On August 23, 2010, Mayor Mike McGinn signed Ordinance 123378, legislation that removes Land Use Code barriers to urban agriculture in order to promote local and regional food sustainability and security. Highlights of the new legislation include:
- A new definition for “urban farm,” which allows homeowners to grow and sell food from their backyard.
- A new definition for “community garden,” which is now a permitted use in all zones, with some limitations in industrial zones.
- Rooftop greenhouses can have a 15 foot exception to height limits if the greenhouse is dedicated to food production (applies to MF/C/I/SM/Downtown zones).
- An increase in the number of chickens allowed per lot from three to eight, with additional chickens allowed for large lots associated with community gardens and urban farms.
- A ban on new roosters; existing roosters are subject to regulation through the noise ordinance.
The new rules will be effective September 23.
DPD is developing a new Client Assistance Memo (CAM) to explain the opportunities and allowances for urban agriculture activities. The CAM will be available online and in the Applicant Service Center. For more information on DPD’s work on urban agriculture please visit the project website: www.seattle.gov/dpd/urbanagriculture.
Andrea Petzel, Senior Planner