One of the policy changes we put forth at the March Good Ideas for Cities event was to change St. Louis’ antiquated zoning laws to accomodate for urban agriculture. Those laws were developed in 1950 in part to keep commercial and residential areas separate, and restricted multi-use development. Good Ideas gave us the platform to publicly ask the City to get moving on the new zoning code. They did – Board Bill 79, a zoning overlay ordinance, passed through the Board of Alderman on July 13, 2012 and the Mayor signed it into law.
This new ordinance will allow neighborhoods in St. Louis to modernize their zoning by becoming Form-Based Districts. This updated zoning code designation encourages neighborhood level development that encompasses many uses. It made no specific provisions for urban agriculture, but allows commercial uses in residential spaces so urban farms can sell their produce on site. Unless, of course, that site happens to be LRA land. Our next policy priorities include LRA regulations restricting the sale of produce and initiatives to encourage smart usage of the vast swathes of empty space in the city. If you have any ideas and/or want to participate, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look forward to seeing y’all at STL Design Week Sept 26 at CAM. Provocateur has a few more tricks up our sleeve to share at the event!
UPDATE 1/25/12 - No vote was taken at the Council meeting. Word on the street is that a public hearing will happen in early February. St. Louis County replied to questions regarding the proposed ordinance with a helpful FAQ document explaining the changes, though the answers don’t seem to correspond with the actual ordinance language. The ordinance should speak for itself without a separate page of explanations. Look forward to the public hearing, more details to follow soon.
An email came through the pipeline today about a proposed ordinance revising farmers market regulations in St. Louis County. The original intent was to lower the various fees imposed on farmers and vendors – see suggested ordinance below. However, several new areas for concern have been introduced:
1) The ordinance limits farmers market operation to 7 months a year – no more winter markets.
2) Establishes guidelines for Missouri farmers, but not Illinois farmers selling at Missouri markets.
3) Creates unclear categorization of farmer to vendor if prepared food is sampled or sold.
The suggested ordinance, created by Deborah Henderson, Clayton Farmers Market Manager: http://www.claytonfarmersmarket.com/pdf/food-service-bill-2011.pdf. The proposed ordinance, submitted by Councilman O’Mara: http://bit.ly/xET9k3.
Take action – attend the Council meeting tonight or contact your representative.
The St. Louis County Council meets on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m in the County Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 41 South Central Avenue in Clayton. Find your representative by entering your address and then selecting “View your elected officials” or call Executive Charley Dooley (314.615.7016), Chairman Michael O’Mara (314.615.5439) or Committee Chair Hazel Erby (314.615.5436).