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Mayor Menino Announces Zoning Changes to Allow Urban Farming Pilot in Dorchester!

A new pilot program is opening the door to urban agriculture in Boston! Two vacant city-owned parcels are now available for farming.

In a meeting last week, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the adoption of a progressive text and map amendment to the city’s zoning code. The amendment will allow the city to move forward with an Urban Agriculture Pilot project, making use of two vacant city owned parcels in Dorchester at 23-29 Tucker Street and 131 Glenway Street. The update zoning code will allow the land be farmed to provide fresh and healthy food for sale to local neighborhood residents and businesses. Each property will be leased based on a rate of $500 per acre, which based on lot sizes, will be roughly $125 to $200 per year for a term of five years. The term may be extended if farming is successful. The first site at 23-29 Tucker St. will be leased and managed by the ReVision Urban Farm and the second site at 131 Glenway St., will be leased and managed by City Growers.

“Boston is at the forefront of the urban agriculture movement and with this zoning amendment we are taking a proactive approach that will allow us to further explore the benefits of urban farming,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. “This project is an opportunity to take underutilized city land and put it to productive use. Community gardening brings neighbors together and it creates a new way to get healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables into neighborhood stores.”

Mayor Menino launched the Urban Agriculture Initiative in 2010 to increase access to affordable and healthy food, particularly for underserved communities. To support the development of the Pilot Urban Agriculture Project, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) explored ways to amend the zoning code.

The zoning amendment establishes an Urban Agriculture Overlay District within the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood District. Use of the land will be limited to the cultivation of plants, herbs, fruits, flowers, and vegetables and composting of materials produced on the site. By bringing farming into the community, the program aims to increase education and knowledge around healthy eating and food production, particularly among youth; and promote economic opportunity by increasing partnerships with, and/or between, local and regional food producers, and increase healthy food supplies to local schools, organizations, institutions and corner stores.

Categories: Sustainability, Urban Ecology
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One Response to “Mayor Menino Announces Zoning Changes to Allow Urban Farming Pilot in Dorchester!”

  1. Living HOMEGROWN: Visions of Urban Agriculture Says:

    [...] 6 urban agriculture projects in Boston, and farmers’ markets in every neighborhood. A new pilot rezoning project approved last year by the city leases two parcels of land in South Dorchester to be farmed by local [...]

 

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