Minneapolis Advances Urban Agriculture Planning

Minneapolis is on its way toward adopting a new comprehensive urban agriculture policy plan.  Last Tuesday, February 22, the Minneapolis City Planning Commission moved to recommend that the City Council adopt the proposed plan. The next step is for a subcommittee of the City  Council to discuss the plan on March 24th, and if voted out of committee to be considered by the entire Council.

Minneapolis’s plan contains the following recommendations for action on land use and zoning, the identification of new land for food production, community gardens, and economic development, as outlined in the Planning Commission’s staff report:
Zoning and Land Use
·  Define urban agriculture in the zoning code
·  Allow small-scale market gardens in most zones and on rooftops
·  Allow larger urban farms in commercial and industrial districts
·  Allow residents to have home-based food growing businesses
·  Allow home growers, community gardeners, and commercial gardeners to use trellises, hoop houses, raised beds and other techniques
·  Improve farmers market and community garden signage
·  Incorporate urban agriculture in small area plans and transportation plans
Land Availability
·  Review the City’s land inventory and consider selling or leasing more properties in underserved areas for urban agriculture
·  Alter land sale policies to encourage the sale of land for growing
Community Gardening
·  Reassess the available parcels to make sure they are desirable for gardening and serve more under-served areas
·  Consider selling some of the current community garden parcels to gardeners
Economic Development
·  Support the Homegrown Minneapolis Business Development Center
·  Conduct a market and economic impact analysis to better understand the future role and economic impacts of urban agriculture
Like most municipal plans, the Minneapolis urban agriculture plan has to be consistent with and supportive of the city’s comprehensive plan.  The plan identifies several specific goals of The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth that urban agriculture supports:
·  Promote nutrition strategies to ensure access to healthy foods for all residents
·  Educate residents and property owners about the benefits of recycling, and of properly composting and reusing yard wastes and organic plant-based food waste
·  Support the growth and development of local businesses
·  Support the creation and improvement of community gardens and food markets which sell locally and regionally grown foods
·  Where appropriate, support the planting of edible fruit and vegetable plants
·  Encourage the equitable spatial distribution of community gardens and food markets to provide all Minneapolis communities with access to healthy, locally grown food
·  Explore opportunities for partnerships linking farmers markets, community gardens and open space

3 thoughts on “Minneapolis Advances Urban Agriculture Planning”

  1. Urban Planners are required to do due diligence when town and city planning. They must take many things into consideration that might have a positive or negative influence on the community as a whole. Planners and policy makers cannot always be sure how a proposed action will affect the city as a whole. Such a great articles.
    Urban Planners


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