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Community Garden Zoning Regulation

This project began in February 2010 and finished in June 2010.

Franklin County planners and a range of stakeholders drafted an amendment to the Franklin County Zoning Resolutions to establish regulations to allow community gardens on lots smaller than 1 acre.

Previously, agricultural uses other than private gardening or beekeeping were not permitted on lots smaller than 1 acre. This amendment allows this beneficial use in all zones within Franklin County. This regulation does not affect community gardens on lots larger than one acre.

Importance of Community Gardens

Community gardens are an important component of expanding access to locally grown foods. Additional benefits of community gardens include:

  • Providing nutritious food at affordable costs - Community gardens allow residents of all ages and incomes to access fresh produce that they can grow themselves. Community gardens can be especially beneficial in areas with limited grocery store access, or “food deserts”.
  • Stimulating community engagement - Community gardens give residents the opportunity to socially interact with their neighborhoods by working together to operate and maintain the garden.
  • Promoting healthy living - Besides the nutrition gained from consuming fresh produce, community gardens provide physical, emotional, and mental health benefits to residents who participating in community gardening.
  • Preservation of green space - Community gardens help to preserve green space by productively using vacant or undeveloped land for an environmentally beneficial purpose.
  • Increased neighborhood stabilization - Existence of community gardens has been correlated with reduced crime, increased neighborhood pride, and increased property values.

Community Garden Stakeholders

We worked with many stakeholders to develop this regulation, including local, state, and national experts as well as community groups:

The Ohio State University Extension

Center for Farmland Policy Innovation

Franklin Park Conservatory, American Community Gardening Association Chapter

Local Matters

Community Garden Regulation

The regulation below is now part of the Franklin County Zoning Resolution.

Community Garden regulation updated 6/8/10

Final approval

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved the Community Garden Zoning Regulation on June 8, 2010. The commissioners' final action followed approvals by the Franklin County Planning Commission and the Franklin County Rural Zoning Commission.

John O'Grady President
Marilyn Brown
Kevin L. Boyce