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TEC Meeting today to take action on proposed community garden regs

The following is the agenda for today’s 2:00pm meeting of the Transportation and Environmental Committee:

http://dallascityhall.com/committee_briefings/briefings0111/TEC_Combined_010711.pdf

 

The following are the provisions proposed and passed by the Zoning Ordinance Committee by a 5 to 0 vote on November 4th:

  1. A community garden must comply with the regulations for the zoning district in which the community garden is located.
  2. For a community garden in a residential district, the combined floor area of structures may not exceed 200 square feet and must be erected in the rear 30% of the lot.
  3. Animal grazing and animal production are prohibited.
  4. For a community garden in a residential district, signage is limited to a single, non-illuminated, flat sign of no more than six square feet.

Officially, the Community Gardens of Oak Cliff will not support these provisions, as they restrict the development of new gardens in urban areas where fresh fruits and vegetables are needed most by citizens on fixed and low incomes, as well as prohibits bee production which aides in the pollination and growth of all plantings in a garden.

CGOC Tee Shirts Available at Repotted!

Purchase a new CGOC logo tee-shirt at the new nursery, Repotted, on Davis St for $15 dollars. All proceeds go toward current and future community gardens in Oak Cliff!

Sizes: S, M, L, XLNew CGOC logo tee-shirt

CGOC Responds to latest Community Garden Regulations

Gardeners,
Find attached the new staff recommendation to the city Environmental and Transportation committee. This is option 6 and I STILL think they need to go back to the drawing board. In this option, chickens (and bees) will not be allowed and a permit and site plan will be required. The cost for the permit is $215/year. This is NOT the right option. We should not be charged for growing food. Please make you comments know to the following council members before Tuesday’s meeting:
tom.leppert@dallascityhall.com

Also, if you would like to speak at the meeting please include that in your comments.
Thanks,
Mariana

OPTION 6

Cliff Temple Puts Hands to Earth

Community Garden of Cliff Temple ground breaking

This weekend’s ground breaking at the new Community Garden of Cliff Temple was a huge step forward in creating sustainable foods for church members and families in need. Judging by the pictures, many volunteers participated in hammering together the frames for up to 28 individual raised beds being created for future plantings, tilling soil and adding mulch. More will be developed in the next few weeks.

You’ll be able to see their progress on May 23rd from 1-5pm when Bike Friendly Oak Cliff will be hosting a Garden Ride to show case Community Gardens of Oak Cliff newest Member Gardens. Stay tuned for an official announcement in the next few days with further details!

City of Dallas Community Garden Update and “Putting the Pieces Together”

On Monday, April 12th at 2pm the Transportation and Environment Committee slated with developing policy for community gardens on public land will brief council members.  This is an update from the last meeting back in January.  All are welcome to come out and support community gardens.  See announcement below:

Dear Community Gardeners and Friends,

We are returning to the Council Transportation and Environment Committee (TEC) this coming Monday, April 12th at 2pm with a new option for community garden zoning on private vacant lots.

This option addresses concerns and needs brought up by community and Council members at the briefing on March 8th, 2010.  After receiving TEC’s recommendation, a draft ordinance will go to the Zoning Ordinance Committee (ZOC) and the City Planning Commission (CPC) and return to Council for final approval.

Your support and comments are welcome both at this briefing Monday and at the ZOC public meetings and CPC public hearings to follow.  Seating is available on 6ES (City Hall- 1500 Marilla Street Dallas , TX 75201 ).  I apologize for the short notice and we hope to see you there.

All the best,

Hannah Kolni

Outreach and Community Garden Coordinator

City of Dallas, Office of Environmental Quality

214-671-8980          214-671-8980 hannah.kolni@dallascityhall.com

To learn how to build a greener Dallas, visit GreenDallas.net!

In other Oak Cliff related news, the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce put together a community panel called “Putting the Pieces Together” on Tuesday night at the Methodist Hospital which featured several community groups presenting about their organizations and what they’re doing.  There were updates on the Streetcar system, upcoming Art Crawl, our city parks and much, much more.  My hope is that they make this a regular occurrence.  See a DMN post with a full report

Come See the Better Block Exhibition on April 10-11th

A coalition of area residents and community activists are putting together a rather interesting and dreamy art installation at the corner of Tyler St and Seventh St during this year’s Oak Cliff Art Crawl!  Check out this video to see a sneak preview!

Here’s the press release:

The Better Block Project
For two days only, neighborhood activists are exploring that concept by creating pop-up shops—a flower/gift shop, a coffee shop, kids art studio—in an experiment that’s part art installation, part political statement. This pre-war block with restrictive retail zoning and high car traffic is converting to a people-friendly environment by adding businesses most requested by locals and by reclaiming street space with outdoor seating, historic lighting, and more. Both new and existing businesses are celebrating this prospect with unique happenings at each location. The project is part of the greater Oak Cliff Art Crawl, which is being held on April 10th and 11th, 2010, and organized by Go Oak Cliff, a non-profit working to improve quality of life in North Oak Cliff.
Location:
400 Block of North Tyler Street
Dallas, Texas 75208
Pop-up Businesses and Times:
WIGWAM (Flower Store): April 10th, Sat. 12-8pm; April 11th, Sun. 12-6m
Rock, Paper, Scissors (Kid’s Art Studio): April 10/11 Sat & Sun 10am-6pm
Philosophia Cafe: April 10th, Sat. 10am-8pm; April 11th Sun 10am-6pm
Visit www.oakcliffartcrawl.com for more details.

Jason Roberts
469.487.6263

Garden Gathering Tonight @ Eno’s

If you’re new to gardening and have an interest in CGOC, come out tonight to Eno’s Pizza Tavern @ 6:30pm to drink a Mother’s Wit or purchase a homemade pie to benefit Community Garden’s of Oak Cliff.  Of course they have great food, too!

A group of people, mainly with interests in the Methodist Hospital Garden meet every week! This is open to anyone, so come out and join in the camaraderie!

Mariana Griggs to be on ‘Think’ on KERA 90.1 at 1pm Tuesday

Tune into ‘Think’ on KERA 90.1 at 1pm on Tuesday, March 8th to hear host Kris Boyd be joined by our own Marianna Griggs, President of the Oak Cliff Community Gardens, Amy Wallace Cowan, organizer of Cliff Fest and the Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade, and Jason Roberts, who’s involved in everything that’s anything in North Oak Cliff.

I definitely think she’ll be the star on this one!

More From the OC Community Gardens: Experiments on Code Hybridization

Article by OC Community Garden Advocate, Scott Griggs

In gardening and biology, hybridization is the crossbreeding of two species to create a plant with some characteristics of each parent. We all remember high school botany and the stories of the great Gregor Mendel using hybridization in pea plants to discover that one inheritable trait would invariably be dominant to its recessive alternative. Mendel’s work became the foundation for genetics.
Today, in the City Council Transportation and Environment Committee, City Staff will brief the Committee on the zoning options for a municipal community gardens program. Staff’s recommendation: a nod to the great Mendel and the use of a hybrid approach to community gardening that crosses gardening-by-right and strict Special Use Permits (SUPs).

Gardening-by-right means you have a right to community garden as long as you comply with zoning regulations and don’t create any code issues.

In the strict SUP model, you pay an $1170 non-refundable fee for a community garden, make your best case before City Council, and after a 6 month process, find out if your application is accepted or rejected. Be sure to plan to garden at least one full season in advance.

According to the briefing, the recommended hybrid approach is “unique and mostly consistent.” So what does this hybrid variety look like? It has an initial non-refundable $1170 SUP fee (lovingly called the “cost to garden”), reapplication fees, and strict regulation. It seems like the hybrid approach creates a unique variety of tomato: the grow-it-yourself $30/pound tomato. It’s definitely a rare variety born of crossing high fees and overregulation.
If Mendel was an urbanist, I don’t think he would be too proud. But he was a scientist and as a scientist, Mendel would conclude the strict SUP gene was dominant and completely masks it’s the recessive counterpart, the garden-by-right gene. So much for Staff’s experiment.

Thankfully, we don’t need Mendel to make good public policy. Let’s pick gardening-by-right and leave hybridization to the botanists.

Community Gardens of Oak Cliff President and BFOC member Mariana Griggs will be attending the meeting and keeping everyone posted. If you have the opportunity to show your support, the Committee meets today, Monday, March 8 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Location: 6ES (City Hall – 1500 Marilla Street).

And please leave all rotten tomatoes at home.

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