Lillie Rosen is the Food Access Director at DC Greens.
The DC Council has positioned the District as a leader in urban agriculture. Yesterday, the Council unanimously passed the Urban Farming and Food Security Act of 2014! This piece of legislation makes sure that food production is a part of future urban development in the District.
Specifically, the legislation:
• Establishes a 90% tax abatement for private land owners who use, lease, or allow their land to be used for urban agriculture;
• Instructs the Mayor to identify 25 District-owned vacant lots for urban farming;
• Creates a tax credit for individuals and businesses to donate locally farmed fruits and vegetables to D.C. food banks, pantries, and shelters; and
• Provides that tax-exempt entities will not lose their tax-exempt status if grounds are used for urban farming or community gardens.
This legislation is a big step for DC, but our work is not quite done. The legislation still needs the Mayor’s signature and funding to be fully enacted and we are confident that with your support this legislation will have a real impact on our urban landscape. We are looking forward to appointment of the Food Policy Council and Director to ensure that DC remains a fertile city for urban agriculture.
If you are interested in learning more about the legislation and how you can start an urban farm in DC, join us on February 28, 2015 at Rooting DC. Registration opens on January 15th.