Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HEY! Get Out Of My Garden

I did a google search on "urban garden" and this website, Urban Gardening Help was the second website listed (the first one was a person's personal site):

Urban landscapes are often viewed as barren and cold scenes of concrete, asphalt and glass. They are portrayed as the opposite of the rural pastoral setting, rich in vegetation and greenery. However, in the biggest city, in the tiniest apartment, there exists the possibility to reconnect with the natural world through gardening.

Your urban home or apartment does not have to exist as a lifeless box of concrete. Nor do you have to give up the advantages of a big-city metropolitan lifestyle to take pleasure in the joys of gardening.

Whether you plant herbs in a window box, maintain a large flower garden in your backyard, or grow veggies in a local community garden, you can garden in the big city. Additionally, the simple act of planting a small flower garden, a tree, or vegetables helps the environment and instills more pride in your community. Even if you aren’t an avid gardener, you can still get involved in local gardening and urban agricultural projects such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

Urban gardening and urban agriculture are ideas that are becoming increasingly important as our world becomes more urbanized and developers transform agriculturally fertile lands and open spaces into sprawling suburbs. This site is dedicated to those environmentally-conscious urban dwellers who want to create a green corner devoted to nature in their own home, or who want to support community-based gardening or agriculture projects in their neighborhood.

"The City" issued this news release today:
Council Initiates Urban Gardens Zoning Amendment

The Springfield City Council Monday approved initiating a zoning amendment that would permit less-intense urban garden uses in all zoning districts, while requiring a conditional-use permit for higher-intensity gardens.

Council Bill 2009-124 simply starts the process to consider this text amendment to Springfield’s Zoning Ordinance.

The following changes to the Zoning Ordinance are proposed:

Add the definition of “Urban Gardens” in Section 2-1100;

Modify the Permitted Uses section in all zoning districts to allow low-intensity urban garden uses;

Modify the Conditional Uses section in residential zoning districts to allow more intense urban garden uses;

Add a section to the Conditional Use Standards that addresses intensity issues such as noise, heavy machinery, hours of operation, accessory buildings, off-street parking, chemicals and fertilizers, and retail or wholesale businesses located on the premise, and;

Delete all references to truck gardens, which are not defined, in the Zoning Ordinance.

Council’s action Monday night begins the process of review and recommendations by the City staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission before it would return to the City Council for final consideration.

Public hearings will be held before the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, July 9, 2009, and the Springfield City Council on Monday, July 27, 2009.
Both hearings will be held at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, on the third floor of Historic City Hall. The public have the opportunity to speak to the proposed amendment at both hearings.

A staff report describing the proposed amendment in detail will be delivered to the Planning and Zoning Commission and made available to the public on Thursday, July 2, 2009.

For more information, contact: Daniel Neal, Senior City Planner, 864-1036.

What is the definition of "urban garden" as described in Second 2-1100?

What is the difference between a "low intensity" and a "more intense" urban garden?

Why is "The City" giving me permission to do something (plant a garden) I already can do without their permission? The amendment probably makes sense to Colonel Scheisskopf ("Due to circumstances beyond my control, there will be no big parade this Sunday afternoon.")

I live down the road from Fassnight Creek Farm---is that a truck farm or an urban garden? (Locally produced food presumably doesn't have as big of carbon footprint as food trucked in from California.)

If we do what Ozarks Harvesting Hope suggests, do we shift from a 'low intensity' garden to a 'more intense' garden?

If this "simply starts the process to consider this text amendment", who deigned it necessary? Dan Chiles? He was the sponsor of the bill. But under each bill, after the sponsors name, is this statement: "Sponsorship does not denote Council member approval or support."

I gotta agree with the Jackehammer on this one.

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