Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crowley: Make vacant City parcels available for farms, gardens

Vice Mayor David Crowley has introduced a motion before City Council that could put hundreds of vacant City-owned parcels to productive use.

Under the Cincinnati Farm program, the City would publish a list of all City-owned parcels for which there is no current use and no interested buyer, then offer the lands at nominal cost to residents who would agree to farm or garden the land.

"Many of these parcels have no development potential because of their small size and irregular shape," Crowley says in a statement accompanying the motion. "Many City residents would appreciate having the use of a parcel of land for vegetable gardens, flower gardens, rain gardens, or neighborhood beautification."

Crowley also says that the currently non-productive land could help interested residents earn a living, among other benefits.

"The use of idle City land for gardening and farming would yield multiple benefits, including beautifying the City, improving the availability of fresh local foods, supplementing the diets of local residents, reducing storm water runoff, reducing the City's costs to maintain vacant properties, and creating local jobs."

A report on the proposal from city manager Milton Dohoney Jr is due before Council on November 19.

Photo credit: "Community Garden - Baltic Street, Park Slope" by Flickr user greenbk.