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Farmers push for fewer restrictions in proposed urban farm code

Addie Broyles

The City of Austin’s urban farm code is changing, and a group of East Austin farmers is not satisfied with the proposed recommendations that the Sustainable Food Policy Board, City Planning Commission and City Council will be considering in coming weeks. (Not sure why the city is changing the farm code? Check out Kelly West’s video on the left to catch up on what has happened this year with several farms in East Austin.)

The farmers behind Springdale, Rain Lily, Boggy Creek and HausBar farms have created a website − − to outline the changes they’d like to see to the recommendations and to keep track of the progress this summer.

“The current recommendations include too many limitations that threaten to stifle the growth of urban farms,” the farmers said in a press release. The changes to the proposed recommendations that they’d like to see include removing the restrictions regarding minimum acreage for the size of an urban farm, what portion of sales can come from third-party producers and how many employees the farm can have. They also want to be able to host more events on the farms each month and are fighting proposed zoning changes that would affect other non-farm businesses and organizations, such as daycares, bed-and-breakfasts and even churches. You can see the full list of requested changes to the urban farm code here.