food ingredients.

Last year, Sky and David Brown bought an abandoned home on Detroit’s northwest side, on a block with other neglected houses and weedy vacant lots. While they rehabbed the structure, they said it only seemed natural to try their hand at managing a small menagerie – six chickens and three pygmy goats. It didn’t end well.

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September 28, 2015   Comments Off on Michigan’s legal battle over urban farming

Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa: A Guidebook for Reducing Local Regulatory Barriers to Local Foods


By Andrea Vaage and Gary Taylor, Department of Community and Regional Planning, Iowa State University
Sept, 2015
(Must see. Mike)


Background: Urban Agriculture and Municipal Zoning

The popularity of local foods has increased significantly in the last few decades, pushed along in recent years by a heightened interest of consumers in buying local and sustainably-grown foods. From 1997 to 2007 direct-to-consumer food marketing grew by 104.7 percent while total agricultural sales increased by only 47.6 percent. (Diamond and Soto, 2009). According to a recent report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 163,675 farmers sold an estimated $6.1 billion in locally marketed foods in 2012. In 2014, there were 8,628 farmers markets operating across the nation, which represents a 180 percent growth in the number of markets since 2006 (Low et al, 2015).

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September 24, 2015   Comments Off on Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa: A Guidebook for Reducing Local Regulatory Barriers to Local Foods

Steel City Grazers, Pittsburgh’s only goat-grazing business

Carrie Pavlik smiles at Lovesong. She and Doug Placais own and operate Arlington Acres as well as Steel City Grazers, the city’s only goat-grazing business. Margaret J. Krauss 90.5 WESA

“There (are) acres and acres and acres and acres in Pittsburgh that are going unused and are completely overgrown, and that’s land that potentially enterprising people could take and turn into productive farmland,” he said.

By Margaret J. Krauss
90.5 WESA
Sept 11, 2015


It turns out not even a goat pregnancy test can surprise the UPS man, said Placais. It’s just one of the many discoveries the two have made while running their farm. Pavlik and Placais also own Steel City Grazers, Pittsburgh’s only goat-grazing business. Think of it as an all-goat landscaping crew. With a guardian donkey.

“I believe we’re the only people with goats in the city although I’ve heard, like, fifth-hand that somebody might have a goat. But as somebody else pointed out, it might just be back to us,” he said.

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September 20, 2015   Comments Off on Steel City Grazers, Pittsburgh’s only goat-grazing business

Tucson Planning Commission OKs Backyard Chickens

Blue Horse Gallery.

The proposal will now go to the City Council for a final vote.

By Vanessa Barchfield
Arizona Public Media
Sept 17, 2015


Tucson’s Planning Commission voted Wednesday to recommend changes to city zoning so people can keep chickens and practice other aspects of urban farming in their yards.

Until now, many people with chicken coops or vegetable gardens in their backyards have been, technically, in violation of existing zoning codes.

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September 18, 2015   Comments Off on Tucson Planning Commission OKs Backyard Chickens

RUAF – Resources Urban Agriculture and Food – Update 25


RUAF joins the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative


RUAF annual report 2014

In 2014, the RUAF Foundation continued to support governments and other stakeholders who wish to design, implement and monitor urban agriculture and urban food policies and programmes. RUAF engaged with over 90 local and international partner organisations to work in 30 cities in 24 different countries around the world. In doing so, RUAF demonstrated:

• its innovation capacity in bridging emergency and development issues (see RUAF projects in Liberia and Gaza),

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September 17, 2015   Comments Off on RUAF – Resources Urban Agriculture and Food – Update 25

Why is a Paris suburb scrapping an urban farm to build a car park?

Food grown on-site is sold at affordable prices in the community cafe. Photograph: Alamy

With the UN climate conference putting Paris in the eco-spotlight this year, the impending closure of R-Urban, a project at the forefront of urban sustainability, seems curious – not least in its timing

By Justinien Tribillon
The Guardian
Sept 11, 2015


With the climate conference putting Paris in the global spotlight from 30 November, the decision by the City of Colombes to abandon one of Europe’s most ambitious urban sustainability schemes seems almost comical in its timing.

The city council argues that the replacement car park is essential to serve the regeneration of the area – but Benoît, a long-term resident of Colombes who joined R-Urban in the project’s early days, points at all the spaces around the Agrocité that sit idle, ready to host the car park.

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September 11, 2015   Comments Off on Why is a Paris suburb scrapping an urban farm to build a car park?

Vancouver, BC offers help to start new community gardens


Do you think your neighbourhood needs more food growing spaces? Are you interested in starting a new urban agriculture project?

Urban agriculture plays an important role in creating vibrant gathering spaces, greening the environment, supporting local food resiliency and promoting social inclusion. The City of Vancouver has had a long history and support for food growing in the city.

There are two ways the City of Vancouver is helping to create new gardens… Send in your ideas, and potentially get your garden project built!

1. Gardens on City parks or other City-owned land.

If you’re interested in starting your own garden project in a City park or on City-owned property, tell us your ideas! Fill out an Expression of Interest application to help us prioritize support for garden locations and projects. Deadline October 5, 2014.

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September 11, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC offers help to start new community gardens

Atlanta to hire urban agriculture director

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

“The city of Atlanta is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the urban agriculture movement,” the mayor said.

By Dave Williams
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Sep 2, 2015


“The director of urban agriculture will work to improve the city’s health and wellness by eliminating food deserts and providing our residents with access to the healthy food options that they deserve.”

A shortage of grocery stores stocked with healthy meats, grains, fruits and vegetables has long been a complaint in some Atlanta neighborhoods.

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September 3, 2015   Comments Off on Atlanta to hire urban agriculture director