Community and Market Gardens Rules

These are amendments to Metro Louisville’s Land Use Code, which the Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition helped develop with the city to make starting a garden simpler and clearer. First Community Gardens and below that are for Market Gardens.

4.3.17   Community Garden

(This use may be permitted as a use with special standards within the R-R, R-E, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, R5-A, R5-B, R-6, R-7, R-8, R8-A, OR, OR-1, OR-2, OR-3, CN, C-1, and C-2 zoning districts in conformance with the following special standards.)

A.              All structures located on the site shall comply with the location requirements of the form district regulations.  Structures shall not exceed 15% of the total lot area.  No activities shall take place within a required stream buffer of a blue line stream or wetland as specified in Chapter 4, Part 8.  For purposes of calculating required open space, areas of the site devoted to garden use and not enclosed in a structure shall be included in the calculation of required yards.  Trellises, raised beds, and frames used to assist in the growing of plants and shrubs shall not be considered as structures within the meaning of this section.

B.              Lighting for security purposes may be provided in accordance with the standards contained in this Code.

C.              One parking space per four community garden plots shall be provided, either on the site or on the adjacent street.  The location of parking lots shall be in accordance with form district regulations and parking provisions, including design, must be approved by the appropriate agency responsible for traffic engineering.  If parking will be provided on the site, permeable materials such as gravel are highly recommended to provide a surface for parking but are not required.

D.             Community gardens shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 10, including the LBA tree planting requirements.  No additional buffering shall be required unless a structure of greater than 120 square feet in size is proposed, in which case the site shall provide a Type A.1 landscape buffer along the property line closest to the proposed structure.

E.              Composting shall be limited to plant materials generated on the site and plant-based food waste and non-vegetative materials such as wood chips, pre-composted materials or soil to enhance these plant materials.  Compost must be used on site.  Compost piles shall be set back in accordance with the form district regulations for structures and shall be surrounded with a fence or other appropriate enclosure to prevent migration of compost materials due to wind, slope or water-based erosion.  Compost piles located less than 50 feet from a public right-of-way shall not exceed 5 feet in height and compost piles within 3 feet of any building entry shall not exceed 3.5 feet in height.  The amount of compost materials on site at any given time shall not exceed 20 cubic yards.

F.              Water for purposes of maintaining the garden and for dust suppression shall be available on the site, either in the form of a water collection system or an on-site or off-site connection to the municipal water service.

G.             There shall be no more than one non-illuminated freestanding sign not to exceed 12 square feet in area and not to exceed 6 feet in height.

H.             Community gardens shall be operated so as not to create a nuisance condition for adjacent properties due to vibration or odor.  Dust and noise shall be managed consistent with state law and local ordinance, and visible fugitive dust crossing property lines shall be corrected by sprinkling with water.  The premises shall be kept free of debris at all times.

I.               Incidental sales, festivals or other events may be allowed at a community garden following the approval of a Temporary Activity as provided in Section 4.3 of this Code.

J.               Applications for community gardens must be submitted with the Planning Director or Designee to document compliance with the above-listed standards.  Notice of the proposed community garden shall be provided to 1st and 2nd tier property owners and neighborhood groups who have registered with Planning and Design Services to receive notices of development actions.  The notice shall be sent by first class mail not less than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the date of final action by the Planning Director or designee.

4.3.18   Market Garden

This use may be permitted as a use with special standards within the OR, OR-1, OR-2, OR-3, CN, C-1, C-2, CM, M-1, M-2 and M-3 zoning districts in conformance with the following special standards.

A.              All structures, including greenhouses, hoop houses and high tunnels, located on the site shall comply with the location requirements of the form district regulations.  No activities shall take place within a required stream buffer of a blue line stream or wetland as specified in Chapter 4, Part 8.  For purposes of open space, areas of the site devoted to garden use and not enclosed in a structure shall be included in the calculation of required yards.  Trellises, raised beds, and frames used to assist in the growing of plants and shrubs shall not be considered as structures within the meaning of this section.

B.              One parking space per employee working on the site shall be provided either on the site or on the adjacent street.  If sales of food and/or non-food crops are being conducted on the site, additional parking spaces shall be provided in accordance with Chapter 9 of the Land Development Code.  The location of parking lots shall be in accordance with form district regulations and parking provisions, including design, must be approved by the appropriate agency responsible for traffic engineering.  If parking will be provided on the site, permeable materials such as gravel are highly recommended to provide a surface for parking but are not required.

C.              Market Gardens shall be exempt from the LBA tree planting requirements except on all property lines adjacent to structures of greater than 120 square feet in size proposed for the site, in which case the site shall provide a Type A.1 landscape buffer.

D.             Composting shall be limited to plant materials generated on the site and plant-based food waste and non-vegetative materials such as wood chips, pre-composted materials or soil to enhance these plant materials.  Compost piles shall be set back in accordance with the form district regulations for structures and shall be surrounded with a fence or other appropriate enclosure to prevent migration of compost materials due to wind, slope or water-based erosion.  Compost piles located less than 50 feet from a public right-of-way shall not exceed 5 feet in height and compost piles within 3 feet of any building entry shall not exceed 3.5 feet in height.  The amount of compost materials on site at any given time shall not exceed 20 cubic yards.

E.              Water for purposes of maintaining the garden and for dust suppression shall be available on the site, either in the form of a water collection system or an on-site or off-site connection to the municipal water service.

F.              There shall be no more than one non-illuminated freestanding sign not to exceed 12 square feet in area and not to exceed 6 feet in height.

G.             Market gardens shall be operated so as not to create a nuisance condition for adjacent properties due to vibration or odor.  Dust and noise shall be managed consistent with state law and local ordinance, and visible fugitive dust crossing property lines shall be corrected by sprinkling with water.  The premises shall be kept free of debris at all times.

I.               Applications for market gardens must be submitted with the Planning Director or Designee to document compliance with the above-listed standards.  Notice of the proposed market garden shall be provided to 1st and 2nd tier property owners and neighborhood groups who have registered with Planning and Design Services to receive notices of development actions.  The notice shall be sent by first class mail not less than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the date of final action by the Planning Director or designee.

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