City of St. Louis Leads Region with New Urban Agriculture Policies
Dept. of Public Safety Allows Onsite Sales of Produce, Eggs, and Honey
Board of Alderman Vote for Expansion of Backyard Chickens
Date: July 14, 2017
St. Louis, MO: The Board of Aldermen voted to allow residents in the City of St. Louis to possess up to 8 chickens depending on the size of the of their property. Board Bill 52 passed by a vote of 22-3 and awaits the signature of Mayor Lyda Krewson before it becomes law. The previous ordinance only allowed up to four animals per city parcel, including dogs, cats, chickens, and rabbits.
Mayor Krewson, through the Department of Public Safety, updated existing urban farming policies to allow for the direct, onsite sale of produce and other goods from a home garden, community garden, or urban farm.
“Access to healthy food and food security for every neighborhood in the City of St. Louis is more possible today than ever before,” said Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Coordinator at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “Mayor Krewson and the Board of Alderman were both key to changing policies that will grow our local food economy and create new economic opportunities for people throughout the city,” she added.
More than a year’s worth of engaging residents and compiling data by the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition (STLFPC) contributed to the complementary policy changes in the city. The STLFPC urban agriculture survey found that residents wanted a minimum spatial requirement for various reasons, including animal welfare, public health and cleanliness, which was incorporated into Board Bill 52.
“We are excited to finally have a law that reflects what many residents are already doing,” said Alderwoman Cara Spencer, who introduced Board Bill 52. “Many of my constituents already have a couple of pets and a few chickens in their backyard.”
Nearly 100 people surveyed want to be able to sell their produce, honey and eggs from a stand at their home or community garden, which was addressed in the policy change by the St. Louis Department of Public Safety.
“Increasing healthy food access while putting more money in the pockets of city residents are part of the tools we need to build stronger and safer communities,” said Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, one of the four co-sponsors of Board Bill 52. “St. Louisans now have clear guidelines about how, where, when, and what can be sold from their property, community garden, or urban farm.”
Frank Oswald, Building Commissioner for the City said, “The Building Division’s policy regarding urban agriculture is our way to help see our residents have access to fresh healthy food grown locally.”
View the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition citywide urban agriculture survey (2016) here.
View MCE’s St. Louis Regional Food Study (2014) here.