SOFSA Director Maura Ackerman was recently featured on WAER 88.3 in their coverage of the ReZone Syracuse hearing that took place on Tuesday, March 28th 2023. SOFSA community liason Rhonda Vesey and Food Access Healthy Neighborhoods Now! (FAHNN) Chairperson also spoke as well as SOFSA partner Jessi Lyons, Farm Director at Brady Farm. Maura and Rhonda both shared about the process that FAHNN! and SOFSA underwent to advocate for changes to the ReZone policy.

You can read more about these changes here, but together, we urged the Commission to change the zoning so that 1) mini-storage requires a special permit in Commercially zoned areas and 2) farmer’s markets and farmstands are a permissible use. Prior to conversation with FAHNN!, SOFSA was speaking in support of ReZone’s passage to create easier pathways for urban farming, gardening, keeping of small animals such as chickens, and legalizing food carts.

Read the article on WAER:

“We want to celebrate the inclusion of two key changes in particular that are focused on enhancing agricultural opportunity within the city’s boundaries: One is updated allowances for community gardens and urban agriculture that will support both residential and commercial food production within the city; And second, the clarification around the keeping of small animals in residential zones to ensure that there’s consistent enforcement and positive relationships among neighbors.”

– Maura Ackerman, SOFSA Director