Urban Agriculture Zoning Project Approach
Citizens and organizations in the City of Kingston, NY, are engaged in many urban agricultural activities from community gardens to beekeeping (see https://www.facebook.com/pages/Urban-Agriculture-in- Kingston-NY/588017047893890?hc_location=stream). Yet, the City’s comprehensive plan, last updated in 1961, and its zoning code do not currently contemplate these activities and in some cases may even prohibit them. Lead by a group of interested citizens, the Pace Law School’s Land Use Law Center (Center) is providing advice on how to proceed with amendments to these documents so that the City of Kingston supports local food production and allows it to flourish.
As the first step in this process, the Center is working with individuals from the Kingston Land Trust, the Kingston YMCA Farm Project (www.facebook.com/KingstonYMCAFarmProject), the South Pine Street City Farm (http://southpinestreetcityfarm.org/), the chair of the city’s Conservation Advisory Commission, and the former Deputy Director of the Ulster County Planning Board, to participate in an update to the comprehensive plan, which is currently underway. The primary objectives of this work will be to:
- Update and catalog factual information about the City’s current urban agriculture activities and related food system (e.g., http://www.kingstoncitygardens.org/, http://www.healthykingston.org/healthy-food-access.html, http://www.localeconomies- hv.org/food-system/food-hub/ and;
- Conduct a survey of properties utilizing real property data and GIS mapping to identify and classify potential types of urban agricultural sites and uses in conjunction with zoning and property classifications;
- Identify best practices for learning and reference;
- Propose language to be incorporated into the comprehensive plan a that establishes goals,objectives, metrics and strategies for the City to increase local food production;
- Provide general recommendations for zoning updates; and
- Based upon the results of the Kingston Urban Ag Initiative, prepare a model local foodproduction comprehensive plan component that can be tailored by other New Yorkmunicipalities for use in their communities.
After working to incorporate local food production into the comprehensive plan update, the core team will then begin the process of identifying changes to be made to the City’s zoning code to encourage urban agricultural activities on both municipally-owned and private property. This work will be based upon the local food production goals, objectives, metrics and strategies established in the comprehensive plan.
Year 1: Initial study: recommendations for comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance language. Participation in Mayors’ Regional Roundtable (date TBD), Pace University Law School’s annual Land Use Law Conference on Resilience, December 6, 2013.
Year 2: Broader scale changes: institutional, county, other areas of their policy implementation: procurement, management of resources, professional development, farmland preservation program, and transfer of development rights (TDR).
This project will be untaken by the professionals of Hone Strategic, LLC.