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FLPC Publishes Guide to Urban Agriculture in Boston

The Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is excited to announce the publication of its guide, Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm. The guide to establishing ground-level farms smaller than one acre is the first in a series of guides that spell out the processes urban farmers in Boston will need to go through in order to start their operations in the City.

Boston Urban Ag Less than 1 Acre Cover-Cropped

In December 2013, the City of Boston approved Article 89 of the City’s zoning code. Zoning laws dictate what activities can happen in specified parts of a community (for example, generally commercial activities cannot happen in residential zones). Prior to Article 89, Boston’s zoning laws did not mention commercial urban agriculture, which meant that those activities were forbidden. Under Article 89, urban agriculture is now an expressly allowed activity within city limits. However, even with the new zoning law, there are other steps urban farmers must take before they can start farming. The FLPC worked with the City of Boston’s Office of Food Initiatives to create this guide to help farmers navigate those other requirements, such as design review and approval, building and use of premise permits, soil safety permits, and water requirements.

The guide is a working document and will be updated over the coming months. For any questions or comments, please contact Alli Condra, Senior Clinical Fellow, in the FLPC.

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