15-0202 v2.1/Urban Agriculture and Rural Applications

QUESTION

Ours is a rural site that was cleared forest for farmland approximately 80 years ago. The land is very poor and is not at all suited for agriculture. Realizing the intent is to grow food as close to the source where it will be consumed as well as minimizing urban sprawl, my land will just not support the imperatives face intent. I am improving the soil through various techniques but making the soil healthier is creating weed growth and killing off what natural grasses I have.

The ideal resolve is to continue taking the property back to its natural state. The fields will not be restored in my lifetime. However, it would seem to make sense to plant food plots encouraging habitat development for native wildlife. In doing so, I am not feeding humans directly or indirectly through feeding livestock but providing sustainable food plots for the wildlife who continue to lose their habitat through the sprawl we all see. I sense the original imperative was developed with an urban perspective. However, my woodland food plot suggestion supports a very broad food chain format and for many, many species. Could/should the imperative be expanded to include this broader and more holistic approach? I see this as an expansion of the original imperative and still embraces the program's intent. Please comment and advise.

ANSWER

"Based on your description, there are two possible options: 1. There is an exception that does not require agriculture for projects within an area that fits the description of Transect L1: Natural Habitat Preserve (including the FAR ratio of the project to the site), when the primary purpose of the development is related to protection or interpretation of sensitive ecological habitats. (See footnote 23) The land not impacted by the development must be restored as you suggest and a permanent easement that eliminates the potential for future additional development must be filed with the appropriate jurisdiction(s). 2. Agriculture in the context of the Living Building Challenge is not limited to the traditional premise that transforms the land into orderly rows of a crop monoculture. The program recognizes and is preferential to the most appropriate type of agriculture for the location - and this varies broadly. The area could be used to raise sheep, goats, rabbits, etc.; as an orchard; for wildflowers and honeybees; a combination of these or other options, too. If a site does not fit into the Transect L1 definition, the team should consider some of these other agricultural opportunities."


Post ID 2129

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