Laredo, Tex., Ordinance 2017-O-045 (Apr. 20, 2017)
Brief 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.
Legal Strategies
Creates an exemption.
Requires something, sets standards.
Food System Category: Grow
State: Texas
Jurisdiction Type: City
Jurisdiction Name: Laredo
Does the law refer to priority populations in some way?
Yes. "Whereas" clause section includes references to "food security," "obesity related health problems are higher in areas that lack access to fresh food.".
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal related to improving or protecting health?
Yes. "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.".
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal of fostering improved environmental conditions?
Yes. "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.
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal related to promoting or supporting the community's economy?
Unclear. "Whereas" clause section refers to "food security.".
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?
Yes. 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.
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?
Unclear. 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.".
Does the law include definitions, or are there definitions in the section, title, article, or chapter which the law is part of?
Yes. Sec. 13.85.
Does the law address implementation in some way?
Are there enforcement provisions that identify specific penalties or consequences for non-compliance?
Yes. 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.
Does the law include an evaluation component, beyond reporting on activity?
Does the law require an extra or atypical financial or resource 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.