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New York City Council passes urban agriculture bill

New York City Council has passed legislation that requires the Department of City Planning to develop a comprehensive urban agriculture plan that addresses land use policy and other issues to promote the expansion of urban agriculture in the city. The department would be required to deliver this plan to the mayor and the speaker of the council by July 1, 2018.

The website aims to promote the expansion of urban agriculture in the city. The Department of City Planning, the Department of Small Business Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation would prepare content for the website. Agencies responsible for the construction and maintenance of the website would be required to issue a review of the website’s efficacy to the City Council by January 1, 2019.

Some of the issues that the urban agriculture plan would address include: cataloguing existing and potential urban agriculture spaces, classification and prioritization of urban agriculture uses, potential land use policies to promote the expansion of agricultural uses in the city, an analysis of those portions of the zoning resolution, building code, and fire code that merit reconsideration to promote urban agriculture, expanding the availability of healthy food in low-income neighborhoods, the integration of urban agriculture into the city’s conservation and resiliency plans, youth development and education with regard to local food production; direct and indirect job creation and impacts from urban agriculture production and the feasibility of creating an office of urban agriculture.