Posts tagged "Chickens"

Boston Residents Talk Chickens, Urban Farms

Residents around the city are getting a chance to share their thoughts on Boston’s proposed new rules for urban farms, markets, composting and bee- and hen-keeping. At the first public meeting on the topic, held Monday at Suffolk Law School in downtown Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority announced the dates of 10 additional meetings designed to gather community input about rules that could bring life to vacant lots and rooftops around the city. The meeting was led by Tad Read, senior city planner for the BRA, and attended by Boston Chief Planner Kairos Shen, other city staff and members of the Urban Agriculture Working Group, which has been meeting for almost a year and a half to develop the rules outlined in Article 89. “A couple of years ago there was a businessman in the city who wanted to start a lettuce farm, and he couldn’t do it because it’s not addressed in the zoning code; therefore it’s forbidden,” Read said. “He wasn’t the only one; there were other people who were following this national interest in urban agriculture and wanted to start farming in Boston and found they were meeting all kinds of barriers, primarily zoning. The purpose of Article 89 is to identify and address different agricultural uses so that they can be allowed or conditional, so that development can be facilitated in the city.” The proposal is one of Mayor Thomas Menino’s key initiatives, and one he hopes to see carried through before he leaves office at the end of the year, Shen said. “I know if the mayor were here he would talk about his chickens on Long Island,” Shen said, referring to the city’s first free-range chicken farm, located on Long Island in Boston Harbor. In May, the BRA released a draft document outlining the new rules proposed in Article 89, which can be viewed as a PDF on the BRA website. The rules set the allowable size and location of various agricultural activities and establish a Comprehensive Farm Review process that would help ensure farms are “good neighbors” to other businesses and residents around Boston, Read said. The Keeping of Hens Much of the discussion at the first meeting focused on hen keeping, with members of the group Legalize Chickens in Boston and others speaking in favor of less restrictions. Unlike other agricultural activities, bee- and hen-keeping are already addressed in the city’s zoning code, Read said, and each neighborhood has established its own zoning rules for those two activities. Article 89 would not supersede rules set by individual neighborhoods but would establish guidelines—such as coop size and location and number of chickens allowed […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , ,

Want to Keep Bees or Chickens in Boston? Now, There are Rules

After more than a year of discussions, the city has published a draft document outlining new rules for urban agriculture in Boston. From the keeping of hens and honey bees to regulation of composting, aquaculture, rooftop farms and farmers markets, the new document sets standards for a variety of urban agriculture activities that are not currently addressed in Boston’s zoning code. The Boston Redevelopment Authority, Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives and Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Rezoning Working Group have been meeting monthly since January 2012 to work on the document. The new regulations, Article 89 of the Boston Zoning Code, will “create clarity and predictability for anyone interested in commercial food growing and creating farms in Boston,” according to a statement on the BRA website. The BRA posted a list of reasons urban agriculture is good for Boston, including bringing neighbors together, improving access to fresh, healthy food, environmental benefits and educational opportunities. The BRA is encouraging Boston residents to review the proposed guidelines and provide feedback over the summer. A series of neighborhood meetings on urban agriculture will be scheduled in the coming months, and residents can follow the conversation using the Twitter hashtag #UrbanAgBos. The new zoning regulations set standards for the “siting, design, maintenance and modification of urban agriculture activities that address public safety and minimize impacts on residents and historic resources in the City of Boston,” according to the document’s Statement of Purpose. Some highlights from the draft regulations: • Small and medium ground-level urban farms will be allowed in all city districts and subdistricts, while large ground-level farms—greater than one acre in size—are allowed only in industrial districts and as a conditional use, with special permit, in all other districts. • Rooftop farms of all sizes will be allowed by right in the city’s industrial and institutional districts, but rooftop farms of more than 5,000 sq. ft. are conditional in all other districts and subdistricts. • Most ground-level urban farms that are more than 10,000 sq. ft. in size must undergo a Comprehensive Farm Review process to make sure they are designed in a way that fits with the surrounding neighborhood. Rooftop farms larger than 5,000 sq. ft. must also go through the CFR process, with some exceptions for farms being placed in industrial and institutional districts. • Accessory composting will be allowed where any ground-level urban farm or rooftop urban farm is permitted. Ground-level composting structures must not exceed 10 feet in height and all must not cover more than 5 percent of the lot and must be enclosed and out of direct contact with flammable materials. • Article 89 does not regulate whether the keeping […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , , , ,