Although Cleveland is known as a rust belt city, it’s located in the prime agricultural lands of eastern Ohio. Now, Cleveland is returning to its roots.
Now, through policy initiatives and partnerships, Cleveland is tapping into its geographical bounty.
An Urban Agriculture and Green Space Zoning Ordinance had been adopted by the city in 2005, but at first, the city was primarily focused on parks and recreation facilities. The agriculture aspect of the ordinance began to gain traction in 2007 as the city began to allow farming uses through zoning. In 2009, zoning rules were further modified to allow most city residents to keep chickens, ducks and rabbits, as well as beehives. Now, people in the city may also raise goats, pigs and sheep.
And in 2010, zoning regulations were altered to permit agriculture as a principal use on all vacant residential lots in the city.
“We’re making lemonade out of lemons,” says Jenita McGowan, chief of sustainability for the City of Cleveland.
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