Urban Ag Zoning Update
You’ve heard from us before on the City of Tucson’s proposed urban ag zoning code changes. Last time around, we were mostly supportive, but had a few lingering concerns. A specific one was around the number of small animals allowed… More generally, we wondered about the quantity of red tape being required even to do the things the City said it wanted to support. As an example, you could have an urban farm or a farmer’s market, but only if you jumped through many hoops…
We worked hard with the City over the summer to address those concerns. We sat down with them through many a meeting and dug into the nitty gritty, asking questions like “What is a farmers’ market? Where should they be allowed to operate and during what hours?” All that work is now included in the latest draft. Overall, the changes look very positive. As an example, the process for opening a farmers’ market is significantly streamlined, and less limited in their hours of operation. And when it comes to animals, there’s now a system of “animal units,” which allows more animals to be kept on larger lot sizes, and across the board. This, though slightly more complicated, makes a lot more sense than the universal limit they were proposing last time around: 12 hens.
If you want to dig deeper into the changes, we suggest looking at the City’s Sustainable Zoning Code Project Page. In particular, check out the Comparison Sheet, which shows you side by side how the latest version differs from both the last version and the current regs.