Local Lifestyle

Urban Gardening Becomes Law

Voluntary Program Requires Five Year Commitment

Urban Gardening Becomes Law

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cement slabs dotted with weeds and other eyesores could transform into small farms and community gardens under a new, voluntary state law.

Governor Jerry Brown signed an urban gardening bill into law, giving local governments control over three-acre, or smaller, plots of land.

Landowners will reap the benefits of having lower assessed values and property taxes if they pledge to grow food at the site for at least five years.

The bottom line: We will likely see more community gardens and small farms sprouting up in places where they normally wouldn't.

"My attitude about it is that every piece of municipal property where they mow lawns and use manpower should just be turned into community gardens," said Santa Barbara resident Joe Rubin.

But there is a downside: Local governments that opt for urban gardening will see a loss in property tax revenues.

However, for folks tight on cash who can't afford to develop their property, a community garden is another option.

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