Input from the more than 400 urban agriculture survey responses is now available for review and will be used to create a more specific agenda for the next public meeting on this issue.
Planning staff are looking to potentially expand the types of agriculture-related uses allowed on residential properties in the city. Currently, things like gardening for personal use on vacant parcels, small roadside fruit/vegetable stands and backyard chickens are allowed only in limited zoning districts as a permitted use, and elsewhere as a special use with very strict limitations.
Notes from the June 29 public discussion on these topics will be available online soon.
Approximately 75 people attended the discussion, giving staff great information on where consensus lies in the city. Staff likely will schedule in the near future a more targeted public discussion on the issue of small animals on city property, like chickens, bees and goats.
In the survey, a majority of respondents support allowing sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and bees on city parcels, with or without conditions. A majority said no to pigs. Most said no to allowing the keeping of any small farm animals on vacant properties, with the exception of bees.
Urban farms and gardens were overwhelmingly supported by survey respondents.
For more information on these issues and to view the survey results and discussion notes (coming soon), visit our website, www.battlecreekmi.gov. Under Your Government, visit the Community Services page, then Planning and Zoning.