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CB-25 Makes Room for Greater Participation in Urban Farming
The Prince George’s County Council, during Council session on July 19, unanimously approved Council Bill 25-2016, legislation amending the definition and zoning categories for Urban Farms in Prince George’s County, allowing more non-profit and for-profit organizations to participate in urban farming activities.
Under the legislation, Council Bill 25-2016 broadens the definition of an urban farm to allow any organization to participate in urban farming activities, further ensuring access to fresh foods. CB-25 also expands urban farming opportunities to the R-80 and R-55 residential zones, providing more land to cultivate fruits, vegetables and flowers where residents live.
Council Member Mary Lehman (D) – District 1, Council Vice-Chair Dannielle Glaros (D) – District 3 and Council Member Todd Turner (D) – District 4, proposed CB-25-2016 to spur the local economy and increase access to farm fresh foods.
“Our residents want innovative economic development, sound environmental stewardship, and strong neighborhoods,” said Council Member Lehman. “Urban farming ties all of these together, and makes for more dynamic, sustainable communities.”
“Expanding the opportunities for small-scale farming in urban areas is critical for bringing additional healthy food options to our County,” said Vice Chair Glaros. “We are strengthening the backbone of our food system, as well as the health of our communities.”
“Every new urban farm created adds a new small business to our County’s economy,” said Council Member Turner. “Urban farms generate income for farmers, create local jobs for Prince George’s County residents, and help revitalize our neighborhoods.”
CB-25 requires all urban farms to cooperate with the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District and operate under an approved Farm Management Plan. Urban Farms must be properly maintained, including removal of litter, irrigation, pest control and compliance with the County Code for permits or accessory structures onsite.
CB-25-2016 received support from several organizations and individuals, including the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District; Prince George’s Food Equity Council; Kaiser Permanente; ECO City Farms; Branch Avenue and Bloom; University of Maryland Extension; Capital Area Food Bank; and a number of aspiring urban farmers, and managers of local farmers’ markets.