Fwd: Save our Community Gardens!

From: Melissa M
Sent on: Monday, January 14, 2013 6:04 PM

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Sally McCabe <[address removed]>
Date: January 14, 2013, 5:46:35 PM EST
To: "Beech, Joseph" <[address removed]>, "[address removed]" <[address removed]>, "[address removed]" <[address removed]>, "[address removed]" <[address removed]>, "[address removed]" <[address removed]>, "[address removed]" <[address removed]>, "[address removed]" <[address removed]>, "[address removed]" <[address removed]>
Subject: Save our Community Gardens!

Please share this within your networks, and PLEASE MAKE THE CALLS!  Forward the responses you get to [address removed].


CALL TO ACTION—Philadelphia Community Gardens & Urban Farms at Risk!

City Council recently introduced Bill[masked], which seriously restricts community gardens & farms in combined residential/commercial districts (CMX-2). This puts almost a quarter of the gardens in the city at extreme risk, and would require all market farms and community gardens in CMX-2 to obtain a “special exception.” Similar to a zoning variance under the old zoning code, a special exception requires a hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment, demanding significant time, energy, and expense.

We have lost many of the neighborhood stores where our parents & grandparents once shopped for fresh food. At the same time, we’ve seen a huge increase in vacant lots throughout the city.  The new zoning code recognizes community gardens & farms, bringing healthy fresh produce back to our neighborhoods, while supporting creative solutions to ending blight.  Council Bill[masked] serves as a barrier to healthier and more vibrant neighborhoods.

This bill is directly contrary to Philadelphia’s nationally acclaimed Greenworks goals of increasing access to healthy food and green space throughout the city. The amendments limit access by imposing more hurdles for community groups to overcome. This bill undermines these goals, just as the city is investing in them.

What Can You Do?
·         Call and email your District Councilmembers and each of the At-Large Councilmembers
       --Ask that they support the current zoning code and oppose City Council Bill 120917.
       --Explain how important your garden is to you and your community.
       --Ask City Council to vote “no” on restrictions to community gardens and urban agriculture.

·         Pass this information along to gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Everybody benefits from fresh food and garden activities!
·         Attend the Council Hearing on Thursday, January 24th at 10:00 am and WEAR GREEN.
Find your Councilperson:   http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/

Also call the At-Large Council:

Blondell Reynolds Brown<http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/councilwoman-blondell-reynolds-brown/> (215)[masked],          W. Wilson Goode, Jr.<http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/councilman-w-wilson-goode-jr/> (215)[masked],
Bill Green<http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/councilman-bill-green/>                          (215)[masked],          William K. Greenlee<http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/councilman-william-k-greenlee/>    (215)[masked],
James Kenney<http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/councilman-james-f-kenney/>                   (215)[masked],          Dennis O’Brien<http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/councilman-dennis-m-obrien/>            (215)[masked],
David Oh<http://philadelphiacitycouncil.net/council-members/councilman-david-oh-minority-whip/>                           (215)[masked]

Find out <http://www.Phila.gov/Map?#id=757bbd2d07704a9bb684a1e88ca681c9> the zoning category for your garden or farm or other use: http://www.phila.gov/Map?#id=757bbd2d07704a9bb684a1e88ca681c9

More information at http://pilcop.org/take-action-to-protect-urban-agriculture-in-philadelphia/

If you have questions, contact the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative at[masked] or [address removed]<mailto:[address removed]>.

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