Touch the Soil News #286
There is hardly a week that goes by without some city municipality coming up with a new idea to encourage agriculture within its boundaries.
Recently, the San Diego City Council gave a tentative go-ahead for a new kind of plan. People or businesses that own vacant lots can get a tax break if they lease it to the city for five (5) years. The lots must be from 1/10 acre up to 3 acres and would be exclusively dedicated to food production. The city in turn would make it available for community gardens or other agricultural enterprise.
In return for making the vacant lot available, the land would quality under the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone program. Without changing the zoning of the land, the tax rate is lowered to that of irrigated agricultural land – a rate far below the normal assessment.
The initiative was put before the city council by one of its own council members who has a plot in a community garden.
Following is a short video clip of a San Diego community garden that lost its land and demonstrates the need for more urban land.