Growing Cleveland


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Policy, programs and incentives to improve community, economy and environment with urban agriculture and a local, sustainable food system. This publication is a combined effort of Mayor Jackson's Office of Sustainability, the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development and the Department of Community Development.

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Growing Cleveland

  1. 1. GROWING CLEVELAND Policy, Programs and Incentives to ImproveCommunity, Economy and Environment with UrbanAgriculture and a Local, Sustainable Food System.
  2. 2. CITY OF CLEVELANDSUSTAINABLE CLEVELAND 2019: YEAR OF LOCAL FOODMAYOR FRANK JACKSON ON SUSTAINABILITYCleveland is becoming a leader in sustainable development. By integrating the principles ofsustainability with economic development, we are strengthening our local economy and positioningCleveland for future prosperity. By adopting this approach, we have helped grow the local foodeconomy here in Cleveland, supported new businesses and created new jobs.LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT IN CLEVELANDMayor Frank G. Jackson’s agenda to transform Cleveland into a thriving, sustainable City hasresulted in impactful policies and programs that support the creation of a more local, sustainable foodsystem. The City of Cleveland defines local food as the ―production, process, distribution andconsumption 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 andpolicies 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 forCleveland because of the environmental, community and economic benefits. While a focus on localfood can lead to a significant improvement in air and soil quality and a reduction of the city’s carbonfootprint, 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 foundingmember of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition in 2007, the municipalgovernment has collaborated to create a variety of innovative policy and programs that are quicklybecoming best practices nationwide. In 2008, SustainLane ranked Cleveland as the second best Cityin the nation for its local food and urban agriculture work, and in 2010, Travel and Leisure namedCleveland 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 25Community Supported Agriculture programs. These local food assetshelp to address the region’s food desserts—areas that lack access tohealthy foods. Page 2
  3. 3. URBAN AGRICULTURE URBAN AGRICULTURE ZONING TRANSFORMATIONSAGRICULTURE & 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 GardenRESTRICTIONS 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 BeehiveFor more information on Zoning, please contact Robert Brown, Director of City Planning Commis-sion at (216) 664-3467. Page 3
  4. 4. CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE ZONING TRANSFORMATIONSURBAN 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.For more information on sustainability initiatives, please contact the Office of Sustainability at(216) 664-2445. Page 4
  5. 5. URBAN AGRICULTURE GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS PROGRAMIn the summer of 2008, the City of Cleveland introduced and passed legislation which created theGardening for Greenbacks Program that provides grants up to $3,000 to businesses, merchants, orlocal farmers. The program assists with the acquisition of tools, irrigation equipment, fencing, andother appropriate items needed for urban gardening. The grant is provided to entrepreneurs who selltheir produce through local farmer’s markets, CSA’s (community supported agriculture) or to localrestaurants as a for-profit business. The program was created to advance the local food systemagenda and establish Cleveland as a model for local food system development. The City hasapproved 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 grantamounts up to $5,000 per eligible business. The increase in grant funding is due to a financial grantcontribution to the program by CoBank, AgriBank, and Farm Credit Mid-America for the next threeyears. These entities decided to contribute to the program due to its focus on Economic Developmentand their belief that Cleveland is a leader in the area of urban gardening.Erie’s Edge FarmErie’s Edge Farm located in Ward 3 began whenMolly Murray returned to Cleveland after teachingand farming in southern Ohio. In 2011, Erin Laffayalso returned to Cleveland and the two womendecided to partner and expand with the goal ofreaching more people with organic, sustainably grownfood. The farm is collaborating with the UrbanGrowth Farm to form the Heart of the City CSA. CSAprograms benefit farmers by providing up-frontdollars for supplies as well as a guaranteed market forwhat they grow. This promotes a lifestyle of wellnessand 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. Page 5
  6. 6. CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONEThe City of Cleveland, through a public-privatepartnership including the Ward 5 CouncilwomanPhyllis Cleveland and the Community DevelopmentCorporation, Burten Bell Carr Development, Inc. hassupported many of the projects in the Lower KinsmanCorridor. The Urban Agriculture Innovation Zonewas a previous residential area, adjacent to a heavyindustrial area – much like the majority of the City ofCleveland with its manufacturing heritage. The areawas consumed by a fire in 1976, due to low waterpressure. Only a few houses remained after the fire.The City provided funding for the environmentaltesting working with the USEPA to insure the areawould be safe for urban farming. 2011 Before Photo Page 6
  7. 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 includesthe Rid-All Green Partnership and the OSU Cooperative Extension’s Kinsman Farm, with room to grow. Page 7
  9. 9. URBAN AGRICULTURE URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONERid-All Green PartnershipRid-All Green Partnership, a minority-ownedbusiness founded by three local entrepreneurs,Randell McShepard, Damien Forshe, and KeymahDurden, has become a key partner in the vision of theUrban Agricultural Innovation Zone. Their campususes urban agriculture to educate the next generationof Clevelanders about sustainable healthy living.The mission of Rid-All Green Partnership is totransform communities by providing accessible andnutritionally rich food to improve overall healththrough training and educational activities. Theyoperate a self-sustaining food production system thatproduces vegetables and tilapia through aquaponics,a year-round growing method, where runoff from theoverhead garden feed the fish and the fish tank waterirrigates the plants. They have partnered with theWest Side Market and Cleveland Food Bank tocollect food waste for composting.Rid-All Green Partnership is seeking to increase itscapacity by expanding the space it has to operate. They are proposing to create additional hydroponicsand aquaponics stations at the project site across from their current facility. This will allow them touse their existing hoop houses to grow kale, spinach, celery, and broccoli in the winter months, whilethe new structure will focus on tomatoes which are scarce in the Cleveland during the winter months.The Rid-All Green Partnership anchors the 26-acreUrban Agriculture Innovation Zone. They acquired theland from the City land bank in 2010. By 2011, theland was consolidated, excavated and plans for theproject started to come to fruition. Rid-All GreenPartnership has been harvesting the following: Rid–All SuccessesFresh Produce - 150 - 200 pounds of fresh vegetablesand locally-grown produce a week are harvested.Much of the vegetables and produce has been sold tolocal residents, Sirna & Sons, a local food distributor in Cleveland and to the St. Vincent CharityMedical 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) Page 9
  10. 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 aquaponicssystem on site. The fish are sold directly to residents or local chefs. Today, there are over 3,000 livetilapia available on site for purchase. The fish became available for sale in February of this year whilecommanding a $7 per pound price.Composting – a ¼ acre of the site is dedicated to composting. The Cleveland Food Bank brings 4-10tons a week of damaged / spoiled vegetables, fruit and produce for composting that would have endedup in a landfill. The City of Cleveland delivers 100-200 yards of wood chips and leaf hummus perweek. When ready and available, the compost is sold by the 4-pound bag to local residents or can bedelivered in bulk for commercial use or market gardens. Rid-All Green Partnership is sellingapproximately 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 aquaponicssystem will be added. Zero pesticides will be used at the site. Upon completion, 25 jobs will becreated. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2013. Page 10
  11. 11. URBAN AGRICULTURE NEIGHBORHOOD LOCAL FOOD DEVELOPMENTFor more information on Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. please contact Timothy Tramble,Executive Director at (216) 341-1455 or at Page 11
  12. 12. CITY OF CLEVELAND GREEN CITY GROWERSGreen City Growers:The City of Cleveland was the first to receive Federal and State grants for the development of urbanagriculture. 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 108Loan funding secured by the City, (3) $450,000 in the City’s EDA Funds, and (4) approximately $6million 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 annualproduction of 3 million heads. One percent of the production will be provided to the Cleveland FoodBank 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 criminalrecords and a history of homelessness in an attempt to offer a pathway out of recidivism and poverty. The Greenhouse under construction, May 2012.The City and Green City Growers partnered with the local non-profit CDC, Burten, Bell, CarrDevelopment, 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 RelocationAct regulations. The project team faced numerous challenges in moving homeowners and providedservices 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. Page 12
  13. 13. URBAN AGRICULTURE LOCAL FOOD PROJECTS & PARTNERSBistro at Bridgeport PlaceThe City of Cleveland assisted Burten, Bell, CarrDevelopment Inc. with a match of $40,000 to help themwin an HHS grant of $759,374 to establish a fresh foodproduction center. The aim is to improve access to freshfruits, vegetables and nutritious meals and eliminatingfood deserts in underserved communities. It will featurefresh food stands, a cafe serving hot meals with organicfoods made from local products and a communitykitchen where local farmers will store fresh producewhile reputable chefs will hold cooking demonstrationsto teach residents how to prepare healthy meals. The construction for the project will be completed inFall 2012 and is expected to serve at least 20,000 citizens in the first year and create 64 jobs forlow-income residents.Cleveland CropsCleveland Crops is an agriculturaltraining and employment collaborationbetween the Cuyahoga County Board ofDevelopmental Disabilities, SAW, Inc.and Ohio State University Extension —Cuyahoga County. The project currentlyemploys more than 40 adults withdevelopmental disabilities in urbanagriculture. Cleveland Crops has a half adozen farms in Cleveland including agarden in front of City Hall at WillardPark near the Free Stamp. They arecurrently developing other farms inCleveland with the goal of employing upto 100 individuals with developmentaldisabilities over the next three years.They are currently constructing theiragricultural education center at 5320 Stanard Avenue. This value added project will include a onehalf acre greenhouse, produce processing, dehydration, refrigerated storage, a commercial kitchen, avehicle storage garage, several hoop houses and other season extension structures for year roundfarming and employment. Page 13
  14. 14. CITY OF CLEVELAND SUMMER SPROUT COMMUNITY GARDEN PROGRAMSummer Sprout ProgramSummer Sprout is the City of Cleveland’s oldest and largest community gardening program. Startingwith the Morganic Garden located in the Slavic Village neighborhood, the City has supportedcommunity gardens through the Summer Sprout program since 1976. Since that time, Summer Sprouthas grown to include 3,631 gardeners who cultivate more than 40 acres at 180 gardens in all 19 wardsof the City. The City funds the program with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) fundsand 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 GardenLocated in the South Hills neighborhood of Old Brooklyn since 1919, the Ben Franklin CommunityGarden is one of the largest and oldest community gardens in the city. The Garden has 204 plots andhas approximately 180 gardeners per year. The garden is in the back portion of Benjamin FranklinElementary School, and was originally part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s schoolgarden program. A children’s garden has been incorporated into the current site to continue thelegacy. The Summer Sprout program assists both the youth and neighborhood gardeners with plantsand assistance with their crops each year.The garden is well represented each year at the Cuyahoga County fair, where the garden has won BestCommunity 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 Page 14
  15. 15. URBAN AGRICULTURE CLEVELAND LAND REUTILIZATION PROGRAMRe-Imagining Cleveland Pilot ProgramThe City of Cleveland’s Land Bank Program takes title to vacant and abandoned property - primarilythrough tax foreclosure - and makes the land available at subsidized rates so that it can be put to aproductive use. Increasingly, the City has encouraged and marketed land bank lots to urban farmersand gardeners. City’s Land Bank Program has reviewed 84 applications greening and gardeningprojects since 2010. Many of the sites profiled in this packet, including the Urban AgricultureInnovation Zone, are developed on land bank land leased from the City.To encourage this activity, the Department of Community Development has funded 68 communitygardens, market gardens and greening sites throughout Cleveland through the Re-ImaginingCleveland Pilot Program. This program was inspired by the Re-Imagining a More SustainableCleveland study, which recommends strategies and policy reforms to reposition vacant land as acommunity asset.The Vineyards of Chateau HoughFormed on three city-owned parcels in May 2010, this Re-Imagining Cleveland project is maintainedby Mansfield and Brenda Frazier. This vineyard, which is located on three quarters of an acre onHough Avenue, grows 300 vines of wine-makingTraminette and Frontenac grapes. In addition toestablishing a small local business, the project isalso focused on education, serving as a learning labfor participants in a local prison reentry program.Participants not only become versed in horticulturebest practices from existing urban and ruralvineyards, they also develop entrepreneurial skills.Neighborhood youth, along with residents of nearbyhalf-way houses and transitional homes, volunteeredthe work and labor necessary for the vineyard.This project has been featured in several media outlets, including The Plain Dealer, ClevelandMagazine, The Smithsonian Magazine and Wine Spectator among others. Page 15
  16. 16. CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INFORMATIONCITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONEGARDENING FOR GREENBACKS BISTRO AT BRIDGEPORT PLACEKevin Schmotzer BURTEN BELL CARR DEVELOPMENT, INC.Executive for Small Business Growth Tim Tramble, Executive DirectorDepartment of Economic Development Burten Bell Carr Development, Inc.601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 210 7201 Kinsman Road, Suite 104Cleveland, Ohio 44114 Cleveland, Ohio 44104(216) (216) 341-1455 ttramble@bbcdevelopment.orgTracey Nichols, DirectorDepartment of Economic Development OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 210 Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga CountyCleveland, Ohio 44114 Morgan Taggart, Program Specialist(216) 664-3611 Jim Thompson, Program Coordinator Summer Sprout ProgramCITY OF CLEVELAND Thompson.1608@osu.eduCOMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Agriculture and Natural ResourcesDaryl Rush, Director 9127 Miles AvenueDepartment of Community Development Cleveland, Ohio 44105601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 320 (216) 429-8200Cleveland, Ohio 44114(216) CLEVELAND CROPS PROGRAM Ifeoma Ezepue, Economic Development Manager Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental DisabilitiesCITY OF CLEVELAND & SAW, Inc. dba Cleveland CropsCITY PLANNING COMMISSION 1275 Lakeside AvenueRobert Brown, Director Cleveland, Ohio 44114City Planning Commission (216) 736-4569601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 501 ezepue.ifeoma@cuyahogabdd.orgCleveland, Ohio 44114(216) CLEVELAND LAND BANK PROGRAM Lilli Roberts, Land Bank Application SpecialistCITY OF CLEVELAND 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 320 Cleveland, Ohio 44114OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY (216) 664-4126Jenita McGowan, Chief of SustainabilityOffice of Sustainability Lroberts@city.cleveland.oh.us601 Lakeside AvenueCleveland, Ohio 44114(216) Page 16