After a controversy in College Park over front yard vegetable gained national attention, the City of Orlando is looking to update the city’s landscape regulations including allowing for front yard vegetable gardens.
“We want to support people who want to grow their own food,” City of Orlando Chief Planner Jason Burton the the Orlando City Council today.
In addition to the front yard garden changes the ordinances also deals with water saving measures and increasing the tree canopy of Orlando.
Burton pointed out that “we spend a lot of our public water supply on irrigation.”
Here’s a summary of the new rules that will go to City Council today:
- Limits to the amount of water intensive landscaping by limiting turf, vegetable gardens and annuals up to a maximum of 60% of the pervious areas of the applicable front or street side yard for one and two family development sites.
- Maintenance standards for the proper cultivation of landscaping to ensure dead, diseased or overgrown plants are removed.
- Creates a landscaping calculator that credits sustainable landscaping design features for Multi-Family, Commercial and Industrial properties.
- Requires water conservation measures for irrigation systems.
- Sets up standards for street trees and tree plantings on private property.
- Updates the City’s bufferyard standards to reflect our increasingly urban environment, by concentrating on landscaping screening rather than separation of uses.
- Preserves water quality by providing aquatic plantings and swales along water bodies to capture nutrients, water and soil.
- Provides for healthy spacing of trees and planting materials, including setbacks from overhead electric lines and incorporating tree wind resistance into the selection of street trees.
- Updates the pre-approved list of trees and plants [Tree List] [Plant List] (including the removal of certain invasive exotics), and provides for alternative materials to be submitted to the Zoning Official for approval.
The first reading of the new ordinance will be today, a second reading would be December 6 and if approved would go into effect in April. This is to allow for phasing in and for all existing front yard gardens to come into compliance.
UPDATE November 25, 2013 3:40 p.m. — The Orlando City Council passed the first reading ordinance.
Photo courtesy Patriot Gardens Facebook Page