Policy Summary

Uncodified ordinance amending Chapter 13 (Food and Food Products) of Laredo’s code of ordinances; creates Article V (Urban Agriculture), allowing for home gardens, community gardens and district gardens. Allows all types of gardens to use aquaponics, hydroponics, and composting. States that these uses should not require any zoning changes or special permitting. Also allows season extension structures, including hoophouses, high tunnels, green houses, and small sheds as accessory uses. All types of gardens may be used for personal consumption or off-site distribution to a nonprofit or off-site sales to a farmers' market, flea market, restaurant, food bank; district gardens may also be used for on-site distribution to a non-profit and on-site sales.

Background Information

State Texas
Jurisdiction Name Laredo
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 200,000-800,000
Legal Strategies
  • Creates an exemption
  • Requires something, sets standards
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Grow;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

"Whereas" clause section includes references to "food security," "obesity related health problems are higher in areas that lack access to fresh food."

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

"Whereas" clause section includes references to: obesity, "healthy eating habits," "gardening as part of a healthy lifestyle," and "improve nutrition, physical activity, and community engagement."

Environmental linkage?

"Whereas" clause section includes references to: fewer carbon resources being needed to ship nutritious foods to the community; gardens reducing the need for energy for cooling and increasing storm water.

Economic linkage?

"Whereas" clause section refers to "food security."

Includes findings?

The "whereas" clauses include several findings, including: that urban gardens provide access to nutritious foods, contribute to food security, support healthy eating and access to locally grown food; that they help the environment; that they promote community health and welfare, and improve community engagement for a neighborhood and its residents, etc.

Has a stated intent or purpose?

Sec. 13-84 is no labeled as a purpose or intent section, but includes this language: "a person or persons may create and maintain home gardens, community gardens or district gardens for the growth of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Nothing herein shall be construed or interpreted to in any way waive, modify, vacate or in any way affect any lease, deed restriction, covenant, condition, restriction or the regulations of any home owners association."

Includes definitions?

Sec. 13.85

Addresses implementation?

Enforcement provisions?

Noncompliance can result in a fine of up to $2,000 per offense each day the violation continues. Ordinance No. 2017-O-045, Section 4.

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

Uncodified ordinance: Amending Chapter 13, Food and Food Products; Creating Article V, Urban Agriculture (Ord. No. 2017-O-045, Apr. 20, 2017). Codified version can be found at https://library.municode.com/tx/laredo/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH13FOFOPR_ARTVURAG


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