New Urban Farm Regulations Could Make It Easier To Grow Your Own
Though books like "The Urban Homestead" might make it seem all too easy to attain an idyllic farm in the city, it turns out things aren't that simple. In addition to dealing with that dreaded black thumb, there are also some rules and regulations that make it difficult to grow your own. Thankfully, new legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will make that easier.
The legislation authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) will allow municipalities to lower the assessed value — and property taxes — on plots of three acres or less if owners pledge to dedicate them to growing food for at least five years, creating "urban agriculture incentive zones."
This means it will be easier to grow crops outside of community gardens, which have become so popular in Los Angeles, whose waiting lists are longer than the lines at the latest Hollywood nightclub.
Explains the L.A. Times:
Local governments that opt in would feel most of the pain of lost property tax revenue, while the Senate Appropriations Committee estimated the general fund hit at "less than $1 million" in increased school aid annually...The concept for the zones is a hybrid of the Wiliamson Act, which offers tax subsidies to owners of rural land maintained for agricultural purposes, and the Mills Act, under which cities may enter into contracts with private owners who receive subsidies in exchange for restoring and preserving historic buildings.
The hope is that this will help feed families and green our cities, in which case, plant on.