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City Council Passes Urban Agriculture Ordinance

By Chris Bentley in Food on Sep 9, 2011 7:20PM

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The Chicagoist Garden Plot, soon to be regulated by the city.
The City That Works just made it easier to grow. City Council amended the zoning code to ease restrictions on urban agriculture, making it easier to produce and sell fresh fruit, vegetables and fish within city limits.

The changes raise the limit on the size of community gardens to about half an acre, and relax rules on fencing and parking for large urban farms. The ordinance allows limited produce sales in residential areas, as well as hydroponics systems to cultivate fish.

Urban farms and community gardens have cropped up in vacant lots and on rooftops all over the city in recent years. Mayor Emanuel, who made stops at two community gardens during the lead-up to his inauguration earlier this year, backed the new ordinance as part of his plan to combat food deserts.