Urban Agriculture Policy
Getting Access to City-Owned Land
The City’s Adopt-A-Lot process provides legal access to City-owned lands for greenspace projects such as community gardens and urban farms. Bear in mind that the leases provided through the Adopt-A-Lot process preserve the city’s right to sell the lot while it is actively being gardened.
The City requires all Adopt-A-Lot gardens to be have liability insurance. Grow Pittsburgh and NexTier Insurance are looking into options to start a group liability insurance policy for community gardeners.
Selling Produce from City-Owned Lots
Check out the Urban Growers Guide: How to Sell the Food You Grow in Pittsburgh for a ton of information, useful even to those outside the city. This document outlines the nuances of the $10,000 limit on the sale of produce off City-owned lots (long story short: you can sell way more than $10K worth of produce!).
Pittsburgh Zoning for Greenhouses & High Tunnels
Livestock in the City
Farm animals can be integrated into an urban grower’s plan depending on local zoning law and the space available. The City of Pittsburgh has an updated urban agriculture zoning code, which makes keeping Honey bees, chickens, ducks, and goats permitted by right.
Among many other items, the code now permits as follows:
- Keeping of up to 5 chickens or ducks with 2,000 sq. ft or more of land (this includes the footprint of the home), and for each additional 1,000 square feet, you are permitted 1 more chicken or duck.
- Housing of up to 2 beehives with 2,000 sq. ft and a minimum 10 feet from a neighboring property line; for each additional 2,000 sq. feet, you are permitted 2 additional beehives
- Keeping 2 miniature goats with 2,000 sq. ft of land; at 10,000 sq. feet, residents are permitted to keep 2 adult goats
- Sale of produce on vacant land with permission from the owner
Apply for a permit through the Urban Agriculture Zoning Code here.
These local organizations are working to support responsible animal husbandry in an around Pittsburgh:
Promotes bees and beekeeping in the Pittsburgh area
Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
A stakeholder group representing a broad spectrum of the food system
Pittsburgh Poultry Association
Educates others and shares information about keeping chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys in the Pittsburgh area
Support backyard chickens and bees in Pittsburgh!
A facebook group for people keeping chickens and bees.
Steel City Grazers
This goat grazing business provides education and demonstrations on keeping goats in Pittsburgh