Codes and Regulations
Until recently, city codes, zoning laws, and other regulations have largely ignored urban agriculture. However, these codes and regulations can intentionally and unintentionally regulate urban farming activities in a myriad of ways, such as by regulating the construction of structures, such as chicken coops or greenhouses, the ability to keep livestock, and so on.
Municipal codes and regulations can be accessed by contacting city governments and officials, or online through websites such as Municode (http://www.municode.com/) and General Code (http://www.generalcode.com/ecode360/NY). For New York City’s zoning resolution, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zonetext.shtml. Because these codes often impact urban farming indirectly and might be difficult to decipher, urban farmers should also consider discussing their plans with local farming organizations or other farmers.
The Urban Agricultural Legal Resource Library
The Urban Agricultural Legal Resource Library, a project of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (http://www.theselc.org/), provides general information and resources about agricultural legal topics as they pertain to urban farmers. These include planning and zoning, building codes, food and health regulations, employment law, homeowners’ associations, and non- and for-profit urban agriculture issues and models. Visit http://www.urbanaglaw.org for more information.
See Factsheet #2, Advocacy and Planning, for information about changing zoning codes to support urban agriculture.