Planning and Zoning for Commercial Urban Agriculture

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  • (it ’s in vogue – find images of cover stories/news reports, etc. and have them pop up one after another) (Challenge the urban rural divide in food)
  • Where does this slide go??
  • Yeah, you can go there.
  • Zoning supports public and private goods and minimizes public and private harms Deeply ingrained binary of urban vs. rural. Appropriate uses, activities, History of leaving the country for the city. Culture, class and history…
  • In this presentation we are going to talk a lot about young entrepreneurs. This choice is intentional. We find the energy and vision of young entrepreneurs inspiring and telling of the direction we are headed.
  • Cities are hubs of innovation—new technologies developed for urban farms can also revolutionize rural agriculture Urban agriculture is a great source of innovations in business models and growing system technology. (Jacobs, Economy of Cities) Many technologies are first developed it cities and then disseminated to the hinterlands. High density city agricultural systems may be transferred to agricultural operations in suburban and exurban areas, including industrial sites and vacant shopping centers. Though these are quite different sites, the land use regulation questions will largely be the same: how to mix homes with agriculture.
  • Urban agriculture is a great source of innovations in business models and growing system technology. (Jacobs, Economy of Cities) Many technologies are first developed it cities and then disseminated to the hinterlands. High density city agricultural systems may be transferred to agricultural operations in suburban and exurban areas, including industrial sites and vacant shopping centers. Though these are quite different sites, the land use regulation questions will largely be the same: how to mix homes with agriculture. Notes here on the benefit of urban ag. Briefly…. These are not just benefits for agriculture in some far away place. URBAN AG & FOOD JUSTICE Reconnect urban areas with food and agriculture Increase material sustainability Improve community health Address food access Economic development and environmental justice But—don ’t expect urban farms to feed entire cities within their city limits anytime soon
  • The sustainability, the balance between resource use, resource base, and environmental impacts, of cities is essential for broader civilizational sustainability and resilience.
  • Flows of good, services and materials are not new to planning. We understand the complexity of cities. Contemporary planning practitioners have to grapple on a daily basis with which parts of the system to control. Often to deal with the overwhelming complexity, we cope by limiting the scope of our examination. Urban Ag as an innovative and opportunistic practice. Segway to industrial symbiosis and sustainable cities.
  • SWISS biomass flows Sandkey diagram tracking processes and associated flows of goods and materials
  • Don ’t go into detail, but introduce the idea of nested systems and closed loops. These systems also require a considerable amount of back of house, processing space. Begin to make this seem spatial and related to the urban landscape.
  • Selling on site
  • Selling on site
  • Yes, that ’s mayor Manino (Boston)
  • 60,000 lbs were: - Donated - Sold at farmer ’s markets - 592 CSA households Made possible by a strong partnership with the City of Boston
  • Find new quote???
  • Prohibition on sales/processing/distribution Limited land in allowed zones (industrial, open space) Lack of appropriate standards for parking, fences, signs, composting, animals, greenhouses and hoophouses, roof-top installations Anti-blight or landscaping standards
  • Zoning prohibits growing crops or commercial sales Difficulty getting permits for novel systems or structures Health regulations create expensive barriers to processing and sales State and federal regulations to protect food system and environment create onerous burdens
  • Prohibition on sales/processing/distribution Limited land in allowed zones (industrial, open space) Lack of appropriate standards for parking, fences, signs, composting, animals, greenhouses and hoophouses, roof-top installations Anti-blight or landscaping standards
  • Prohibition on sales/processing/distribution Limited land in allowed zones (industrial, open space) Lack of appropriate standards for parking, fences, signs, composting, animals, greenhouses and hoophouses, roof-top installations Anti-blight or landscaping standards
  • May not have appropriate standards for farm structures or hydroponic growing systems (Building, plumbing, electrical code) Code set at the state level, but locally enforced Varying degrees of interpretive discretion
  • Requires certain standards of refrigeration, preparation/processing area hygiene for sales May require commercial kitchen license for value added or processed food Code set at the state level, but locally enforced Varying degrees of interpretive discretion Culture is typically risk adverse and compliance oriented
  • Department of Agriculture Department of Health Department of Labor Department of Wildlife (Fish and Game) Department of Environmental Protection
  • Requires certain standards of refrigeration, preparation/processing area hygiene for sales May require commercial kitchen license for value added or processed food Code set at the state level, but locally enforced Varying degrees of interpretive discretion Culture is typically risk adverse and compliance oriented
  • Culture and perception matter: “ Agriculture isn’t something we do here” “ Plantations” are a step backward for many urban minorities “ The soil is polluted” – environmental justice Healthy food, food deserts, and farming Not zoned for agriculture
  • Diverse range of urban agriculture typologies: private garden, community garden, institutional garden, demonstration garden, edible landscape, guerrilla garden, hobby beekeeping, hobby chicken keeping, market farm, urban farm, peri-urban farm, beekeeping, hybrid urban agriculture
  • Crops (vegetables, fungi, flowers, livestock, fish, bees, etc…) Scale (min size, max size) Activities (growing, processing, selling, private consumption, charity, distribution) Organization (non profit organization vs. private company) “ Urban Agriculture: the raising, keeping, or harvesting of plants, animals, and fungi.” “ Urban Agriculture: the production of food or horticultural crops to be harvested, sold, or donated.” “ Neighborhood Agriculture: the raising, keeping or harvesting of plants, animals, or fungi on lots of less than one acre in size without the use of mechanized farm equipment and operated either for personal use or by a nonprofit institution.” “ Large-Scale (Commercial) Agriculture: the raising, keeping or harvesting of plants, animals, or fungi on lots of land one acre of larger, and/or using mechanized farm equipment, and/or operated by a private for-profit entity.”
  • Allow in all districts, but they will be different in each type of district – make it an allowed use If you have specific goals make sure you ’re using the right districts Consider creation of urban farming district to protect farming uses from conversion to “higher and better” uses (Cleveland) NIMBY - Boston
  • Livestock - Small animals vs. Large animals Number allowed, setbacks, pen/structure size, roosters, etc. - Bees Flyways - Fish Sales - Standards for sales in residential areas, special Farm machinery - Equipment
  • Cleveland stuff on signs and fences SF fences
  • Political leadership Economic development support Potential to use public land Food policy councils Advocates and tapping into the larger food community Insert scale diagram here? (show bottom of the diagram – here are your advocates, community support, etc.)
  • APA PAS Report Lots of case studies out there: San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston Handout
  • Handout

Transcript

  • 1. Planning and Zoning for Commercial Urban Ag Seth Zeren Stephanie Carlisle Christopher Kieran
  • 2.
    • PLANNING AND ZONING FOR COMMERCIAL URBAN AGRICULTURE
    • Introduction
    • Framework
    • Spectrum of Commercial Urban Agriculture
    • Planning Barriers
    • Planning for Commercial Urban Agriculture
    • Question
  • 3. Urban Agriculture
  • 4. An entrepreneur A designer & ecologist A planner INTRODUCTION Who are we?
  • 5. Who are we? INTRODUCTION An entrepreneur, Christopher Kieran, Founder & President, Zoko A designer & ecologist Stephanie Carlisle, Environmental Researcher, KieranTimberlake
    • A planner
      • Seth Zeren,
      • Chief Zoning Code Official, Newton, MA
  • 6.
    • SESSION GOALS:
    • Define issues of commercial urban agriculture vs. community gardens.
    • Show the range of growing systems and the potential for urban agriculture
    • Identify zoning barriers and other regulations that prevent entrepreneurial agriculture
    • Share ideas on revising plans, zoning, and other regulations
    PRESENTATION GOALS
  • 7. PART 2: FRAMEWORK PART 2: FRAMEWORK
  • 8. FRAMEWORK AGRICULTURE HAS AN IMAGE PROBLEM
  • 9. FRAMEWORK FOR DECADES, URBANISTS HAVE DEFINED THE CITY IN OPOSITION TO THE RURAL
  • 10. FRAMEWORK A NEW GENERATION IS RECLAIMING THE TRADITION OF URBAN FARMING & REDEFINING OUR URBAN FUTURE
  • 11. FRAMEWORK INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY CONNECT URBAN AND RURAL AGRICULTURE Source: Except, Integrated Sustainable Design
  • 12. DEFINITION OF COMMERCIAL URBAN AGRICULTURE Commercial urban agriculture is the production of plants, animals, and fungi for processing, sale and distribution by a revenue-driven organization in an urban environment. FRAMEWORK DEFINITIONS
  • 13. FRAMEWORK BENEFITS OF URBAN AG Source: GOOD.com & One/Living Proof INVESTING IN URBAN AGRICULTURE = INVESTING IN CITIES
  • 14. FRAMEWORK Waste Recycling Pollution Inputs Urban Civilization Ecosystem health Resource base Balance new inputs with natural regeneration and reduce urban demands on the resource base A PERFORMANCE BASED APPROACH TO DEFINING SUSTAINABLE CITIES
  • 15. FRAMEWORK URBAN & INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY CITES AS DYNAMIC FLOWS OF PEOPLE, GOODS, MATERIALS & SERVICES Louis Kahn ’s Traffic Studies for Philadelphia
  • 16. FRAMEWORK URBAN & INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY CITES AS DYNAMIC FLOWS OF PEOPLE, GOODS, MATERIALS & SERVICES Source: Swiss Biomas Flows
  • 17. FRAMEWORK DESIGNING URBAN AGRICULTURE SYSTEMS GROWING SYSTEMS – A LOT MORE THAN JUST PLANTS
  • 18. PART 3: SPECTRUM OF APPROACHES PART 3: THE SPECTRUM OF COMMERCIAL URBAN AGRICULTURE
  • 19. CASE STUDIES PROJECTS PART 3: THE SPECTRUM OF COMMERCIAL URBAN AGRICULTURE
    • CASE STUDY FARMS
    • Eagle Street & Brooklyn Grange
    • The Food Project
    • Gotham Greens
    • The Plant, Chicago
  • 20. EAGLE STREET ROOFTOP FARM BROOKLYN, NYC
  • 21. EAGLE STREET ROOFTOP FARM PART 3: THE SPECTRUM OF COMMERCIAL URBAN AGRICULTURE
    • KEY CHARACTERISTICS
    • GROWING SYSTEM : Soil-based, rooftop, 3-story building
    • PRODUCING: Vegetables, bees, rabbits, chickens, flowers
    • BUSINESS: On-site market, restaurant direct sales, CSA, education
    • SITE: Partnership with building owner
  • 22. BROOKLYN GRANGE ROOFTOP FARM
    • KEY CHARACTERISTICS
    • GROWING SYSTEM : Soil-based, rooftop, 3-story building
    • PRODUCING: Vegetables, bees, rabbits, chickens, flowers
    • BUSINESS: On-site market, restaurant direct sales, CSA, education
    • SITE: Partnership with building owner
  • 23. THE FOOD PROJECT BOSTON, MA
  • 24. THE FOOD PROJECT “ We envision a world where youth are active leaders, diverse communities feel connected to the land and each other, and everyone has access to fresh, local, healthy, affordable food.”
    • KEY CHARACTERISTICS
    • GROWING SYSTEM : 7 urban, 3 suburban open space farms, soil-based and greenhouse
    • BUSINESS: Non-profit, market sales, CSA
    • SITE: Based on available space and proximity to urban youth
  • 25. GOTHAM GREENS QUEENS, NYC
  • 26. GOTHAM GREENS PART 3: THE SPECTRUM OF COMMERCIAL URBAN AGRICULTURE
    • KEY CHARACTERISTICS
    • GROWING SYSTEM: Rooftop greenhouse hydroponics
    • PRODUCING : Lettuce
    • BUSINESS : Sales to retailers and restaurants
    “ We don’t just blindly talk about being “local” “sustainable” and “natural”. While our business is about those things, we care about what those things stand for: flavor and nutrition, preserving water and soil resources, biodiversity, reducing harmful chemical use in food production, fair treatment of workers, and spending our dollars closer to home.”
  • 27. THE PLANT CHICAGO, IL
  • 28. THE PLANT, CHICAGO
    • KEY CHARACTERISTICS
    • GROWING SYSTEM : Aquaponics, anaerobic digester, brewery
    • PRODUCING: Lettuce, fish, fish feed, fertilizer, biogas, beer, kombucha
    • BUSINESS : Rents, waste mgmt, produce and biosolid sales
    • SITE: Relationship with landlord
    “ Plant Chicago is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable food production, entrepreneurship, and building reuse through education, research and development.”
  • 29. THE PLANT, CHICAGO
    • KEY CHARACTERISTICS:
    • Growing system and crops
    • Business model
    • Market
    • Mission
    • Site selection
    • Regulatory avenue (how were they permitted)
  • 30.
    • SYSNTHESIS OF CASE STUDIES
    • “ You just need to have friends in the right places”
    • Funding schedules out of sync with regulatory schedules
    • Planning is just one challenge out of many
  • 31. PART 4: PLANNING BARRIERS
  • 32. Urban farms are not gardens
    • Commercial urban agriculture can create green space in urban areas…
    • But they are not “open space”
    • We will continue to run into problems, if we try to fit urban farms into an open space category
  • 33. Unintentional Barriers to Implementation
    • How does planning and regulation keep innovative projects from getting off the ground:
      • Zoning approvals
      • Building permits
      • Health regulations
      • State and federal regulations
  • 34. Planners and farmers
    • Entrepreneurs are in the lead in creating innovative urban farms – but need a guide through regulations
    • Planners can support, catalyze urban agriculture
    • Removing barriers is the first step
    • Planners can also lead in creating a community vision and then create incentives and appropriate regulations
  • 35. Zoning Code
    • Barriers in the zoning ordinance:
    • Definitions
    • Prohibited in districts
    • Use standards
    • Site standards
    • Approval process
    • Local code: selectively enforced
  • 36. Building Code
    • Problems for urban agriculture related to:
    • Greenhouses, hoop houses, etc.
    • Hydroponics, aquaponics
    • State code: selectively enforced at the local level
  • 37. Health Code
    • Barriers in the health code:
    • Refrigerated supply chain
    • Processing and kitchen licensing
    • Livestock as disease vectors
    • State code – locally enforced, risk adverse culture
  • 38. Broader Regulatory Landscape
  • 39.  
  • 40. It ’s gonna be okay
    • These challenges are complicated
    • But we are learning to address them
    • Ultimately this is a land-use challenge
    • And, these are systems that work
  • 41. PART 5: PLANNING FOR COMMERCIAL URBAN AGRICULTURE
  • 42. The Planning Vision
    • What do you want agriculture to accomplish?
      • Economic development
      • Education and public health
    • Build support for your vision
      • Comprehensive plan amendment
      • Master plan or departmental policy
      • Food system plan
      • Land inventory
  • 43. Planning and Perception redevelopment jobs opportunity growth construction infrastructure hip high-rise entertainment retail gentrification plantations pollution agriculture justice food health community dirty Shaping a community vision about opportunity Francesville, Philadelphia
  • 44. The Zoning Mindset
    • Urban agriculture is ultimately a land-use question
    • Zoning supports public and private goods and
    • minimizes public and private harms
  • 45. Zoning for Agriculture Overview
      • Definition
      • Districts
      • Use standards
      • Site standards
      • Approval process
  • 46.
    • “ Production of fruits and vegetables, raising of animals, and cultivation of fish for locale sale and consumption.”
    • Recognize links to food system
    • Peri-urban, suburban, urban
    • Diverse farm typologies
    APA Definition of urban agriculture
  • 47.
    • Fungi
    • Flowers
    • Large vs. small livestock
    • Location
    • Size, yield, and revenue
    • Hydroponics and aquaponics
    • Processing and distribution
    • For-profit vs. non-profit
    • Mechanized or manual only
    Pushing this definition further
  • 48.
    • Defining Urban Agriculture
    • Essential elements:
    • Crops and livestock
    • Scale
    • Activities
    • Organization
  • 49. Districts and land use
    • Allow farming in the right districts
    • Commercial viability
    • Farming districts
    Residential Commercial Industrial Open Space Advantages Most common, lower density, close to market Commercial activity allowed, Lowest nuisance, less expensive Few competing land uses Disadvantages Highest potential for nuisance, limits on sales and processing Expensive, density high or very low, competition with other uses Highest likelihood of pollution, conflicting uses in vicinity, risk of redevelopment May not allow commercial activity
  • 50. USE STANDARDS – Special rules for bees and other animals
    • Site Standards:
    • Setbacks and dimensional standards
    • Floor area ratio
    • Landscaping and blight standards
    • Accessory structures
    • Parking
    • Use Standards
    • Livestock
      • - Small animals
      • - Large animals
      • Bees
      • Fish
    • Sales
    • Processing & Distribution
    • Farm machinery
  • 51. ANIMALS AND OTHER SURPRISES FOR THE NEIGHBORS
  • 52. RETAIL SALES AND DISTRIBUTION
  • 53. SITE STANDARDS
    • Site Standards
    • Setbacks and dimensional standards
    • Floor area ratio
    • Landscaping and blight standards
    • Accessory structures
    • Fencing and lighting
    • Signage
    • Parking
  • 54. SPECIALIZED FARM STRUCTURES COMPOST
  • 55. NUTRIENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT: COMPOST, VERMICULTURE & MANURE
  • 56.
    • Approvals:
    • By right?
    • Conditional approvals
    • Which board?
    • Criteria
    APPROVALS PROCESS
  • 57. Policies, Politics & Advocacy REGULATION AND ADVOCACY: DRIVERS OF URBAN AGRICULTURE ACROSS SCALES
  • 58. So where do I start? Great online resources Community organizations Diagnostic checklist
  • 59. PART 6: QUESTIONS?