Big Ideas for Small Business: Growing Cleveland


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Big Ideas for Small Business: Growing Cleveland

  1. 1. Policy, Programs and Incentives to Improve Community, Economy and Environment with Urban Agriculture and a Local, Sustainable Food System. GROWING CLEVELAND
  2. 2. Page 2 CITY OF CLEVELAND SUSTAINABLE CLEVELAND 2019: YEAR OF LOCAL FOOD LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT IN CLEVELAND Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s agenda to transform Cleveland into a thriving, sustainable City has resulted in impactful policies and programs that support the creation of a more local, sustainable food system. The City of Cleveland defines local food as the ―production, process, distribution and consumption of food within a 100 mile radius.‖ The focus on creating a local food economy is a key component of Mayor Jackson’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative. Living and growing as a sustainable city will ensure Cleveland’s longevity. Sustainable Cleveland is a 10- year initiative that engages everyone to work together to design and develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland that leverages its wealth of assets to build economic, social and environmental well -being for all. The City of Cleveland’s programs and policies impact all parts of a local sustainable food system including land use, production, processing, distribution, retail outlets and consumer access. A focus on local food is essential for Cleveland because of the environmental, community and economic benefits. While a focus on local food can lead to a significant improvement in air and soil quality and a reduction of the city’s carbon footprint, it also represents a sector that can increase wealth, and create jobs. The City of Cleveland strives to lead by example in local foods and urban agriculture. As a founding member of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition in 2007, the municipal government has collaborated to create a variety of innovative policy and programs that are quickly becoming best practices nationwide. In 2008, SustainLane ranked Cleveland as the second best City in the nation for its local food and urban agriculture work, and in 2010, Travel and Leisure named Cleveland one of the ―World’s Most Visionary Cities‖ for the same reason. Cleveland has more than 200 Community Gardens, a dozen farmers’ markets, 20 urban farms and market gardens, and more than 25 Community Supported Agriculture programs. These local food assets help to address the region’s food desserts—areas that lack access to healthy foods. MAYOR FRANK JACKSON ON SUSTAINABILITY Cleveland is becoming a leader in sustainable development. By integrating the principles of sustainability with economic development, we are strengthening our local economy and positioning Cleveland for future prosperity. By adopting this approach, we have helped grow the local food economy here in Cleveland, supported new businesses and created new jobs.
  3. 3. Page 3 URBAN AGRICULTURE URBAN AGRICULTURE ZONING TRANSFORMATIONS AGRICULTURE & FARM STANDS IN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS  Most fundamental change was amendment to zoning code to permit agriculture as principal use of vacant lot in residential districts;  Allows sale of produce from farm stands in residential districts with case by case approval by City’s Board of Zoning Appeals. Neighborhood Farm Stand City Fresh Garden RESTRICTIONS ON THE KEEPING OF FARM ANIMALS & BEES “CHICKENS & BEES”  The most highly publicized of Cleveland’s regulatory changes to promote urban agriculture;  Allows citizens to raise up to 6 chickens, small animals, and up to 2 beehives on small vacant lots and backyard areas;  Requires bi-annual licensing by the City’s Public Health Department;  Championed by Councilman Joe Cimperman and the Planning Department of the City of Cleveland Chicken Coop on a Residential Lot Backyard Beehive For more information on Zoning, please contact Robert Brown, Director of City Planning Commis- sion at (216) 664-3467.
  4. 4. Page 4 CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN GARDEN ZONING DISTRICT  Adopted one of the nation’s first urban garden district zoning ordinances, allowing the City of Cleveland to zone land exclusively for urban garden use;  Prohibits non-agricultural uses unless the land is rezoned through a public hearing process with notices mailed to residents in the neighborhood;  Urban gardens were considered a ―temporary‖ use for land that is waiting to be developed. Today, urban gardens may be the ―highest & best‖ use of a vacant lot and therefore warrant protection through zoning; LOCAL PRODUCER, FOOD PURCHASER AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS INCENTIVE  One of the first cities to provide incentives to companies that buy at least 20 percent of contract totals from regional growers. This ordinance promotes self-help for the regional economy by providing incentives/credits to companies that compete for City work;  Local producers which fabricate, process or supply goods as well as companies which grow food in the region can receive a 2 percent bid discount or evaluation credits;  Companies located in the region which meet certain sustainability practices set by the Office of Sustainability can receive a 2 percent bid discount or evaluation credits;  Companies located anywhere which purchase at least 20 percent of the amount of their City contract from local producers can receive a 2 percent bid discount or evaluation credits. URBAN AGRICULTURE ZONING TRANSFORMATIONS For more information on sustainability initiatives, please contact the Office of Sustainability at (216) 664-2445.
  5. 5. Page 5 URBAN AGRICULTURE GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS PROGRAM In the summer of 2008, the City of Cleveland introduced and passed legislation which created the Gardening for Greenbacks Program that provides grants up to $3,000 to businesses, merchants, or local farmers. The program assists with the acquisition of tools, irrigation equipment, fencing, and other appropriate items needed for urban gardening. The grant is provided to entrepreneurs who sell their produce through local farmer’s markets, CSA’s (community supported agriculture) or to local restaurants as a for-profit business. The program was created to advance the local food system agenda and establish Cleveland as a model for local food system development. The City has approved grant funding for 15 urban farms under the Gardening for Greenbacks Program. In summer 2012, the City revised the Gardening for Greenbacks Program by increasing grant amounts up to $5,000 per eligible business. The increase in grant funding is due to a financial grant contribution to the program by CoBank, AgriBank, and Farm Credit Mid-America for the next three years. These entities decided to contribute to the program due to its focus on Economic Development and their belief that Cleveland is a leader in the area of urban gardening. Erie’s Edge Farm Erie’s Edge Farm located in Ward 3 began when Molly Murray returned to Cleveland after teaching and farming in southern Ohio. In 2011, Erin Laffay also returned to Cleveland and the two women decided to partner and expand with the goal of reaching more people with organic, sustainably grown food. The farm is collaborating with the Urban Growth Farm to form the Heart of the City CSA. CSA programs benefit farmers by providing up-front dollars for supplies as well as a guaranteed market for what they grow. This promotes a lifestyle of wellness and less energy use. Old Husher’s Farm Old Husher’s Farm, is a market garden located in Ward 18 operated by Justin Husher. The company received the City’s Gardening for Greenbacks Program support to partially fund gardening related equipment and costs. The project uses food growth as an agent of change in an attempt to bring vacant urban land to productive reuse. In addition to incorporating green sustainability and entrepreneurial gardening initiatives, Old Husher’s Farm focuses on creating healthy bodies through the implementation of a ―community yoga in the garden‖ series. They sell their produce at local farmers markets and on-site during the growing season. For more information on the Gardening for Greenbacks Program please contact Kevin Schmotzer, Executive of Small Business Development at (216) 664-3720.
  6. 6. Page 6 CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE The City of Cleveland, through a public-private partnership including the Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland and the Community Development Corporation, Burten Bell Carr Development, Inc. has supported many of the projects in the Lower Kinsman Corridor. The Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone was a previous residential area, adjacent to a heavy industrial area – much like the majority of the City of Cleveland with its manufacturing heritage. The area was consumed by a fire in 1976, due to low water pressure. Only a few houses remained after the fire. The City provided funding for the environmental testing working with the USEPA to insure the area would be safe for urban farming. 2011 Before Photo
  7. 7. Page 7 URBAN AGRICULTURE URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE Urban Agriculture Incubator Pilot Project: The project is a partnership of the City of Cleveland, the Ohio State Department of Agriculture, Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc., Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland and Ohio State University Extension- (Cuyahoga County) The project developed 6 acres of City land bank property as an urban agriculture incubator between East 81st and East 83rd Street, north of Kinsman Avenue in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood. The OSU Extension received the first-ever Federal agriculture grant for an urban location and the City received the first-ever State agriculture grant for an urban location. As part of the local CDC’s community plan, the area in the Central neighborhood was designated for agricultural development. The site includes an instruction area where 20 prospective farmers will receive intensive training in urban agriculture, direct marketing, and business planning. The Department of Community Development utilized 6 acres of land through its Land Bank Program and manages the leasing of the property to program participants. Each of the farmers will be provided quarter-acre market garden plots for cultivation. The total acreage of the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone is 26 acres. The Urban Agriculture Zone includes the Rid-All Green Partnership and the OSU Cooperative Extension’s Kinsman Farm, with room to grow.
  9. 9. Page 9 URBAN AGRICULTURE URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE Rid-All Green Partnership Rid-All Green Partnership, a minority-owned business founded by three local entrepreneurs, Randell McShepard, Damien Forshe, and Keymah Durden, has become a key partner in the vision of the Urban Agricultural Innovation Zone. Their campus uses urban agriculture to educate the next generation of Clevelanders about sustainable healthy living. The mission of Rid-All Green Partnership is to transform communities by providing accessible and nutritionally rich food to improve overall health through training and educational activities. They operate a self-sustaining food production system that produces vegetables and tilapia through aquaponics, a year-round growing method, where runoff from the overhead garden feed the fish and the fish tank water irrigates the plants. They have partnered with the West Side Market and Cleveland Food Bank to collect food waste for composting. Rid-All Green Partnership is seeking to increase its capacity by expanding the space it has to operate. They are proposing to create additional hydroponics and aquaponics stations at the project site across from their current facility. This will allow them to use their existing hoop houses to grow kale, spinach, celery, and broccoli in the winter months, while the new structure will focus on tomatoes which are scarce in the Cleveland during the winter months. The Rid-All Green Partnership anchors the 26-acre Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone. They acquired the land from the City land bank in 2010. By 2011, the land was consolidated, excavated and plans for the project started to come to fruition. Rid-All Green Partnership has been harvesting the following: Rid–All Successes Fresh Produce - 150 - 200 pounds of fresh vegetables and locally-grown produce a week are harvested. Much of the vegetables and produce has been sold to local residents, Sirna & Sons, a local food distributor in Cleveland and to the St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. Produce grown and sold includes: corn, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, peppers, celery, collard greens, kale, broccoli, spinach and herbs such as sweet basil, thyme and oregano; (continued)
  10. 10. Page 10 CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE (Rid All Successes continued) Aquaponics – an average of 20 pounds of tilapia are sold each week through Rid-All’s aquaponics system on site. The fish are sold directly to residents or local chefs. Today, there are over 3,000 live tilapia available on site for purchase. The fish became available for sale in February of this year while commanding a $7 per pound price. Composting – a ¼ acre of the site is dedicated to composting. The Cleveland Food Bank brings 4-10 tons a week of damaged / spoiled vegetables, fruit and produce for composting that would have ended up in a landfill. The City of Cleveland delivers 100-200 yards of wood chips and leaf hummus per week. When ready and available, the compost is sold by the 4-pound bag to local residents or can be delivered in bulk for commercial use or market gardens. Rid-All Green Partnership is selling approximately 400-500 cubic yards of compost a week. Greenhouse Training Project—Future expansion of the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone is currently underway. Additional land (16 parcels) are being acquired and consolidated in 2012. The land will be used to build the Greenhouse Training Project. Project costs are estimated at $800,000. As part of the project, two classrooms will be installed to conduct training, a food prep kitchen, a retail store, interior urban gardens and a second aquaponics system will be added. Zero pesticides will be used at the site. Upon completion, 25 jobs will be created. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2013.
  11. 11. Page 11 URBAN AGRICULTURE NEIGHBORHOOD LOCAL FOOD DEVELOPMENT For more information on Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. please contact Timothy Tramble, Executive Director at (216) 341-1455 or at
  12. 12. Page 12 CITY OF CLEVELAND Green City Growers: The City of Cleveland was the first to receive Federal and State grants for the development of urban agriculture. The City was awarded the following grants to assist Green City Growers, a local co- operative, with their $16.5 million project: (1) a $2 million BEDI Grant, (2) $8 million in HUD 108 Loan funding secured by the City, (3) $450,000 in the City’s EDA Funds, and (4) approximately $6 million in private debt and New Markets Tax Credit equity. The greenhouse will primarily produce lettuce and other leafy greens. It is expected to reach an annual production of 3 million heads. One percent of the production will be provided to the Cleveland Food Bank to be distributed throughout Cleveland’s east side. The donation is expected to provide In addition, the project will be part of the Evergreen Initiative, which works to help lift low- income residents out of poverty. The Initiative focuses on hiring individuals from the neighborhood to become employee-owners, while creating additional wealth and ownership in the community. In 10 years, the average employee is expected to have earned an ownership share valued at $65,000 in equity. The Green City Growers project expects to hire 40 local residents for the operation of the greenhouse at peak capacity. The project will target individuals with criminal records and a history of homelessness in an attempt to offer a pathway out of recidivism and poverty. The City and Green City Growers partnered with the local non-profit CDC, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. to assemble the individual parcels necessary for the 10-acre development site. Land assembly required the acquisition of over 30 parcels in compliance with Uniform Relocation Act regulations. The project team faced numerous challenges in moving homeowners and provided services including real estate search assistance, extermination, moving, and creative deal structures, including land swaps, in order to meet the needs of the relocated property owners. GREEN CITY GROWERS The Greenhouse under construction, May 2012.
  13. 13. Page 13 URBAN AGRICULTURE LOCAL FOOD PROJECTS & PARTNERS Bistro at Bridgeport Place The City of Cleveland assisted Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc. with a match of $40,000 to help them win an HHS grant of $759,374 to establish a fresh food production center. The aim is to improve access to fresh fruits, vegetables and nutritious meals and eliminating food deserts in underserved communities. It will feature fresh food stands, a cafe serving hot meals with organic foods made from local products and a community kitchen where local farmers will store fresh produce while reputable chefs will hold cooking demonstrations to teach residents how to prepare healthy meals. The construction for the project will be completed in Fall 2012 and is expected to serve at least 20,000 citizens in the first year and create 64 jobs for low-income residents. Cleveland Crops Cleveland Crops is an agricultural training and employment collaboration between the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, SAW, Inc. and Ohio State University Extension — Cuyahoga County. The project currently employs more than 40 adults with developmental disabilities in urban agriculture. Cleveland Crops has a half a dozen farms in Cleveland including a garden in front of City Hall at Willard Park near the Free Stamp. They are currently developing other farms in Cleveland with the goal of employing up to 100 individuals with developmental disabilities over the next three years. They are currently constructing their agricultural education center at 5320 Stanard Avenue. This value added project will include a one half acre greenhouse, produce processing, dehydration, refrigerated storage, a commercial kitchen, a vehicle storage garage, several hoop houses and other season extension structures for year round farming and employment.
  14. 14. Page 14 CITY OF CLEVELAND SUMMER SPROUT COMMUNITY GARDEN PROGRAM Summer Sprout Program Summer Sprout is the City of Cleveland’s oldest and largest community gardening program. Starting with the Morganic Garden located in the Slavic Village neighborhood, the City has supported community gardens through the Summer Sprout program since 1976. Since that time, Summer Sprout has grown to include 3,631 gardeners who cultivate more than 40 acres at 180 gardens in all 19 wards of the City. The City funds the program with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and contracts with the Ohio State University Extension Program to administer the program. Participants in this program are eligible to lease City-owned land, receive seeds, starter plants, topsoil, humus, soil testing and lumber for raised beds. The program is administered by the OSU Extension- Cuyahoga County, who provide on-site technical assistance and a range of research based education. Ben Franklin Community Garden Located in the South Hills neighborhood of Old Brooklyn since 1919, the Ben Franklin Community Garden is one of the largest and oldest community gardens in the city. The Garden has 204 plots and has approximately 180 gardeners per year. The garden is in the back portion of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, and was originally part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s school garden program. A children’s garden has been incorporated into the current site to continue the legacy. The Summer Sprout program assists both the youth and neighborhood gardeners with plants and assistance with their crops each year. The garden is well represented each year at the Cuyahoga County fair, where the garden has won Best Community Garden since 2008. In addition, the garden makes a substantial contribution to the Cuya- hoga County Food Bank each year. For more information on the Summer Sprout Program, contact Jim Thompson with the OSU Extension at (216) 429-8200 Ext. 246
  15. 15. Page 15 URBAN AGRICULTURE CLEVELAND LAND REUTILIZATION PROGRAM Re-Imagining Cleveland Pilot Program The City of Cleveland’s Land Bank Program takes title to vacant and abandoned property - primarily through tax foreclosure - and makes the land available at subsidized rates so that it can be put to a productive use. Increasingly, the City has encouraged and marketed land bank lots to urban farmers and gardeners. City’s Land Bank Program has reviewed 84 applications greening and gardening projects since 2010. Many of the sites profiled in this packet, including the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone, are developed on land bank land leased from the City. To encourage this activity, the Department of Community Development has funded 68 community gardens, market gardens and greening sites throughout Cleveland through the Re-Imagining Cleveland Pilot Program. This program was inspired by the Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland study, which recommends strategies and policy reforms to reposition vacant land as a community asset. The Vineyards of Chateau Hough Formed on three city-owned parcels in May 2010, this Re-Imagining Cleveland project is maintained by Mansfield and Brenda Frazier. This vineyard, which is located on three quarters of an acre on Hough Avenue, grows 300 vines of wine-making Traminette and Frontenac grapes. In addition to establishing a small local business, the project is also focused on education, serving as a learning lab for participants in a local prison reentry program. Participants not only become versed in horticulture best practices from existing urban and rural vineyards, they also develop entrepreneurial skills. Neighborhood youth, along with residents of nearby half-way houses and transitional homes, volunteered the work and labor necessary for the vineyard. This project has been featured in several media outlets, including The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Magazine, The Smithsonian Magazine and Wine Spectator among others.
  16. 16. Page 16 CITY OF CLEVELAND CITY OF CLEVELAND GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS Kevin Schmotzer Executive for Small Business Growth Department of Economic Development 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 210 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-3720 Tracey Nichols, Director Department of Economic Development 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 210 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-3611 CITY OF CLEVELAND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Daryl Rush, Director Department of Community Development 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 320 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-4000 CITY OF CLEVELAND CITY PLANNING COMMISSION Robert Brown, Director City Planning Commission 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 501 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-3467 CITY OF CLEVELAND OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY Jenita McGowan, Chief of Sustainability Office of Sustainability 601 Lakeside Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-2445 URBAN AGRICULTURE INFORMATION URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE BISTRO AT BRIDGEPORT PLACE BURTEN BELL CARR DEVELOPMENT, INC. Tim Tramble, Executive Director Burten Bell Carr Development, Inc. 7201 Kinsman Road, Suite 104 Cleveland, Ohio 44104 (216) 341-1455 OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga County Morgan Taggart, Program Specialist Jim Thompson, Program Coordinator Summer Sprout Program Agriculture and Natural Resources 9127 Miles Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44105 (216) 429-8200 CLEVELAND CROPS PROGRAM Ifeoma Ezepue, Economic Development Manager Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities & SAW, Inc. dba Cleveland Crops 1275 Lakeside Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 736-4569 CLEVELAND LAND BANK PROGRAM Lilli Roberts, Land Bank Application Specialist 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 320 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-4126