Plan Commission to Consider Relatively Rule-Free Community Garden Ordinance

At this point, it's hard to recall precisely where we left off when last discussing the city's attempts to regulate community gardens; after all, it's only been a subject for discussion (and point of contention) since, like, June 2009? Last I remember, Kris Sweckard, managing director in the Office of Environmental Quality, was telling us that the Zoning Ordinance Committee would look at a handful of options and make its "best solution" recommendation to the City Plan Commission sooner than later.

Sooner's here a week from tomorrow, when the CPC gets its look at the latest version of the ordinance -- a rather streamlined version due, perhaps, to the fact ZOC had "little concern with the use in non-residential areas" and the fact that so far, city staff "has not experienced any major issues with existing community gardens in residential areas associated with churches and schools." In other words, much ado about nothing?

No one's at City Hall to comment till Monday (at least one city employee I know refers to today's mandatory day off as a "fur-cation"). But it appears as though the city's ditched almost all of the earlier rules and regulations -- fees too, as there were countless earlier proposals that involved would-be gardeners sinking hundreds of dollars into the city's coffers before they could plant a single seed. No fees, no parking requirements and no animals -- that's about it.

When I read it to Schutze this morning, he fainted. The CPC agenda item, and the proposed ordinance, follow.


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