Gardens on Common Grounds

February 27, 2011

by Adam Pollack

Before the end of the week, Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilman Todd Gloria, at the New Roots Community Farm in City Heights, kicked off a public action that will make it easier for locals to build community gardens.


Passing the Community Garden Ordinance will get rid of land use restrictions written in the code. Communities will be able to build gardens without having to get a permit or pay a fee.


The plan is to have the changes done by mid summer.


The Land Use & Housing Committee reviewed the proposal on Wednesday, February 9, 2011.


The Mayor backs the ordinance to make garden building a work opportunity on any street the locals chose. Vacant lots are not sights the Mayor is protecting. “Our outdated land use policy favors an empty lot strewn with weeds over an urban farm tended by members of the community,” Sanders said.


“This is about to change.”


Gloria, who describes gardens as cultural meeting places, said, “This garden has been a catalyst for strengthening the community and for building bridges between different cultures.”


Two commissions, the community planning commission and the planning commission, will review the proposed zoning regulations changes before they go to the city council.


The effort to change the land use restrictions has lasted two years. Project New Village Director Diane Moss set the stage for the code amendment effort by working on starting a garden on a vacant commercial lot in Mt. Hope. She said, “The Mt. Hope community garden, coupled with our newly opened farmers market, is part of larger community driven plan to promote urban agriculture a a viable means to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables in southeastern San Diego.”


Moss notes, in Mt. Hope, a place with few grocery sellers, community members were waiting on a fresh produce source.



Reprinted from View the original story here: Gardens on common grounds – San Diego Public Policy |