Thursday, July 15, 2010

Public Hearing on Code Changes for Urban Agriculture in Seattle

There will be a public hearing on code changes for urban agriculture in 
Seattle next Wednesday, July 21 at 5:30pm.
Regional Development and Sustainability Committee 
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue
Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
Seattle, WA
View the agenda and more information here.
The Department of Planning and Development's description of 
Urban Agriculture 
(source: City of Seattle):
Urban agriculture is a type of infill development that fits into growth strategy for Seattle and the region, by adding a missing element of livable communities and stimulating small-scale economic development.  There is a tremendous opportunity to develop local sources of healthy food by turning existing lawn and garden space into productive agricultural plots.  Small-scale urban agriculture can help create livable, walkable and sustainable communities, and implement City goals of sustainability and economic development. 

Specifically, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is proposing the following code changes to support and encourage urban agriculture:
  1. Add and/or clarify definitions for the following key terms: horticulture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, community gardens (including P-Patch community gardens), and urban farms.   These refined definitions have additional recommendations (below) for regulation by zone.   
  2. Allow community gardens as permitted uses in all zones, with some limitations in industrial zones.
  3. Allow urban farms in all zones as follows:

    Commercial:   Allow urban farms as a principal or accessory use.  Horticulture uses are currently limited to 10,000 sq. ft. in NC1 zones and 25,000 sq. ft. in NC2 zones; there are no size of use restrictions in NC3 or C zones. 

    Industrial: Allow urban farms as an accessory or principal use on land outside of designated MICs, and on tops and sides of buildings in all industrial zones.  Currently, horticulture uses are not allowed in industrial zones, and DPD proposes no change to this provision as based on the new definition of a horticulture use.

    Residential: Allow urban farms as an accessory use without a permit up to 4,000 sq. ft. of planting area. Urban Farms with more than 4,000 sq. ft. of planting area would be subject to an administrative conditional use permit process.  Currently, agriculture uses are not allowed in residential zones.
  4. Allow rooftop greenhouses a 15 foot exception to height limits as a rooftop feature, if the greenhouse is dedicated to food production in MF/C/I/SM/Downtown zones.  
  5. Add farmers markets to the definition of multipurpose uses. 
  6. Increase the number of chickens allowed on residential property from three to eight. DPD also proposes to add that roosters are not allowed in any zone.

No comments:

Post a Comment