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Community Gardens with On-Site Sales (TC-14-20)

Community Gardens with On-Site Sales (TC-14-20)

This text change has been closed in the portal. 

For updates on the text change process please visit the City of Raleigh text change web page. 


This text change will allow community gardens to provide on-site sales of their products to the general public. Read the full TC-12-20 ordinance

Background Information:

A Community Garden is an area of land managed and maintained by a group of individuals to grow and harvest food crops and non-food ornamental crops, for personal or group use, consumption, or donation. The garden may be divided into separate plots for cultivation by one or more individuals or may be farmed collectively by members of the group and may include common areas maintained and used by the group. 

Community gardens are currently allowed with the approval of a special use permit within the R-2, R-4, and R-6 Residential zoning districts. A Special Use permit is required for uses that may be appropriate in a particular zoning district but because of the increased potential for incompatibility with adjacent uses, require individual review by the Board of Adjustment. Community gardens are also allowed as a Limited Use within the R-1 and R-10 Residential zoning districts. A Limited Use is a use that is allowed by right in a zoning district but must meet certain standards.

Current Rules:

1.   A community garden shall be primarily used for growing and harvesting food crops and ornamental crops, for consumption or donation, or for sale off-site. 

2.   On-site sales are not permitted in residential districts. On-site sales may be permitted in the mixed-use and special districts with the approval of a special use permit, following the procedures set forth in Sec. 10.2.9. Sales shall be restricted to horticultural and agricultural products produced on the premises.

3.   Detached accessory structures such as storage or utility buildings, gazebos, trellises, or accessory greenhouse structures are permitted, subject to compliance with the requirements of the zoning district.

4.   If security fencing is installed, such fencing shall be of an open design.

5.   If lighting is installed, only motion-detecting fixtures shall be permitted. All-night lighting is prohibited.

6.   Community gardens shall be managed and maintained in compliance with all applicable standards of this UDO and the City Code, including but not limited to those pertaining to nuisance abatement, stormwater, site accessibility, signage, soil erosion and sedimentation control, and any required tree conservation and landscaping.

7.   Raising of animals is not permitted in a Residential District. In all other permitted districts, the raising of animals is subject to the following conditions:

i.    The community garden must be in active use for the growing and harvesting of crops.

ii.   Hoofed animals are prohibited.

iii.   Chickens are permitted at a rate of one chicken per 1,000 square feet of lot area not to exceed 10 chickens on any single lot. No roosters are allowed.

iv.  A maximum of two beehives are permitted.

v.   Any coop, hutch, hive, or other structure for housing animals shall be located at least 25 feet from any property line.

Proposed Text Changes:

On-site sales will be permitted in residential districts subject to the following conditions:

  1. Sales shall be limited to items produced on-site.
  2. The total sales area shall be limited to no more than 2,000 square feet per lot.
  3. One off-street parking space shall be provided for every 200 square feet of area devoted to on-site sales activities, but no less than 3 parking spaces. Areas devoted to off-street parking shall be oriented to provide for safe pedestrian and vehicular circulation and arranged so that vehicular ingress and egress to the parking areas is by forward motion of the vehicle.  On-site sales shall be exempt from the parking surfaces requirements and the required landscaping regulations.

4.   Tents, stands, signs, and other structures associated with the on-site use shall maintain a minimum setback of 10 feet from all property lines.

5.   Signage shall be limited to one sign of no more than 12 square feet in area and no higher than 3½ feet above the ground elevation.  Signage shall not be illuminated.

6.   All activities shall be discontinued by 8:00 PM when located in a Residential District.

7.   Waste collection facilities shall be provided on the property.  Such facilities shall be constructed and maintained to minimize visual impact and not create odor, fumes, loose debris and animal, rodent or insect infestation.

8.   A zoning permit showing consistency with these conditions shall be required prior to establishments of the on-site sales use. 

Public Meeting Schedule:

This text change is scheduled for discussion at the Planning Commission Text Change Committee meeting on November 17, 2020. We will be collecting comments here through November 23, 2020. Comments after this date should be submitted directly to the Planning Commission via email.

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