The City of Flagstaff’s Experience with Community Gardens Roger E. Eastman, AICP, Comprehensive Planning and Code Administrator Nicole A. Woodman, Sustainability Manager
Supported by City Policy and Code? • 2001 Flagstaff Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan, April 2001 • Silent on community gardens and local agriculture • Urban Growth Boundary = no more sprawl! • ARS requires review and re-adoption every 10 years. • 2014 Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030, May 22, 2014 • Food policy recommendations submitted • Last minute revisions and edits • Result – also silent on community gardens and local agriculture!
Supported by City Policy and Code? • 2014 Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 • Goal ED3: Regional economic development partners support the start-up, retention, and expansion of existing business enterprises. • Policy ED 3.7: Support and encourage regional agriculture.
Supported by City Policy and Code? • 2011 Flagstaff Zoning Code, November 1, 2011 • Former Land Development Code was complex, inconsistent, hard-to-use, and disliked by all • And it did not allow community gardens • New Zoning Code adopted after 3.5 years of broad-based community participation • Success at providing for local food production – be innovative! • Community gardens now specifically allowed.
Supported by City Policy and Code? • 2011 Flagstaff Zoning Code, November 1, 2011 • Section 10-40.60.140 Community Gardens • Land used for cultivation of fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, or herbs by multiple users • Water supply required – support cultivation practices on site • Operating rules and a garden coordinator – responsible • Specifically allowed on roof tops • No drainage to downstream properties • No retail sales; but produce from the garden may be sold • Shed to store tools and green houses – 120 sq. ft. max. • Maintenance required • In unmaintained or abandoned for >12 months, then landscaped.
Supported by City Policy and Code? • 2011 Flagstaff Zoning Code, November 1, 2011 • Section 10-50.60.140 Landscaping Standards • Food production sites (vegetable gardens) excluded from landscape standards • Oasis standards do not apply to community gardens • Edible landscape plants are permitted. • Section 10-40.30.050 Industrial Zones • Allows food production and composting facilities. • Future amendments – more explicitly allow local food production in all zones. Roger E. Eastman, AICP, Comprehensive Planning and Code Administrator email@example.com (928) 213-2640
Sowing Seeds in Flagstaff • 1st community garden established as a “pilot” in 2009 • Community desire • Vacant City property • High density neighborhood • Public transit route • Launched Community Agriculture Project in 2010 • Community gardens promote sustainable communities by providing locally grown food and building a sense of community • Partnered with Flagstaff Foodlink to manage existing garden and future gardens in 2010 • 2nd garden established as a “pilot” in 2010 • 3rd garden established in 2012 – property donated to the City as an educational site • In 2013 community action helped establish 4th and 5th gardens
Being Creative and Resourceful • Permit Agreement for operating a recreational community garden • Community garden participant waiver, release and hold harmless agreement • Rules and guidelines for community gardens on City property • Analysis of all City owned property to identify future gardens – gardens that would stay gardens • Community grants and volunteers funded a majority of infrastructure, labor and supplies • Partnered with Affordable Housing Section on Izabel and O’Leary gardens
Building Community • Community empowerment • Long term commitment • Work with neighborhood before breaking ground • No fencing • Group or individual plots • Senior and children plots • Organic design • Summer workshop series
Lessons Learned • Neighborhood needs may surprise you • Community partners are critical to success • Reporting impact can be challenging • What to measure? Pounds? Bushels? Money saved during growing season? • Infrastructure is expensive
Nicole A. Woodman firstname.lastname@example.org 928.213.2149 www.facebook.com/FlagstaffSustainabilityProgram www.flagstaff.az.gov/gardens