Minneapolis is Set To Consider Changing Zoning Codes To Define Urban Agriculture in City Code This Winter

By Julie Sews - 4:53:00 PM

According to the SW Journal local urban growers could gain a new level of legitimacy if the city council approves zoning ordinances that will erase the gray area that many local growers are currently in.  According to the article, the city tolerates to encourages urban gardening unless neighbors complain.  Changing the legal framework will give local urban farmers the ability to think and plan more long term.

Complications arise from city zoning code’s relative silence on matters of urban farming. That puts urban farmers in a difficult place, and also makes it hard to know just how many commercial growing operations are running in Minneapolis, although the best guesses suggest it’s about five to seven.

Many of the empty lots in Minneapolis are being used for gardening vegetables.  I had no idea, but I think that's great.  Why not?  I know I'd rather see a garden in my neighborhood then an empty lot.  Like the article said it's more attractive and since their are people gardening there, better security.

Reading this article made me hopeful that Minneapolis would be more progressive on urban homesteading and farming then other communities have been.  One example would be the recent case of the Bass family of Oak Park, MI.  Julie Bass was facing 93 days in jail for having a veggie garden in her front yard (after asking the city if it was OK before even planting it), because she refused to move it to her backyard or to pay the ticket for having "unsuitable" plants.  You can read our full article on this issue here.

The case was eventually dropped.  I am very fortunate that all of my neighbors seem to be very supportive of our garden.  My next door neighbor and I trade tips and plants often and people in our neighborhood that walk by often while I am gardening stop and complement our garden often and ask questions about it.   Hopefully the legal defining of urban farming in city code will help to encourage urban farming in Minneapolis.

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