In Falcon Heights, the plots for gardens thicken

By Anne Holzman

During their Aug. 5 workshop meeting, Falcon Heights City Council members briefly discussed two garden related measures that they are expected to deal with in the coming months.

Due to ongoing waiting lists for garden plots at Community Park, council members said they want to add nine plots, which would mean expanding the fenced area and adding beds.

Currently, plots are renewable year to year, which council members said might favor homeowners over renters because renters are more mobile. Also, there are non-residents who use the public garden, and council members asked whether resident priority should be strengthened.

Council member Melanie Leehy suggested the city find ways to inform renters about the availability of the plots. The council also discussed whether to reserve any new plots for renters and of reviewing the resident priority policy.

The council directed the city staff to develop a plan to expand the garden space that it can consider at a future meeting.

In a related matter, Council member Kay Andrews asked about the status of the city’s vegetation ordinance, which was updated last winter to accommodate native landscapes and then became controversial when a resident proposed putting a community vegetable garden in their front yard.

An August survey of residents is expected to help staff draft a revised ordinance for council review, according to Justin Markon, city development director. The new proposal could add more types of vegetation in front yards, including vegetable gardens, he said.

Anne Holzman, a former St. Anthony Park resident, is a regular contributor to the Bugle.

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