For Immediate Release
Urban Gardens Task Force meetings
Citizens interested in the topic of commercially oriented urban gardening are invited to attend the meetings of the Urban Garden Task Force, which will hold its first session at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at the Busch Building.
The Task Force has four meetings scheduled over a one-month period to research, review and summarize the issues for a recommendation back to the Planning & Zoning Commission.
The Task Force was formed to determine how best to balance the interest in business or commercially oriented urban gardens in Springfield with the potential for additional activity or disruption in neighborhoods. Currently, Springfield’s Zoning Ordinance does not cover this type of activity, so the community input will be valuable in developing zoning recommendations. The Task Force is not addressing private or non-commercial gardens.
All meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m., in the Busch Building 4th floor conference room. The schedule for the meetings includes:
- Aug. 11: Overview of the urban gardening concept; how an ordinance is structured and potential neighborhood impact.
- Aug. 18: Review of intensity issues such as accessory structures, parking and public facilities such as restrooms; stormwater and water quality issues; and pesticide use.
- Aug. 25: Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park pilot project; examples of liability and legal requirements of urban gardens.
- Sept. 1: Draft report and discussion; recommendations for Planning & Zoning Commission.
Jack Wheeler, Chair of the Planning & Zoning Commission, will chair the Task Force. Other members include: Jay McClelland; Ray Shermer; Curtis Millsap; Melissa Millsap; Galen Chadwick; Petra Butler; King Coltrin; and Nancy Brown Dornan.
The Charge to the Task Force is the following: To enable, facilitate, and encourage the development of Urban Gardens as a commercial enterprise to maximize local food resources and the use of non-productive or vacant lots in such a manner as to be non-invasive to the community or neighborhood.
For more information, contact: Senior Planner Daniel Neal, 864-1036.