Posted by: MM | January 18, 2013

Justice for Community Gardens

Jan 18, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer - Ed Hille / Staff PhotographerPhiladelphia Inquirer has published a story on a topic that has been a key point of discussion among local food systems stakeholders throughout the City of Philadelphia for a few months. The city’s new zoning code has been in place for only a year and it is slated for a review of what’s working and what isn’t. However, recently Councilman O’Neill proposed an amendment to the code that would require new and existing community gardens and farms to get permission from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Community gardenrs, stakeholders, and garden advocates throughout the city are upset that they would have to waste so much time to deal with bureaucracy – the time that they could use to write grant applications or produce food. Attorney Cahn estimates that this “special exception” process would cost all applicats $250 per parcel, in addition to legal fees.

If this amendment is passed (scheduled for a full Council vote on January 24th), “[a]pplicants must schedule a hearing, post notices on the property, notify neighbors and the district Council person, meet with community groups, provide testimony at the hearing, demonstrate that the proposed use is consistent with the code and related standards, and, if opponents testify that the garden has adversely affected the neighborhood, submit evidence to the contrary.”

Read the story for more dteails.


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