Agricultural Districts And Uses - Fairfax County

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Agricultural Districts and UsesProposed Zoning Ordinance AmendmentItem Type: Overview & DirectionJennifer JosiahSenior Assistant to the Zoning AdministratorMarch 13, 2018

BackgroundCommunity Gardens and Sales of Garden/FarmProducts are listed as First Tier, Priority 1 items on the2017 Zoning Ordinance Amendment Work Program.2

Board InputStaff is seeking guidance regarding the following: Should community gardens be allowed as a principal use in allzoning districts? (Small-scale by TSP, larger-scale by SP) Are lot size and permit time limits the appropriate tools toensure compatibility? Are there other tools? Should sales be permitted at a community garden, including inresidential areas? Should minimal structures ( 120 sq.ft. shed) be permitted byright and all larger structures require a Special Permit for acommunity garden of any size?3

What is a Community Garden?Land that is cultivated by members of a common communityto provide plant produce to the gardener, for charitabledonation, and/or for on-site sales to the local community. Thisincludes gardens composed of individual plots rented bydifferent gardeners and for communal gardens tended bymultiple gardeners.4

Community Gardens Community gardens are notcurrently a principal use in theZoning Ordinance People want to be moreconnected to their food Provide educational and healthylifestyle opportunities Currently, community gardens areoperating in Reston, Burke Centre,and 9 FCPA sites, among otherlocations5

Sales of Garden/Farm Products Includes wayside standsand farmers’ markets The Zoning Ordinancecurrently restricts itemssold, duration andlocation of farmers’markets under theTemporary Special Permitregulations6

Factors to be Considered in the Developmentof this Amendment Use of accessory structures such as sheds, fences, hoophouses/greenhouses, and structures associated with sales Limits on types of products to be sold Traffic and/or parking concerns, particularly in residentialareas Scope of activity and scale of sales in determining usecompatibility, particularly in proximity to residential uses7

Opportunities Good use for land in transition andunbuildable parcels Can provide fresh food to areas that arelacking in access Promotes healthy living Encourages community involvement8

Arlington CountyArlington has implemented a program promotingcommunity gardens and sales of garden/farm productsinvolving: Community and rooftop gardens, Keeping of bees Farmers markets, mobile markets and open airmarkets Collaborative projects between County, CooperativeExtension and Food Assistance Council9

Proposal for Community GardensAllow community gardens in all zoning districts: As a principal or accessory/secondary use on avacant lot less than ½ acre by Temporary SpecialPermit (TSP), limited to 2 years (½ acre for discussionpurposes) As a principal use on a vacant ½ acre or larger bySpecial Permit As an accessory or secondary use on ½ acre or largerwhen located with a school, place of worship, office,or other principal use (excluding single familydwellings) by Special Permit10

Proposal Regarding Sales Farmers’ Market Allow by TSP in all zoning districts 2 year permit with year-round operation Amend regulations on types of food and otherproducts to be sold Wayside Stand – amend provisions to allow on lotssmaller than 2 acres and in more zoning districts Food-trucks – amend regulations to address mobilemarkets11

Outreach to DateMultiple meetings with: Cornerstones Reston Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture12

Additional Outreach Cooperative Extension Fairfax County Park Authority Fairfax County Neighborhood andCommunity Services Fairfax County Health Department13

Next Steps Continue outreach efforts Proposal and text development Revisit with DPC – Summer/Fall 2018 PC and BOS hearings – Fall/Winter 201814

Board InputStaff is seeking guidance regarding the following: Should community gardens be allowed as a principal use in allzoning districts? (Small-scale by TSP, larger-scale by SP) Are lot size and permit time limits the appropriate tools toensure compatibility? Are there other tools? Should sales be permitted at a community garden, including inresidential areas? Should minimal structures ( 120 sq.ft. shed) be permitted byright and all larger structures require a Special Permit for acommunity garden of any size?15

Questions?16

Land that is cultivated by members of a common community to provide plant produce to the gardener, for charitable donation, and/or for on-site sales to the local community. This includes gardens composed of individual plots rented by different gardeners and for communal gardens tended by multiple gardeners. 4

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