A Los Angeles City Council committee Tuesday signed off an a proposed ordinance that would grant tax relief to city farmers and encourage them to transform empty lots into urban farms.
Under the Urban Agricultural Incentive Zones Act, cities are allowed to establish agricultural zones where property owners who allow their land to be used for agricultural purposes for a minimum of five years can receive a property tax adjustment and be reassessed at the average statewide irrigated agriculture land rate.
The county Board of Supervisors adopted the act in 2016, which cleared the way for any of the 88 cities in the county to create incentive zones.
The proposed city ordinance was approved by the Planning and Land Use Management Committee and will now go before the full City Council for a vote. The motion to create the ordinance was introduced in 2014 by former and current councilmen Felipe Fuentes and Curren Price, respectively.
“This increases access to healthy food for low-income communities. This reduces vacant property to minimize blight and increases activity,” said Breanna Hawkins, policy director with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.
“This promotes green space, which encourages environmental benefits as well as social capital, and it provides an opportunity for businesses and social enterprises to be able to develop and be able to take advantage of the increased access to the land,” she said.