Left In Alabama   Follow leftinbama on Twitter

Urban Farming Coming To Birmingham?

by: countrycat

Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:54:04 AM CST

The city of Birmingham is holding a town hall meeting on January 9 to discuss updating city ordinances to encourage more community gardens, local farmers markets, and even bee keeping and backyard chicken coops.

This initiative is part of the Birmingham Comprehensive Plan:

The comprehensive plan will set out a 20-year policy and strategic framework for the City of Birmingham. Guided by an overall vision that embodies the unique personality, culture, and heritage of our community, the planning process will establish a set of goals, policies, strategies, and implementation actions to achieve the plan’s vision for Birmingham’s future. This will be the city’s first full comprehensive plan since 1961. It’s our opportunity to set a new course for Birmingham in the 21st century.

Well, urban farming is certainly a great place to start.  Several years ago, gradyw wrote about the problem of Birmingham food deserts:

Unfortunately much more than 2.2 percent of Birmingham area residents live more than a mile from a supermarket. Birmingham is also burdened by a lack of quality public transportation which further compounds upon this issue. [...] I know that this is something that has plagued a number of areas in this state and while many assume it to be a rural problem, the problems in urban areas are just as drastic.  

This excellent Magic City Post article contains information about the town hall meeting as well as a description of the proposed changes.  A sample:

2.  Community Gardens are proposed to be an allowed use in all residential zoning classifications and most commercial and industrial zoning classifications.

4.  Apiaries (places where bees are kept for their honey) are proposed to be an allowed use in all residential and commercial zoning classifications and most industrial zoning classifications.

5.  Public Markets are proposed to be an allowed use in most commercial and industrial zoning classifications.

9.  Chicken Coops could be allowed if an applicant is granted a special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Let's hope this initiative is successful because the problem of food deserts and the lack of access to fresh, healthy foods is quite real - and expensive. 

Food costs more when purchased from convenience stores and choices there are limited.  If fresh fruits and vegetables are available at all, costs are high - a dollar for a banana, for instance.  That gives poorer families an incentive to bulk up on high fat & high carb foods, because you get more food for the money and feel "full" after eating.

But that, in turn, increases the societal costs.  Food deserts are a threat to health. Alabama has the nation's 4th highest obesity rate and the 18-24 age group represents the largest segment.  The health risks of obesity - diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, increased cancer risk - will cost this state a bundle as these young people, who should be in their prime of life, develop long-term, expensive chronic illnesses.

The town hall meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 9th at 8:30 a.m. in the City Council Chamber on the 3rd floor of Birmingham City Hall.  The address is 710 20th St. N. in Birmingham.  If you cannot attend the meeting but would still like to have your concerns known, email Tim Gambral in the city’s planning office at timothy.gambrel@birminghamal.gov. 

If any of our LIA folks are able to attend, please give us a report on this important issue.


countrycat :: Urban Farming Coming To Birmingham?
Tags: , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email
Share |

I guess this means (0.00 / 0)

that the zoning board, or whatever it's called, may now consider undoing some things it should have never done in the first place.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...."      Hosea 4:6



blog advertising is good for you


Be part of the state's largest & fastest growing Democratic grassroots organization. To receive our newsletter, text OTMDEMS to 22828. Follow us on Facebook.



Advanced Search

A community blog for progressive politics, ideas and current events in Alabama. Register now to join the conversation.

Friend and Follow Left In Alabama:

Join LIA's Facebook Page Go To LIA's Twitter Page Go To LIA's Flickr Photo Album Go To LIA's YouTube channel

- Mobile

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

LiA Contributors
- Admin
- Admin
- Economics & Aeronautics
- National Political Issues
- Political Strategy & Messaging
- Health Care
- Education in the Black Belt
- ADP Watch
- Climate & Alternative Energy
- Labor
- Alabama Legal Issues
- From the Center
- Equal Rights & GLBT Issues
- Roving Reporter

Please take our Blog Reader Project survey.

Support Left in Alabama with a Donation!

Your Amazon purchases can help fund this blog:
Support Left in Alabama
Buy Phones & More at Amazon Wireless


T.H.E. Social Work Agency
Adoption home studies & care management services in the North Alabama area.
Licensed, certified, caring social workers.

blog advertising is good for you

Bessemer Opinions
Birmingham Blues
Birmingham Science Examiner
Greg Varner's Blog
The Haze Filter
Hard Boiled Dreams of the World
King Cockfight
Legal Schnauzer
Loretta Nall
Peace Takes Courage
Pippa Abston's Blog
TJ Beitel
Thoughts & Rants of an Independent
Time is Spherical, Not Linear
WriteChic Press

ACLU of Alabama
Alabama Arise
Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform
Alabama Conservationist
Alabama Democratic Conference
Alabama Democratic Party
Alabama Legislature
Alabama Poverty Project
Alabama Secretary of State's Office
Encyclopedia of Alabama
Equality Alabama
Greater Birmingham Ministries
League of Women Voters of Alabama
Madison County Democrats
Marshall County Democrats
Over the Mountain Democrats
Alabama Political Reporter

Blog for Democracy
Blue Oklahoma
Burnt Orange Report
Daily Kingfish
Facing South
The Old Black Church
West Virginia Blue
Juanita Jean - Texas

Anzalone Liszt Research
Center for American Progress
FEC Electronic Report Retrieval
Follow the Money
In Their Boots
New Organizing Institute
Pew Research Center
Progressive States Network
The Contributor


 Subscribe in a reader

Add to My AOL

Powered by FeedBurner

Powered by: SoapBlox