Boston’s Pilot Urban Agriculture Rezoning Program.

Boston mayor Thomas Menino, chair of the US Council of Mayors’ Food Policy Taskforce, has instituted an urban agriculture zoning pilot program in the Dorchester neighborhood.

The program works like this: zoning codes include complex maps of land use districts, each  district intended for specified uses. All city lots are assigned an underlying district, which describes the main category into which the lot falls: residential, commercial, industrial, etc. Overlay districts provide additional zoning information in addition to its basic underlying use and can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including economic development and environmental protection.

For example: let’s say you own a single family house in a wetlands district. Your underlying district is probably residential (if your structure is in conformance with the zoning law), and the overlay wetlands district might mean that you’re required to maintain certain vegetation on your property to prevent erosion into the nearby wetland.

In this case, the urban agriculture overlay district that Boston created provides a residential landowner with more land uses instead of restricting the use of her land like the wetlands district. The district specifically allows vegetable growing, bee keeping and some small-scale animal husbandry.

The lots selected for the urban agriculture overlay district include lots that will be farmed by ReVision Urban Farm and City Growers, both of which are nonprofit organizations dedicated to urban agriculture in Boston.

We look forward to seeing how these pilot projects turn out in Boston. It would be great to have urban agriculture overlay districts throughout cities like Baltimore to facilitate healthier, more beautiful neighborhoods.

Posted on by Becky Witt

Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: While the author makes every effort to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on this blog, the accuracy of some information is subject to change and cannot be guaranteed. Neither the author nor the publisher is responsible for any errors or omissions. All information in this blog is provided “as-is,” with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness, or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. This blog is not intended to do harm to, defame, libel, or malign any religious or ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or government entity. In no event will the author, her employer, or the publisher be liable to you or anyone else for any action taken in reliance on the information in this blog or for any consequential, special or similar damages incurred, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

The materials contained on this website have been prepared by Community Law Center, Inc. for informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

Copyright: Text, photos and other materials found on this website are the property of CLC, except where otherwise noted. Such materials may not be reproduced without CLC’s written prior consent.