Policy Summary

This law provides regulations for community gardens in section of zoning code that pertains to uses that are permitted, permitted with limitations, or require approval of a conditional use in individual zoning districts (see §1441.01). Standards addressed include size and placement of structures, composting, site maintenance, equipment use, hours of operation, fencing, etc. It does not allow on-site sales. See also, § 1401-01-C14 (defining "Community Garden" as a site operated and maintained by an individual or group to cultivate trees, herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, or other ornamental foliage for the following uses: personal use, consumption, donation or off site sale of items grown on the site"). With respect to administration/implementation, the Zoning Administrator has general authority with respect to permitting and related issues (see chapter 1441), but community gardens are generally allowed throughout the city and do not appear to require permits in zones where they are allowed.

Background Information

State Ohio
Jurisdiction Name Cincinnati
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 200,000-800,000
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
  • Expressly allows something
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Grow; Get;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

The law includes this language "[c]ompost enclosures must be maintained in a manner that protects adjacent properties from adverse environmental, health and safety impacts." § 1419-41(i)(7).

Environmental linkage?

Purposes for the Zoning Code include an intent to "[c]reate pedestrian-friendly environments to reduce reliance on the automobile for travel" and "[e]nsure that development is compatible with the environment, particularly on the hillsides and along the riverfront." § 1400-03 (g) and (j).

Economic linkage?

Stated purposes for the Zoning Code include an intent to "[p]romote the economic stability of existing land uses and protect them from intrusions by inharmonious or harmful land uses" and to "[p]rovide opportunities for economic development...for all segments of the community." § 1400-03 (e) and (f).

Includes findings?

Has a stated intent or purpose?

Section 1400-03 sets forth various purposes of the Zoning Code, including, e.g., that the Cincinnati Zoning Code is adopted to: ""Provide a guide for the physical development of the city,"" etc. § 1400-03.

Includes definitions?

§1401-01 (includes definition for "community garden"--see § 1401-01-C14).

Addresses implementation?

The law sets forth a procedures for application review, and charges the Zoning Administrator and Director of Buildings and Inspections with specific administrative responsibilities and authority. Chapter 1441.

Enforcement provisions?

"Whoever violates any provision of the Cincinnati Zoning Code or fails to conform to any provision thereof or fails to obey any lawful order of the Director of Buildings and Inspections issued in pursuance thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree on the first offense and guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree on the second and subsequent offense. Each day's continuation of a violation or failure to comply is a separate offense." § 1451-09.

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

Section 1419-41 is located in Title XIV Zoning Code / Chapter 1419 - Additional Development Regulations / § 1419-41. - Community Gardens. History: Ord. No. 036-2010, § 1, eff. March 18, 2010.


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