Land-use webinar to focus on resurgence of agriculture in Pittsburgh

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Urban agriculture will be the topic of a Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension, addressing the resurgence of agriculture in urban zoning, healthy communities and land use.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar at noon on Oct. 21 will be Heather Mikulas, an educator with Penn State Extension, Andrew Dash, a planner with the City of Pittsburgh Planning Department, and Julie Butcher Pezzino, with Grow Pittsburgh. The webinar will specifically look at new agricultural zoning provisions in the City of Pittsburgh. 

"Many cities, like Pittsburgh, have had to examine the issues around utilizing publicly owned and privately owned green space for agricultural endeavors, at the behest of engaged citizens with an interest in growing food and raising livestock for personal consumption and sale," said Mikulas. "The community development goals related to vacant lots and place-making with gardens used as open space present challenges for local land-use regulations."

The City of Pittsburgh has drafted two iterations of Urban Ag Zoning, according to Dash.

"These address the permitting of gardens, chickens and beehives in the city," he said. "We will share the process of updating the City of Pittsburgh Urban Ag Zoning ordinance and how it impacts urban agriculture in Pittsburgh. The desire to include agriculture has created a new generation of work in ordinance updating. "

One more webinar is offered in Extension's summer-fall monthly land-use series (which are all recorded for future viewing). To be presented on Nov. 18, it is titled, "Community Economic Development: What is it, and what is your role in its use in your communities?”

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $35.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst, Penn State Extension educator, at 570-296-3400 or by email at ptw3@psu.edu. Register for the webinars here.

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Last Updated October 09, 2015