A recent article written by Jared Burden a member of the law firm GreeneHurlocker published in AgFunder news outlined how the zoning laws were restricting the development of vertical farms throughout the country as most of them were defined for a single use (residential, industrial…) thus making it impossible for most vertical farms to host their activities.
Recently, the Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D. pointed out a case where zoning laws could potentially affect the development of indoor farming facilities. Indeed, a South Dakota company looking to produce indoor farming fodder in a vacant Mitchell Building but the city’s zoning codes lack specific sections for indoor crop production which led to the city council considering the first reading of an ordinance on November 7th that would allow the business to operate.
DGI Feeds, the company behind the project, would transform the vacant building into a 17,000 sqft fodder production facility.
“The ordinance is proposed to allow an indoor crop-growing business like DGI Feeds’ to be permitted use in highway business districts and transportation and warehousing-specific districts. A conditional use permit would be required for the type of business to operate in central business districts, according to the proposed ordinance.” As reported by The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D.
Choosing the right zone is critical for any type of urban farm as specific zoning regulations could affect the equipment you use or the operations you have as highlighted by a recent ZipGrow Article interviewing Local Sprout:
“The most important distinctions are between industrial, commercial, and residential zones. These are most likely to provide good access for your farm. The differences between these zones define where you’re allowed to grow your produce, where you’re allowed to sell your produce, composting, structure types, size limits, business and building permits, and even things like fences and parking.”
Image provided by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels
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