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L.A. City Council Approves the Planting of Urban Edible Parkway Gardens

Up until a few weeks ago, planting anything other than grass (or certain shrubs) on curbsides required a $400 permit from the city of Los Angeles, and homeowners were often fined for not complying with those regulations.

Considering that a curbside is an underutilized strip of land between the sidewalk and the street, the regulations were a point of contention in lower-income neighborhoods, which often lack green space and access to fresh, healthy foods.

This month, however, urban farmers have reason to cheer.

Los Angeles City Council recently voted to allow Angelenos to plant fruits and vegetables in these spaces (also known as parkways or hellstrips), which legally belong to the city. Local advocacy groups have been pushing for the new ordinance for years; we last reported on it in 2013.

And though the guerrilla vegetable gardens are now allowed in L.A., municipal guidelines for parkway landscaping still have to be amended with the new rules. Council members are now updating the code to include specifications on how tall the plants can grow and far they must be from the curb so as not to impede sidewalk access.

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A copy of the revised ordinance (adopted by the City Council on March 4, 2015) can be found here:

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