Community Process for Urban Agriculture Rezoning in Boston Begins

Evan Coleman

Urban agriculture is taking off in Boston, from neighborhood gardens and markets to City Hall. Since January 2012, staff from Boston Mayor Menino’s office, along with a number of farming advocates, urban agriculture experts, and neighborhood representatives have met monthly to draft a new section of the Boston Zoning Code, Article 89.  Article 89 addresses the growing interest in urban agriculture – and specifically commercial urban agriculture – by expanding opportunities and reducing local regulatory barriers in Boston.

A comprehensive draft of the proposed rezoning has been completed, and Article 89 is now available for review.  The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has arranged a series of neighborhood meetings in the city to discuss the draft Article.  A list of neighborhood meeting times and dates can be found here.  The first meeting is tonight at Suffolk Law School  (120 Tremont Street, Boston) from 6-8 PM.  Please join CLF in coming to this meeting, or another meeting in your neighborhood, to show your support for urban agriculture in Boston!

Urban agriculture increases access to affordable, healthy food, builds community connections, and fortifies our ties to the local environment.  At CLF, we are excited about the opportunity to help improve urban agriculture in the city of Boston, and thus support moving Article 89 forward.  We do have some concerns with specific provisions in the Article and appreciate the opportunity to acknowledge these concerns at neighborhood meetings.  We will post more regarding Article 89 here, including more detail on our concerns, as the summer community process moves forward – we encourage you to check back here for more information in the coming months.

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