The city of Chicago is apparently considering an ordinance to regulate urban farming, which is garnering both support and criticism (shocking, I know). I haven't read the proposed ordinance itself, but according to the Chicago Tribune it includes "requirements on fencing, plot size, processing, landscaping and zoning that would apply to urban farming in all its forms: commercial production plots, nonprofit farms and community gardens."
Some urban farmers, or "agricultural activists" as they're called in this article, are worried the regulations will become costly, bureaucratic hurdles that torpedo urban agriculture. Others, including the director of NeighborSpace, think it will be a positive step to recognize and regularize the growing of fresh produce in community gardens and small farms. (For those of you who attended the bloggers' Spring Fling in 2009, the community garden we visited was a NeighborSpace location.)
So what do you think? Has your city or town passed urban farming regulations? Have they helped or hindered? If your city or town hasn't passed any rules, do you think they should?
I would love to see Chicago convert abandoned lots into more gardens, and at the same time I can understand the wariness over this ordinance because the city typically finds a way to complicate and mess up even mundane ideas. And since we tout ourselves as such a "green city," it would be nice to see the City Council put its money where its mouth is. Your thoughts?