The Land Use Code changed last year to increase the number of chickens allowed to be kept on a residential lot from three to eight. Along with this increase in the number of birds, provisions were added prohibiting the keeping of roosters and requiring that coops be located at least ten feet away from dwelling units on adjacent lots. The new code provisions, included as part of comprehensive changes designed to encourage urban agriculture, became effective on September 23, 2010.
The City of Seattle created a new Client Assistance Memo (CAM) #244 that explains the new city code related to expanding opportunities for urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is defined as growing plants and raising animals within and around cities, and Seattle’s Land Use Code recognizes five different urban agriculture uses: Animal Husbandry, Aquaculture, Community Gardens, Horticulture and Urban Farms.
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.
The City Council’s Regional Development and Sustainability Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on DPD’s proposed code changes to support urban agriculture on July 21, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. The hearing will be held in the Council’s Chamber, 2nd floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue.
The proposed urban agriculture legislation includes recommendations to add and/or clarify definitions of key agricultural terms; expand opportunities for community gardens and urban farms in all zones; allow a 15-foot exception to height limits for rooftop greenhouses dedicated to food production; add farmers’ markets to the definition of a “multipurpose retail sales” use; increase the number of domestic fowl allowed on a lot from three to eight; and, allow existing urban horse farms greater than ten acres to operate as a permitted use in single-family zones.