The Kingston Urban Agriculture Commmittee Completes “Phase I” of the Urban Agriculture Zoning and Code Updates for Kingston, NY. The partners worked closely with the City of Kingston’s Conservation Advisory Council for guidance to implement the work into the current comprehensive planning process.
Kingston, NY – Since September of 2013, the Kingston Urban Agriculture Committee has been working towards completing a “Phase I” effort to update urban agriculture initiatives with revised zoning code provisions to implement into Kingston’s current Comprehensive Planning process.
Led by Kingston’s Urban Agriculture Committee in partnership with the Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development at Pace Law School (with Managing Director and Adjunct Professor Jeff LeJava), Larrecca Music Management (project coordinator Rebecca Martin who is the former Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust) and Family of Woodstock, Inc., the group hired Hone Strategic, LLC (an urban planning firm led by Jennifer Schwartz Berky, former Deputy Director of Planning for Ulster County) to provide research and updated language so that the City of Kingston supports local food production and allows urban agriculture to flourish. With this initiative, Kingston will lead the Hudson Valley as an innovator in this increasingly popular local food movement.
Along with completing draft recommendations, consultant Jennifer Schwartz Berky of Hone Strategic presented their work in progress on December 6th 2013 on Urban Agriculture Opportunities in Kingston at the Pace Law School Land Use Law Center’s 12th annual Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference. This year’s conference, entitled “Leading Communities Toward a Resilient Future,” focused upon the challenges communities in the New York Metropolitan area face because of natural disasters, a changing climate, new demographics and technologies, and inequitable living conditions. The Center’s annual conference is a significant educational event in the region, with more than 200 attorneys, business professionals, and local leaders in attendance to learn about national, regional, and local innovations, challenges, and best practices. Session topics included coastal redevelopment, flood plain regulation, complete streets, hydrofracking, urban revitalization, solar panel permitting, green infrastructure, urban agriculture, property rights, and form based infill development. Berky presented in a session organized and moderated by Jeffrey LeJava, Managing Director at the Center and collaborator on the Kingston study alongside presenters from Boston, MA and Newburgh, NY. The event provided a robust comparative view of the similar issues and challenges faced in each of these communities in their efforts to implement urban agriculture.
The Urban Ag Committee alongside consultant Jennifer Schwartz Berky has presented on several occasions to the City of Kingston’s Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) in 2013 for guidance and input. The CAC is a volunteer advisory body that works to ensure the sustainable use of Kingston’s natural resources and the enhancement and protection of its environment while coordinating with local groups which have an impact on the local environment and working in cooperation with the Kingston Planning Board and Common Council to make sound environmental decisions. A final draft will be presented to the CAC at their next meeting on February 6th at Kingston City Hall.
About the Kingston Urban Agriculture Committee The Urban Agriculture Committee (UAC) is charged to promote community-based, small-scale, entrepreneurial farming by providing education and technical assistance to people interested in urban farming through research and policy development aimed at making urban farming an integral part of a lively and viable cityscape and to encourage our community to embrace and support urban farms.
About the Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development at Pace Law School Established in 1993, the Land Use Law Center is dedicated to fostering the development of sustainable communities and regions through the promotion of innovative land use strategies and dispute resolution techniques. Through the work of its programs, centers, and institutes, the Land Use Law Center offers conferences, seminars, clinics, academic law school courses, continuing legal education programs, audio podcasts, and frequent publications and resources on contemporary land use, real estate, and environmental issues.
About Larrecca Music Management LMM is charged in providing support and strategy for our clients, paying close attention to their creative goals, musical endeavors and legacy. With a focus on education, community and healthy living, our group is dedicated to developing programming that can inspire those young and old in their creative pursuits.
About Family of Woodstock, Inc. Since 1970, FAMILY has been an anchor for area residents- a place where people are respectful and caring, and where the search for solutions is creative and tireless. FAMILY’s shelters, emergency food pantries, court advocates, counseling and case management services, hotlines, and child care supports all work together to help people achieve the changes they seek.
About Hone Strategic, LLC. Specializing in the adaptive revitalization, reuse and development of unusual and exceptional buildings and places, Hone Strategic’s prinicipal and founder Jennifer Schwartz Berky has worked for 30 years as an urban planner, community development specialist and conservation and development consultant for organizations such as New York City’s Division of Design and Construction Management, the World Monuments Fund, the World Bank and for government agencies and NGOs in Jerusalem (Israel), Rome (Italy) and several other cities abroad. Before founding Hone Strategic in 2012, Berky was Deputy Director of Planning for Ulster County for eight years.
The Kingston Urban Agriculture Zoning Project was made possible by generous public support including a donation from Kevin McEvoy and Barbara Epstein.