City Council to Vote on Austin Urban Farm Ordinance

By Megan Giller  |  November 20, 2013

On Thursday at 3:30 the City Council will hold a hearing and possibly vote on updates to the city’s urban farm ordinance. If you haven’t been following the debate, the trouble began when HausBar Farms was shut down in East Austin following neighborhood complaints and the discovery that the city had not issued it the correct permits. From there, lines were drawn between the Austin Urban Farms organization - which distributed a letter signed by many active Austin chefs and restaurant owners in favor of local farms - and the activist organization People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources, which opposes any farms or farming on urban land zoned for single-family housing. Issues range from gentrification to affordable housing to food deserts.

Because of this attention, the city plans to update its urban farm ordinance. The first hearing, scheduled for Oct. 17, was canceled, but chefs like Sonya Cote from Eden East and Hillside Farmacy and farmers like Boggy Creek Farm’s Carol Ann Sayle (who has been farming her East Austin land since the 1970s) are actively encouraging farm supporters to attend Thursday's City Hall meeting (301 W. Second St.), and to wear green to show their support.