I've written a couple of (fairly) recent posts about Chicago's attempts to codify urban agriculture. The outgoing Daley administration was proposing rules supposedly to recognize UA as a desirable activity and land use, yet strangling it with requirements for fencing, parking, and size limits that would have made some of the city's most vibrant urban farms illegal. With the prospect of a new mayor in sight, these rules still were very concerning, and thankfully were postponed.
Here is the latest: news coverage of Mayor Emanuel's press conference on his proposals, which were worked out with the full participation of the UA community and not just the zoning department.
Read the whole article. Meanwhile, here are a couple of good quotes:
"Erika Allen, head of seven nonprofit Growing Power farms in Chicago, predicted at the time that her group's work 'would be over' if the zoning ordinance passed.
"But Tuesday morning, Emanuel chose Allen's new Iron Street Farm in Bridgeport to present his proposed ordinance — one that marks a turnaround on almost every thorny issue in the last proposal.
"'We've been working really hard to see this happen,' said Allen, who served on the mayor's transition team. 'I think it's just a new administration and a changing of the guard. Former Mayor (Richard) Daley was supportive, but there was a lot of opposition coming out of (the zoning department) that was very much entrenched in "this is the way it we do it.'"
"'This shows a vision that the most needy neighborhoods can be the key to revitalizing our city by cleaning up spaces, providing jobs and growing good food,' said Ken Dunn, a critic of the previously proposed ordinance."