Urban farming gets go-ahead
The Board of Aldermen has modified the city’s zoning laws to spur urban agriculture, allowing for a host of uses previouslyomitted from the city code. The ordinance, proposed by Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the aldermen, formalizes backyard farming and allows for residents to raise hens and bees. The ordinance, which passed 8-0 with three aldermen absent, also sets out provisions for residents to sell their produce without a city license. Curtatone said previously that the measure was a response to interest from the public and from members of the board. “We’re not just talking about community gardens here, but other food production options that lend themselves to the urban environment,” Curtatone said. He added that the practices fit into the city’s wider effort, Shape Up Somerville, which aims to encourage healthier lifestyles.