By Anna Cioffi
If implemented correctly, the proposed city zoning code text amendments recommended by the Urban Agriculture Policy Plan for Minneapolis could play a key role in supporting urban farms, community gardens, farmers’ markets, farm stands and other elements of a vibrant urban agriculture economy. But to create a good final plan, we need input from growers and eaters, and the week of Nov. 28 provides a key opportunity to provide this input.
As we’ve reported in this blog previously, in 2009 the City of Minneapolis decided through recommendations put forth by Homegrown Minneapolis to pursue the development of “a city-wide topical plan on community gardens and urban agriculture.” This plan, which became known as the Urban Agriculture Policy Plan (UAPP), was passed by Minneapolis City Council in April 2011. It provided a number of recommendations for Minneapolis to amend current zoning ordinances, which would effectively lift current restrictions on urban farming, provide concrete definitions of agricultural terms, and create operational standards for new and existing urban farming operations in the city.
These zoning code text amendments give us a chance to craft the landscape of the City of Minneapolis by allowing the public to provide input in defining a set of regulations that could create new small businesses, spur entrepreneurship, devote empty lots to urban agriculture, and re-shape local food systems to include small urban farms or market gardens in each neighborhood.
There will be a community open house hosted by the City of Minneapolis Tuesday, Nov. 29, to gather feedback on the draft zoning code text amendments, released earlier this month. The open house will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.at Bryant Square Park and Recreation Center. This will be a great chance to hear more about the document, as well as to provide feedback about the amendments.
The Land Stewardship Project will also be holding a special briefing for those interested in learning more about the text amendments on Monday, Nov. 28, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at our office in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood. All are welcome to join as we provide an in-depth look at the draft text amendments and talk through potential adjustments. For directions, click here.
If you are interested in attending LSP’s Urban Ag Policy Plan briefing, or have any questions, contact me at 612-722-6377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna Cioffi is an LSP organizer who works on urban food and farming issues.