Thinking About Urban Agriculture? Here's What You Need To Know Legally
Urban agriculture is becoming a very popular ting across the country. From front-yard farms to rooftop gardens, new pieces of urban agriculture are being created almost every day. Some do it to save money, while others do it to improve their health. Whatever the case may be, just make sure that you're complying will the law before you start planting, tending or even selling any of the produce that you acquire from your land. Here are three legal things to stay abreast on:
1. Check the Covenants in Your HOA Agreement.
If you live in an area with a homeowners association (HOA), then you will have to be careful moving forward with urban agriculture. In fact, before you do anything at all, you should check the covenants very closely. Many HOA rules prohibit the agricultural use of the land, any civic or business activity and any use of the yard that will affect the appearance and neatness of the lawn. Therefore, before you decide to plant, it is best to seek out clarification for any HOA rules that you are unsure of. Otherwise, you may go through the trouble of planting and then be barred from the HOA and be required to move.
2. Make Sure That You're in the Zone.
Once you've established that there are no HOA covenants in your way of performing urban agriculture, you need to check out any local zoning ordinances and building codes. In some cases, you may need to acquire a permit or a license from the city in order to keep animals or grow crops on your property. There are many cities that are beginning to create ordinances that are friendly to those who want to partake in urban agriculture, but there are likely still plenty that have not implemented the same laws. So, you'll want to check with the city and even the county to make sure that your agricultural plans comply with local regulations to avoid an unnecessary citation.
3. Don't Forget to Comply with State Systems as Well.
Just like cities, states are also beginning to passing legislation for urban agriculture. For example, a law was passed in California back in 2013 that provides tax breaks to individuals who partake in certain forms of urban agriculture, particularly the growing of food on small pieces of land (three acres or less), for a period of at least five years.
If you're considering engaging in urban agriculture, you will want to check out the aforementioned before doing so to avoid any unnecessary setbacks or penalties. You may also want to consider speaking to a real estate attorney, who is better equipped with the law and can help make sure that you are on the right track from the get-go.
To learn more, contact a real estate law firm like Iannello Anderson.