Municipalities in Iowa and across the nation are increasingly recognizing the multiple benefits of urban agriculture; however, zoning regulations can unintentionally impede urban agriculture. To respond to this challenge the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University funded Gary Taylor and Andrea Vaage to develop the Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa guidebook. The guidebook provides science-based guidance and sample zoning code language designed to reduce the barriers to, and promote production and sales activities commonly associated with urban agriculture. Although written for Iowa, the guidebook contains practical information and code language applicable to any local jurisdiction.
The guidebook can be found by going to the top of this page and clicking on the “Local Food Systems projects” tab.
To develop the guidebook the authors collected zoning code language from 84 municipalities across the nation on a variety of topics related to urban agriculture, and also researched practice-oriented scientific publications from a variety of sources, such as the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Cooperative Extension publications from several university Extension services. The result is guidebook chapters that address the following common urban agriculture uses: aquaculture, bees, chickens, goats, front-yard gardens, community and market gardens, gardening on vacant lots, urban farms, season extenders, composting, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) drop-sites, farm stands, farmers markets, food trucks and pushcarts, and urban agriculture districts. Each chapter provides a general description of the activity, and the science-based information on standards and best practices associated with the activity; the public health, safety and welfare concerns commonly associated with the activity; a summary of the commonalities found among municipalities’ codes; and sample code language taken from municipalities that vary both in size and location.
A webinar will be hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on September 30, 2015 from noon to 1:00p.m. Central time to inform participants of the issues associated with zoning and urban agriculture, and to introduce the guidebook to planning officials and city staff of Iowa municipalities.
To access the link to the webinar you can again go to the top of this page and click on the “Local Food Systems projects” tab.