Community Gardens Nourish Neighborhoods, Promote Sustainability
On March 2nd, LFUCG City Council voted unanimously to pass the Market Gardens ZOTA. This new ordinance will allow community garden crops to be sold on site with appropriate regulation. We are proud to have supported this initiative and applaud our City Council Members for promoting affordable and sustainable local food production.
The multiple benefits of community gardens are well-documented and include:
- Increased access to fresh goods and improved food security;
- Increased physical activity through garden maintenance;
- Reduced risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases;
- Increased social and community ties;
- Productive use of vacant properties that can be magnets for litter, drug use, and crime;
- Education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities; and
- Improved air and soil quality and other environmental benefits.
In April of 2015, the Urban County Council adopted an amendment to the Code of Ordinances permitting community gardens in every zoning category throughout Fayette County. The definition of “community garden” limits the sale of crops to off-site locations.
On January 26, 2017, the Planning Commission approved a text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to permit market gardens, or gardens where crops can be sold on-site, with appropriate regulation. The text amendment allows market gardens as principal uses in most business zones, but would require a conditional use permit to be obtained before sales could be offered on-site in any residential or industrial zone.
The stated purpose of the Community Gardens Ordinance and Market Gardens text amendment is to promote sustainable and affordable local food production. The text amendment advances this important goal, while providing reasonable oversight of commercial activity in our residential and industrial zones.
Learn more by reading our position letter to City Council.