No growth for urban farming

By Jillian Marshall

July 17, 2013 Updated Jul 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Legislation for urban farms and community gardens fell short by a single vote Wednesday, following months of debate.

The proposed ordinance has been in the works for more than a year. It focused on farming within city limits, growing community gardens, beekeeping and composting. It even outlined owning small livestock within the city limits.

"From a community development perspective and addressing blighted properties, several spaces where we currently have community gardens are in places where there were long standing eye sores," said Councilwoman Lea Webb.

Webb, who wrote the legislation, says the new regulations would have helped the community and the local economy. But some of her colleges say more work needs to be done before it would be approved.

"The keeping of animals should only be allowed to people who are property owners within the city, not renters," said Councilman Bill Berg. "Renters can simply move out and they can leave behind the animals."

Since the legislation failed, existing regulations -- which allow property owners to keep up to four chickens or rabbits, and prohibit community gardens in industrial zones -- remain in place.

Webb says she hopes to rework the legislation and re-submit it for a vote.

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