Earlier this year, I suggested that the City of Castlegar look into changing the zoning bylaw, which prohibits the growing of crops in residential areas. The feedback I got from a number of people was that I was overstating the law, or questioning whether the law would ever be enforced.
I believe that a law not enforced is not worth having, or more appropriately, it should not be applied in a discretionary manner. Last week an article in the Kansas City Star caught my attention – (HT to City Farmer). This article describes the trials of an Urban Farm called “Bad Seed Farm” in Kansas City.
But their dream of growing food in the city is growing a controversy, too.A few neighbors want the city to yank out their business by its roots. Not near our backyards, say some, who fear their homes will be devalued by the small farm’s presence on Bannister Road, just east of the State Line.
The city says the couple is violating zoning laws.
Interestingly, the zoning bylaw actually allows them to be growing this food, though they acknowledge that the goats were a stretch of the rules..
“It allows for the use of agriculture, nurseries and truck gardening for the propagation and cultivation only of plants,” she says.
The issue with zoning bylaw in Castlegar came to my attention last year when our family was investigating the SPIN Farming method of production. Our formal letter to the City listed out fourteen initiatives that would immediately improve the sustainability of Castlegar, looking toward a transition in food production and changing energy usage.
Check out the Bad Seed Farm website here.