Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa

lcsaMunicipalities in Iowa and across the nation are increasingly recognizing the multiple benefits of urban agriculture; however, zoning regulations can unintentionally impede urban agriculture. To respond to this challenge the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University funded Gary Taylor and Andrea Vaage to develop the Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa guidebook. The guidebook provides science-based guidance and sample zoning code language designed to reduce the barriers to, and promote production and sales activities commonly associated with urban agriculture.  Although written for Iowa, the guidebook contains practical information and code language applicable to any local jurisdiction.

The guidebook addresses the following common urban agriculture uses: aquaculture, bees, chickens, goats, front-yard gardens, community and market gardens, gardening on vacant lots, urban farms, season extenders, composting, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) drop-sites, farm stands, farmers markets, food trucks and pushcarts, and urban agriculture districts.  Each chapter provides a general description of the activity, and the science-based information on standards and best practices associated with the activity; the public health, safety and welfare concerns commonly associated with the activity; a summary of the commonalities found among municipalities’ codes; and sample code language taken from municipalities that vary both in size and location.

For more information, click here.

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Alaska: State Bill Proposes Eliminating Obstacles to Donation of Local Food

The Alaska Legislature is considering a bill that will eliminate obstacles to donating local food (fish, game, plants and eggs) to senior centers, child care facilities, schools, and other institutions.

“Caribou instead of corn dogs … salmon instead of Trout Treasures … seal meat in place of spaghetti — all could soon be available to more Alaskans if traction continues on a new bipartisan bill before the Alaska Legislature. House Bill 179 allows schools, senior centers, hospitals, child care centers and other facilities to accept and serve fish, game, plants and eggs that are donated by subsistence and sport users. Currently, state laws intended to prevent the commercial sale of wild game make the practice illegal if a program accepting food donations charges for the meal at any point before it is consumed. This means schools and senior centers, for example, are unable to provide meals containing subsistence- or sport-caught wild food if they accept any payment, including from federal or state meal programs…”

To view the full article, click here.