KCMO City Hall
2:28 am
Thu June 3, 2010

Urban Agriculture Ordinance Clears Committee

Kansas City, Mo. – After months of discussion and weeks of committee hearings, Kansas City's Planning and Zoning finally sent the full city council an urban agriculture ordinance Wednesday.

The committee added a number of restrictions including a prohibition on row crops in front yards, restriction of sales to fresh produce and requiring community gardens to get approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

In 25 minutes of public testimony, nobody really supported the compromise. Upscale neighborhood associations still believe it isn't restrictive enough, don't trust the zoning board and don't want to have to take persons who violate neighborhood covenants to court. Urban agriculture supporters say the ordinance is too restrictive and will be hard to enforce.

"No one is happy with this ordinance," committee member Beth Gottstein observed. "I think one of the frustrations sometimes with the spirit of compromise is that everyone has to give a little. And I would ask that in the spirit of compromise, try this for six months."

The committee voted 4 to 1 to send the ordinance to the council docket for a final vote. If its passes it will be reviewed in six months.