POLICY DATABASE
Boston, MA, Article 89 (Dec. 20, 2013)
Brief Summary
This chapter addresses a variety of urban agriculture uses, including ground level and rooftop farms and greenhouses for commercial purposes; aquaculture, aquaponic, and hydroponic farms; composting; keeping of hens and bees; and farmers; markets and farm stands. It allows urban farming activities for commericial purposes to occur in many districts across the city, including residential zones/districts.
Legal Strategies
Requires something, sets standards.
Expressly allows something.
Reach
Community-wide
Food System Category: Grow, Get
State: Massachusetts
Jurisdiction Type: City
Jurisdiction Name: Boston
Does the law refer to priority populations in some way?
No.
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal related to improving or protecting health?
No.
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal of fostering improved environmental conditions?
Yes. Soil safety (sec. 89-7).
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal related to promoting or supporting the community's economy?
No.
Does the law include findings (including jurisdiction-specific findings), or are there findings in the larger section, title, article, or chapter which the law is part of?
No.
Does the law have a stated intent or purpose, or is there an intent or purpose in the larger section, title, article, or chapter which the law is part of?
Yes. "The purpose of this Article is to establish zoning regulations for the operation of Urban Agriculture activities and to provide standards for the siting, design, maintenance and modification of Urban Agriculture activities that address public safety, and minimize impacts on residents and historic resources in the City of Boston." Sec. 89-1.
Does the law include definitions, or are there definitions in the section, title, article, or chapter which the law is part of?
Yes. Section 89-2.
Does the law address implementation in some way?
Yes. Boston Redevelopment Authority may issue regulations to administer (Sec. 89-14). When a Comprehensive Farm Review is required, that is to be conducted by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and reviewed/approved by the Inspectional Services Department (see Sections 89-2, definition of "comprehensive farm review" and 89-6).
Are there enforcement provisions that identify specific penalties or consequences for non-compliance?
No.
Does the law include an evaluation component, beyond reporting on activity?
No.
Does the law require an extra or atypical financial or resource investment?
No.
Code context and ordinance history
Uncodified Article 89 added to Boston's Zoning Code in December 2013. Codified version is availabe on Municode at https://library.municode.com/ma/boston/codes/redevelopment_authority?nodeId=ART89URAG&showChanges=true. Our review showed few, if any, substantial changes between 2013 and the most recent codified version (current through Aug. 8, 2017).