Thursday, July 24, 2008

Urban Gardening Ordinances

Went to a Detroit City Policies meeting tonight. Did you know that it is technically against the law to have a community garden in the city.

From a Garden Resource Program Collaborative handout:

Currently, the only urban agriculture or community gardens that could be permitted in Detroit are those established by the Recreation Department in city parks.

For other property in the city, there is no reference to urban agriculture or community ga rdens, therefore making them illegal. The only reference related to gardens are limitations:

1) Weeds, brush or plant growth over 8 inches tall that are poisonous, noxious or could cause harm are prohibited on public or private land.

2)Landscaping materials and plantings must be 20 feet from the sidewalk and may not be taller than 3 feet.

Chickens: Law prohibits chickens in Detroit.

Bees: No reference to them, so they would be assumed illegal.

There is a proposed amendment that should be going before city council very soon.

So I guess I should file a complaint to the city on the city because the city owned vacant lots that are all over the city have tall wild flowers and weeds at the sidewalks and the curbs and sometimes are 3 to 6 feet tall.


Linda said...

You know, I've seen urban farms in Detroit AND within a few of Corine Smith's photos of gardeners who OWN goats and chickens on their very small properties. In my own town, I have to own six acres of land before I can have a chicken but my neighbor, two doors down, had a rooster and got away with it because nepotism runs deep here. I AM getting bees next year. Screw 'em.

cub said...

Me Too! I want some chickens :(

If I buy the lots I will put up a privacy fence in one corner and have chickens and a couple goats.

Linda said...

I think that's what a few of the others did and why Corine (if that was her photographs, and I think they were) only identified them by first name.

I don't think Detroit would really do anything to you or take your garden when it's feeding a community. It only takes the burden off of them and I think people are compassionate about that.

cub said...

I don't think anyone around here would say anything, and of course I would ask around a bit to see if anyone would be against it. You know the neighbors that are close to the garden.

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